Sometimes Andrew and I say that we will always have Border Collies. Sometimes we swear, “Never again!”

Bandit, the Border Collie, has taught me to be especially wily and, still, I am often foiled.

When Bandit had Lyme disease, he was miserable.  After he got past the initial days of pathetic crying and holding up his paw, he became a bit cocky about taking his medication.

In typical Border Collie fashion, he would outsmart our every attempt to give him his antibiotics. If we put the pill in his food dish, he would eat around it. If we wrapped it in cheese, or turkey, or peanut butter, he would manage to eat every last bit of the wrapping… but nothing else.

And forget “pilling” him; whoever came up with that technique did not have a dog who instantly morphed into Kujo if he was disgruntled.

Bandit was nearing the end of his antibiotic course and it was getting continually more difficult to slip one by him. I had nearly emptied the fridge of leftovers trying to find something yummy enough that he would gulp it down, pill and all, in one fell swoop.

Exhausted, I sat on the coach glaring at him as he stood expectantly at the back door. In my hand was a soggy, ick-covered, capsule.

“Bandit, you are not going out until you take this pill,” I announced.

He looked at me consideringly. He looked at the door again.

“Nope,” I said firmly.

Bandit came over, took the pill from my hand, swallowed it, and returned to the door.

I kid you not.

Besides his reoccurring vestibular disease, Lyme was the toughest thing Bandit lived through. It was the only time, with the exception of the day he died, that he consented to being a lap dog.

His final advice for any four-legged companions with Lyme: take your antibiotics, as well as homeopathic Ledum and a drop of teasel tincture 3-4 times per day. Boswellia is great for residual joint aches and limping.

Bandit died on June 11 at the age of 16.  We miss the snarky, back-talking pup who made us snort with laughter (behind our hands so we wouldn’t encourage him) and the tottering, sweet old man he became in his later years.

We are finding other things to laugh about, but I suspect the space he left can only be filled by another Border Collie.