This note and story was written by Bandit’s mama Karen Nielsen.

Here is my story on Bandit. I would love to help get the word out about what amazing pets deaf dogs like Bandit can be with the love, patience and training. I guess I’m kinda like a parent in the fact that I think my dog is the best and best looking deafie ever! I had a good time going through some of Bandits earlier photos and and reminiscing the days when he first came home with us.   I truly believe Bandit and I were put on this Earth together for a very important reason.  I thought it quite ironic when I discovered him to be deaf as I was in a really abusive relationship ten years ago and can’t hear in my right ear as a result of the abuse.

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I have not been in a close relationship with anyone for over ten years as a result of the abuse I suffered. Because of my sweet Bandit, I got over my not wanting to trust or love someone because of my past. I have recently been in a committed relationship for the last eight months as a result of  Bandit helping me to open myself up to love again.

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I got Bandit about 1 year and 3 months ago when he was about 5 or 6 months old.  Someone had two pit puppies and needed to get rid of one, at the time I only thought it was because two puppies can be a lot for one person to handle.  When the person who had Bandit first asked if I would adopt him  I said no because I did not want a pit bull.  But after a short time I gave in because not only was he really cute but they ran out of options for him. They could not find Bandit a home so I folded.  After about two days I felt like I had been suckered because Bandit began to act like the worst dog ever. He wouldn’t listen or mind me in any way shape or form. Little did I know at the time that Bandit could not hear a thing.

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I came home from work one day, slammed the door, and threw the keys on the table and all the while he stayed dead asleep on the couch. I clapped, I whistled and he didn’t respond.   Oh my gosh…he’s DEAF! All of a sudden everything made perfect sense to me.  Up until he was about a year old he was scared of the dark.  He is my “velcro dog” and he always had to feel my touch in the night. With time and reassurance Bandit has gotten much better with the dark over time.

I find it funny when I take him for walks other dogs will have a fuss and bark and Bandit is completely oblivious to all the ruckus. It’s almost like it upsets some dogs more when he doesn’t react to their growls and barks.  He is the gentlest most loving dog a person like me could wish for. Bandit loves kids and he is so good and patient with them. He is a very special dog. When we are out walking I can see people cross to the opposite side of the street because they fear his appearance which is silly.  Sometimes I laugh about it but sometimes I get upset and a little angry.

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My boyfriend had to take over the “leadership” role with Bandit because I am a sucker and I tend to spoil Bandit and let him get away with stuff.  My boyfriend and I have taught Bandit some sign language commands. Bandit loves to go to the park and hang out at the lake. He has to be on a leash or tied to me always so if he can’t wander off because we would not be able to get his attention to call him back. we couldn’t call him back.

Bandit got out one day last year and I was devastated when he was gone.  I really thought I had lost him forever and thought to myself “what the hell was I thinking” the thought of losing him hurt worse than any man ever could.  Twelve hours after loosing him I put an ad on Craigslist and someone saw our listing and returned him to me.  Because of the cards life has delt to me and my boyfriend we will never get to raise a child but having Bandit with us tends to fill that void in our hearts. Seriously I couldn’t imagine life without him.

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His deafness/special needs makes him a truly special dog.  In many cases Pit bulls can be “bad to the bone” because of poor breeding and irresponsible owners. Pit bulls or “pibbles” as we call them really are lovers not fighters.  If a pit bull is bad it’s usually not the dog’s fault but the owner of the dog who has not done right by the dog.   Please consider with a lot of love, patience, tender loving care, and training deaf pit bulls can be beautiful pets to add to your family.

In other words….Deaf Dogs Rock!

Karen Nielsen