Bandit #3 Black Labrador Retriever 3 Years Old ID #3126

Bandit will be attending Brookline’s Lager for Labs event this Sunday 10/2/22.  He would love to see you there!!!

September 29, 2022

Bandit, the cute, little black lab is staying in Delaware with us while his foster family enjoys a well-deserved vacation.  We picked up Bandit yesterday.  He happily got into the car and settled quietly looking out the windows for the ride to our Labrador Retriever He sniffed around the backyard and then it was time to meet the resident dogs.  First it was Pepper, our friendly, 3-legged, female lab.  She is our welcoming committee!  She did not fail at her job and was working her magic to get Bandit to play with her.  At first, he was a little intimidated, but he quickly figured out she was the fun one and they had a good time running and playing! He also had a good time playing fetch with me.

Then he met resident male lab Colin, who is more chill and on leash restrictions from his recent (and second!) TPLO surgery.  Both boys greeted each other with the typical doggy handshake, aka butt sniff, and lots of tail wags.  Then they moved on to peeing on top of each other’s pee outside.  Boys will be boys!

Bandit needed to be fed when we got inside, so foster dad and I got to work on getting him into one of our chairs.  Thanks to the great tutorial and notes from his foster family, we were prepared.  Bandit forgave us for any mistakes we made and he happily ate his meal of meatballs with slurry sauce. black Labrador Retriever We set the timer for 15 minutes and Bandit chilled like the good boy he is while he digested his food.  Success!

The night was uneventful, which is always nice when bringing in a new dog.  We had a quiet night with more feeding for Bandit, some yard play (the dogs are loving the weather!) and chilling on the couch. black Labrador Retriever We did have one incident of Bandit running into the closed sliding glass door, ouch!  After apologizing to the little guy, we worked on learning that we have to wait until the human opens the door.  Today he had no issues.  He’s figured out if he just follows the other dogs’ lead, it’s a safe bet.

When it was time for bed, Bandit went into a crate right next to resident lab Colin who was in his own crate.  Foster dad slept downstairs with the boys and Bandit was quiet until he whimpered to let foster dad know he had to go potty.  A quick potty break, and back into the crate until morning.  All in all, a successful day for Bandit and his vacation foster family!

September 9, 2022

Bandit had his follow up tests with the specialist at Penn Vet last week.  We now have a confirmed diagnosis of Megaesophagus (ME).  We mentioned in previous blogs that he had esophageal concerns so now it’s good to know exactly what is going on.  The doctor said he has a mild case which can successfully be managed through diet & upright feedings.  That’s what we’ve been doing with Bandit thus far and it’s been very successful.

With Megaesophagus (ME), the esophagus is dilated and has low or no motility, which is the muscle action that helps the food travel down to the stomach.  Dogs with ME need to sit or stand upright when eating or drinking so gravity can help get everything down to their stomach.   If food or liquids stay in the esophagus the dogs may regurgitate which makes them more prone to aspiration pneumonia.

You can find more information on Megaesophagus here:

Bandit is considered a mild case since the front of his esophagus has good motility, which is rare, so that makes his management of ME much easier to manage.  He also takes two daily meds that help him with his ME.  The first is Metoclopramide (Reglan) which he takes to help with motility. We get his prescription filled at our local grocery store and it’s only $10 for a 45 -day supply.  He also takes Pepcid AC, an acid neutralizer, daily.  Bandit takes his meds like a champ and he’s happy to share his Pepcid AC pills with us when we have heartburn on Taco Tuesdays!

Most ME dogs can’t eat plain dry dog food (kibble), it must be soaked in water or ground into a flour-like consistency and mixed with liquids so it can be served like a thick milkshake or made into meatballs.  Bandit is a typical lab who loves to eat and his favorite by far is the meatballs.  He’s doing great eating all of his meals while sitting upright in a chair.  We don’t use a special chair for him, we have found that our recliner works very well for Bandit and for us.  After he eats, he sits in the chair for 15 minutes to ensure everything has gone down smoothly.  His foster brother sits near him and they both enjoy a quick nap. Ahhh, the life of a lab!black Labrador Retriever

One of the tests they did on Bandit was an ultrasound.  This required his abdomen/sides to be shaved so he’s sporting a funky new haircut for the fall.

