My brothers were little bad-asses when we were growing up in Brooklyn. They landed themselves in jail, group homes and all sorts of bad situations because of their need for “thug life”. My parents thought it best to leave Brooklyn in favor of Staten Island to curb their bad behavior. At the time I didn’t even know that Staten Island was in New York, I remember crying to my schoolmates about having to move to another state. Silly child. The move didn’t help all that much. My brothers will always be bad-asses, the only thing that curbed that behavior was aging and the arrival of their children. But one key aspect of being hardcore was their choice in pet. When we first moved to Staten Island my oldest brother Christopher brought home a teeny tiny brindle bundle that as hard as my mother tried and as many times as she said no, she simply couldn’t resist. I remember it like it was yesterday. Chris put Bandit’s teeny face up to my mom and he licked her nose, she smiled and that was it.
So Bandit was my first Pit Bull (named from Johnny Quest). My brother tried all he could to make him seem dangerous, he cropped his ears, gave him a ridiculously over-sized spike collar and a heavy ass chain link leash. None of this worked. Sure Bandit look intimidating, but as hardcore as my brothers thought they were they couldn’t train Bandit to be anything less than lovable and amazing.
Bandit used to sleep in front of my bed and guard me when I slept. I guess that’s as vicious as he got. If you came near me when I was asleep he’d very quietly growl at you. Once my brother and me were play fighting and he pounced on my brother and barked in his face for him to leave me alone. His intimidation ended there. We have a large family as most Hispanics can say about their kin and this meant tons of babies and toddlers crawling around and pulling on Bandit’s ears and tail. He never even lifted a head to the torture. He’d simply lay and take it while he was jumped all over. Bandit was well behaved, he barley barked… he mostly slept. He was big on cuddling, he was light weight so his need for being a lapdog was fine by me. He fathered 1 litter of puppies before we neutered him, which was how we came to have our next Pit Bull Duchess/Heaven. When he was about 6 his heart gave out on him and he collapsed. That was the end of Bandit. He was an amazing dog that forever changed my world. I haven’t and will never have any other breed of dog thanks to him. My first Pit love.