Our “Little While” Love

August 8, 2014

www.communicationdiva.comSo I may get a little annoying here…but I’m in love.

It’s like being around a new parent or grand-parent who talks incessantly of nothing else…and I get it! And I apologize in advance.

This is Bandit.

Technically, his name is Bandit II, but we’re keeping it simple.

Isn’t he just adorable??

Bandit is a service dog in training, and we are what’s called “puppy raisers”. Like most new parents, we actually are flying a little by the seat of our pants, having read stuff and learned stuff in classes about how to do this, but really learning how to raise a puppy as we go.

We received this little bundle of energy on Tuesday evening, having been through several sessions in preparation. What we weren’t prepared for was how fun he is to just sit and adore.

Bandit belongs to the Pacific Assistance Dog Society (PADS)

This Society is volunteer-run, and funded by donations. Puppies are raised to be dogs who live with people with disabilities that range from mild to severe, and who benefit tremendously from having an assistance dog. Behind every trained-up service dog is a line up of people who have loved, cuddled, walked, cleaned-up after, taught, housed, played with, and been patient with him or her for months and months from birth right up to about 2 years old, when the dog “graduates” from training and is matched with the person he/she will live with for most of the rest of his/her life.

The Reactions are Interesting.

While we as a family understand the WHY behind our decision to do this, the criticisms and comments we get from both extended family members, friends and strangers is fascinating. Some people think this is a wonderful, albeit challenging, thing to do. Several other people, it turns out,  think this is a terrible thing for us to subject ourselves to and have that warning and “I told you so” kind of tone in their voices already, before we even got started.

Maybe it is going to be too hard for words…maybe it will be…but only we will know when we get there.

Our reasoning.

Here are the reasons we decided to do this, not in any particular order.

-the youngest two in our family have never had a pet. (Ok, a gold fish doesn’t count. No…it just DOESN’T!)

-I have ALWAYS had a pet…until we had to say good-bye to my gorgeous yellow Lab “Kasha” a few years ago at the ripe old age of 13. I’ve been missing her every since.

-we are extremely busy people who are often not home for extended periods of time and who would feel terrible about leaving a dog at home alone all day.

– owning a pet is expensive.

-we have many blessings to count and would like to give back.

Love ’em up.

So, with full knowledge of what is to come in a year or so, we decided as a family to try this out at least once…and if indeed the naysayers are correct, we won’t do it again. HOWEVER, if we survive the “buckets of tears” we’ve been told happen as we say good-bye and watch the dog matched with the person who needs it most…then we might begin again and give another puppy a loving little-while home.

Seems reasonable to me.

I won’t bore you with too many pictures…well…maybe a few.

I’m learning quickly that these little puppies love to communicate, so that’s relevant to this site (insert more justification here).

And, I have really fallen in love with this four-legged, soft and cuddly, big-eyed baby boy who follows me from room to room as I work and who is too scared to go down the flight of stairs but who mastered going up them yesterday.


If I didn’t have to work…I’d just spend all day playing with Bandit.

To find out more:

check out www.pads.ca

I have to visit the lawn again now.



Leave a Comment

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Graeme Crabb August 15, 2014 at 5:54 am

Good for you! He’s really really a cute pup and you’ll have a lot of fun with him. It’s a brave thing to do and will be helping some lucky person down the road. We lost our little cat recently after 19 years and miss her every day.
Love, Dad


JennSwanson August 15, 2014 at 6:37 am

Thanks Dad! Sorry about your kitty…that’s hard. Yes, Bandit is a handful, chewing everything in site and not completely “potty trained” yet (had a nice accident in the grocery store line up yesterday…good thing I carry paper towel!), but he is cute and learning a lot and one day will make a very good companion for someone. Thanks for the comment, Love, Jenn


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