Other than his food prep & eating upright Bandit is no different than any other young lab.  He’s very playful and frequently initiates play time and tug of war with his foster brother.   He’s still learning fetch and it’s comical to watch.  Bandit runs towards the ball or stick & loves to pounce on it and roll around. He often gets so caught up playing that he forgets to bring the stick back when we call him.  Maybe he thinks he’s teaching us how to fetch because we always go get it for him.

black Labrador Retriever

August 28, 2022

Bandit had his first consultation with the specialist at Penn Vet last week.  They need to run some further tests to determine exactly what is going on with his esophagus.  Those tests are scheduled for 8/31 and we’re hopeful to have a clearer path for Bandit after that.  It was a 2-hour drive and he did great in the car.   It was a long day for him and he slept the whole ride home, but as soon as we got him home, he let it be known that it was past dinnertime and he was ready to eat!  Typical lab!

Bandit went to the local pet store to get his booster shot and he did great in the store!

He was hesitant at first since the floor was tile with no rugs in sight but once he got inside and saw all the great stuff, he was fine.  He wasn’t shy around people or dogs and everyone commented on how cute he was.

He is settling into a routine nicely and seems to be very comfortable being inside our house.  He runs freely from room to room now and doesn’t seem to mind whether he’s on a rug, tile or the hardwood floors.  He gets along great with his foster brother and has started to copy some of his behaviors.  They both head to foster Mom’s home office after breakfast to take their morning naps. They walk side by side when doing laps around the yard and they both really likes a rousing game of tug of war. Bandit is starting to show more interest in chew toys and bones and he can occupy himself for a while with his toys.

We’re still working on crate training.  He started off great but now that he’s getting a bit bolder, he’s quick to bark and let us know he’s not fond of his crate. We watch him on the camera when we leave and he whines and barks before settling down, then he starts to bark again when he hears us in the driveway.  We’re confident he’ll learn to be content in his crate.


August 6, 2022

Bandit continues to learn something new every day and we’re so happy with his Labrador Retriever

He’s still dealing with some health issues and has been referred to a specialist to help us figure everything out.  It appears he might have a stricture in his esophagus, but he doesn’t let that slow him down.

He is being crate trained for when we leave the house for short periods of time.  He prefers having his foster brother stay in the same room to keep him company but if we take Reggie with us Bandit is usually calm in his crate when we return.

We originally crated him at night, but he had a hard time staying settled all night long. We started allowing him to sleep on his bed in our bedroom and we’re thrilled that he continues to be a good boy with no accidents overnight.   At first Bandit wanted to curl up with his foster brother on the same bed but Reggie wasn’t in the mood to share.  Once we moved Bandit’s bed next to Reggie’s he visibly relaxed and fell asleep quickly.

Over the weekend he taught himself to jump up on our bed.  I woke up Saturday morning with Bandit starting right into my face looking so proud of himself for jumping up.   We don’t let the dogs sleep with us, so we used it as training opportunity as we repeatedly taught him ‘down’ and ‘stay’ to keep him off the bed.

Bandit continues to show improvements navigating through the house.  He now trots happily from room to room on his own as long as there are rugs he can get to quickly if needed.  He still needs to learn how to do the stairs leading up to our family room and they are extra scary because they are hardwood with no rug runners.   We’re confident he’ll master those in the near future.

He is also getting more familiar with toys and what to do with them. black Labrador Retriever He and his foster brother love a good game of tug of war.  Even though Bandit is about a third the size of his foster brother, he stands firm and really tries to Labrador Retriever

Bandit is doing well with his potty training & he doesn’t have many accidents in the house.  He started going to the back door when he needs to go out.  At first, he just looked out the door waiting for it to magically open and let him out.  Now if no one is around to see him at the back door he lets out a little bark to tell us to hurry Labrador Retriever

He also took a few car rides lately and he’s learning to be more relaxed in the car.  He started out in the back seat facing backwards the whole time.  Now he turns to the side and looks out the window to enjoy the exciting scenery.

Bandit really loves his people and his foster brother.  He loves all the attention he gets and follows us everywhere we go. In true lab fashion he leans against whomever is sitting or standing closest to him.   It seems that he can’t soak up the love and attention fast enough which really warms our hearts.

We had a visitor this week and we’re so happy with how he behaved.  Foster Grammy came over for dinner and card games and he was very excited to meet her.  He was a well-mannered boy and didn’t jump up on her or try to beg food from her, even though we had steak for dinner.  He slept under the dining room table while we made noise playing games & laughing and he didn’t bark at all.  Foster Grammy fell in love with him instantly and thought he was the sweetest boy.

Overall, we’re so pleased with Bandit’s progress in such a short time.  There’s still a lot to learn but he so eager and willing which makes it a joy to teach him.  I think the shining moment this week was when he wagged his tail for the first time!  We were delighted for him and so thankful we can help him find joy in life again!!

