Meet Bandit, the USO’s First Remedy Canine

7 minutes read



Bandit, a European Blue Nice Dane pet, was scheduled to be euthanized. He had a softball-size lump rising from his neck, and the group that had taken in him and his siblings didn’t have the funds required to assist him.
Fortunately, Kelly Brownfield, a USO Western Missouri regional operations director, was on the identical vet getting her newly adopted pup checked out. With out hesitation she scooped up Bandit. “I made the choice there,” she explains, “that he was coming house with me.”
It turned out that Bandit’s points have been due to a bit of wooden caught in his again tooth — a comparatively straightforward and cheap repair. Kelly had all the time wished a Nice Dane. Now she had two!
Bandit finds his calling
Bandit lets the service women and men really feel protected sufficient to attach with their feelings. Pictures courtesy Kelly Brownfield.
Kelly has a job the place she will convey her canine to work — the USO of Missouri, Inc. Bandit beloved the service women and men and wished to be with them.
“When troopers have been having points, we’d discover him [Bandit] within the lap of a crying solder,” Kelly says. “He knew easy methods to sense out individuals.” A lot of individuals pitched in coaching in order that he may go the exams required to develop into a registered remedy canine. These are exams he has to retake and go yearly.
At present, Kelly owns Bandit and Maverick, one other European Blue Nice Dane, who’re each registered via the Alliance of Remedy Canine, a part of a nationwide remedy canine group whose certification is nice state to state. Their work isn’t remoted to the USO of Missouri, Inc. Kelly, Bandit and Maverick conduct excursions of the East Coast. This permits different service members to work together with the canine. Journey is by automotive — it’s a bit tough to get two large pups on a flight with you!
Bandit’s massive coronary heart
Bandit permits servicemen and servicewomen to attach with their feelings. Pictures courtesy Kelly Brownfield.
Bandit’s record of accomplishments is lengthy. What he enjoys most is working with the women and men in uniform. “I do know he loves doing this,” Kelly says. “His vest is stuffed with patches and pins of models he has labored with. Within the morning once I say it’s time to go, he’s so excited to see his vest come out.”
Bandit shall be introduced right into a room of service males and girl and given the possibility to cuddle as much as every one. Interactions are watched intently. If one of many people reveals extreme emotion whereas with Bandit there’s a good likelihood there’s an underlying concern, difficulty or indicators of PTSD. Bandit permits the service women and men, who’ve been via a lot, to really feel protected sufficient to interrupt down their emotional obstacles and join with their deepest emotions. This alerts others that the soldier might have extra therapy and assist.
In his prime, Bandit hung out on the hospital as stability assist, serving to wounded warrior amputees get again on their toes. Bandit himself has bodily deformities that makes it tougher for him to stroll. He has had 5 surgical procedures leaving him with screws in his again legs. Troopers who’ve misplaced limbs join simply with Bandit. After being suited up in a particular harness, Bandit would stroll subsequent to a affected person making an attempt out his/her synthetic leg. Bandit’s measurement is a plus, making him, along with his harness in place, the right top so as to add some steadiness to a soldier’s first few steps. Bandit does every part he can to stop his accomplice from falling, even when a brand new leg fails.
Past the USO
Bandit and serviceman. Pictures courtesy Kelly Brownfield.
Bandit’s particular contact doesn’t cease on the navy members; it extends to their households. Many kids who go to the USO discover Bandit to be not only a canine however a good friend; a gentle and loving creature they will play with, hug and inform their secrets and techniques to. Bandit has been the accomplice for youngsters at their fallen dad or mum’s funeral. He walks with the kid to the graveside, staying with her or him and being the supportive finest good friend that the kid desperately wants at the moment.
At 7 years previous, Bandit is a senior canine. He’s nonetheless energetic in his work with the USO, however just a few actions which might be extra bodily or require in depth persistence have been handed right down to Maverick. Bandit appears OK with letting his brother tackle among the job so long as he will get to be along with his associates in uniform.
When he will get house, Bandit has loads of time to hang around along with his cat, Lola, earlier than cuddling up within the human mattress with Maverick, Lola and his mother. A comfy foursome!
Because of Bandit’s success, Kelly has shared their course of and pointers with different USO places of work within the hopes that this system can go nationwide. When requested why Bandit likes his job Kelly says, “I feel he simply loves individuals, and he loves what he does. It’s nearly like he was born for this. Typically I’m wondering if we saved him inside minutes of him being put down; if that is his approach of giving again.
Bandit – Remedy Canine. Pictures Kelly Brownfield
A Q&A with Kelly Brownfield
Working canine are similar to us
Q: What’s Bandit’s weight-reduction plan?
A: Bandit has thrived consuming Purina Professional Plan. His favourite taste of Purina Professional Plan is the Hen & Rice Formulation.
Q: Does Bandit get any human meals?
A: He loves rooster, which has develop into a weekly Sunday routine — to deal with him to his cooked rooster.
Q: What sort of drugs does Bandit use?
A: Bandit is thought for his vest, which is worn at most of his encounters when working with the general public and our navy. We additionally take precautions to guard his ears and eyes. He makes use of military-grade goggles and mutt muffs if the conditions name for them. When Bandit was serving to present stability assist to our navy amputees, he used a particular harness.
Q: Are there well being points that Bandit’s job trigger him to have, and the way do you tackle these?
A: Bandit was born with some deformities. He walks on the sting of his proper entrance paw and because of the entrance leg deformity, it has precipitated a slope the place his hind legs are greater. Because of that each ACLs ruptured, and he has had 5 surgical procedures over his lifetime leaving him with 4 plates and 20 screws in every of his again legs. We’re fortunate to have one of the unbelievable veterinary colleges within the nation right here in Missouri, the College of Missouri School of Veterinary Drugs, which has taken wonderful care of our Bandit during the last seven years.
Q: What’s Bandit’s grooming routine?
A: Bandit will get weekly baths, because of the great amount of remedy canine work he does to make sure he’s clear. He loves whenever you pull out the grooming glove to brush his hair. I attempt to deal with him to a full spa day as soon as a month on the native groomer, Pampered Paws, LLC.
Concerning the creator
Wendy Newell is a former VP of Gross sales turned canine sitter, which retains her busy being a canine chauffeur, choosing up poop and sacrificing her mattress. Wendy and her canine, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures all through the Los Angeles space. Be taught extra about them on Fb @The Lively Pack and on Instagram @wnewell.
Editor’s observe: This text appeared in Dogster journal. Have you ever seen the brand new Dogster print journal in shops? Or within the ready room of your vet’s workplace? Subscribe now to get Dogster journal delivered straight to you! 
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