Bandit — Service

Charity Partner: Paws for Purple Hearts
Location: Toulon, Illinois

I lost my son in December 2015 after a long battle with brain cancer. We were able to care for him at home until the very end. I am very grateful we could be there when he was brought into the world and when he left the world we know. He was a very special young man, and his loss was almost to much for me to handle. I lost my ability to think and remember things, and since I travel for a living I found it difficult to function in a different city, different hotel each night, rental car, and remembering where I parked my car – not to mention finding my way out of a different hospital several times per day. I realized I needed help if I was going to keep my job, and I knew I could train my new dog to help me, and that is where our adventure and bonding began. Bandit began traveling with me when he was about 4 months old, and we have been working together since. He just turned one year old and he has come a long way. The moment we turn into the airport and his service coat goes on, he finds doors, elevators, my hotel room, the rental car-no matter where I park it – and helps me navigate out of the hospital after waiting patiently for me to finish my educational presentation. He can also sense when I need to take my medication and will paw me with his front feet relentlessly. I don’t know how he learned this, but he just seems to know. Needless to say, Bandit is my hero! He also brings smiles to many patients and families in the hospitals we visit. :).