July 22, 2022black Labrador Retriever

Bandit is having quite an interesting week.  He developed aspiration pneumonia from vomiting. He had to be hospitalized earlier in the week overnight for treatment.  He received excellent care, and all of the nurses and doctors fell in love with him because he’s such a sweet little guy. We were happy to bring him home and help him continue to recover in a more comfortable environment.

It’s exciting to see what he accomplishes every day such as walking from the living room to the kitchen on his own, even across some scary hardwood floors.  We put out a few small rugs to help him as he’s learning to transition from hardwood to tile.  Foster dad jokes that Bandit looks like he’s playing the childhood game of Floor is Lava racing from rug to rug. He would win the trophy for sure!

Bandit found a tennis ball in the yard today and got really excited which warmed our hearts.  He attempted to fetch a few times and we loved seeing him run around joyfully.

He started showing interest in some stuffed animals and chew toys last night.

He’s still not sure what to do with the toys so he puts them in his mouth and chewed for a while which seems to make him happy.  We love to see him so happy!black Labrador Retriever

It’s becoming clear he really enjoys being with his people & his foster brother.  He encountered a few cats and a squirrel in the yard, but he doesn’t pay them any attention, he would rather stay by foster mom & dad’s side

July 18, 2022

Day 2 in foster care and Bandit is showing wonderful growth already.

Foster Mom slept in the bedroom with him last night and he liked it even more when she plugged in a nightlight.   Even though it took him a while to settle down he made it through the night with no accidents.

We hand fed him breakfast slowly since he’s not sure what to do with his gobble bowl just yet.  Slowly is the key because in true lab fashion he would inhale his entire meal if we let him.   He allows us to pet his head & even take away his kibble while he was eating with no labrador retriever

Bandit enjoyed a lot of time outside today.  We even heard his first barks when he let the neighbor know he didn’t appreciate how loud his lawn mower was.


He’s still scared of thresholds and changes in flooring and hardwood makes him extra nervous, but we are seeing great improvement.  He walked through the house several times without stopping or scrambling too much at the doorways. He surprised us by heading straight to the living room after potty breaks and relaxing with us for a few hours.

He & resident dog Reggie were side by side most of the day and Bandit did well considering how large Reggie is.chocolate and black Labrador Retriever Bandit even tried to jump around and play a bit until they both wanted the same stick.  Bandit backed right down and all was well.

Foster Mom works from home so we introduced him to the home office so he’s ready for Monday.  He headed straight for the fluffy bed and made himself right at home.  In fact, he’s relaxing on the office bed right now while we type up his blog.  He’ll be a great co-worker since he’s so peaceful and quiet…for Labrador Retriever

It’s really exciting to see Bandit come out of his shell and explore his new world.  He’s such a sweet, gentle boy who loves spending time with his people.

July 17, 2022

Say hello to Bandit, a 3-year-old black lab who came to Brookline as a stray who most likely spent his life outside or on a Labrador Retriever

After his vet appointment this morning he began his 2-hour car ride to his foster home, experiencing many firsts throughout the Labrador Retriever

The car ride was scary and it took him a while to settle but he eventually found a comfortable spot where he could begin to relax and still get some reassuring pets from foster mom.  black Labrador RetrieverHe stopped for a potty break along the way then jumped right back into the car without any prompting so he’s learning quickly.

He was introduced to his new resident brother Reggie (a Brookline alumni) at the local walking trail and their introduction went well.   Reggie & foster Dad stayed behind to finish their walk giving Bandit time to check out his foster home without any interruptions.

Bandit was happy to walk around his new yard and check out everything. He will need leash training as being on a leash is new to him, but we’re confident he will learn quickly.  He was pretty shy to go into the house but he was a trooper and finally made the leap, or scramble, across the threshold.

Being in the house was what stressed him the most today.   After making it through the doorway he ran to the first area rug and promptly laid Labrador Retriever He wasn’t too interested in checking out the rest of the house, but he eventually took a quick tour.  As soon as he got to the spare bedroom where his crate was setup he ran into his crate and didn’t want to Labrador Retriever

He spent most of the night either in his create or lying next to it but not fully relaxed.   I think today was overwhelming for him so I expect we will all be sound asleep soon.

He’s a really sweet guy who seems to learn quickly so we’re excited to see what tomorrow brings.

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Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer organization funded entirely by donations. Donations are always needed to help with veterinary costs, transportation, and supplies for our dogs. For information on donating to BLRR please click here. Donations are accepted via PayPal or you can mail a check to: Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue, P.O. Box 638, Warrington, PA 18976-0638