Every dog owner shares a special bond with their pet, and it is no different for Todd Souhrada and his dog Bandit. Souhrada is in Japan on active duty with the US Navy, and his 7 year old Bernese mountain dog is waiting longingly for him to return. Every day Bandit sits at the end of the driveway, hoping that his buddy will come home and take him fishing.
Souhrada is serving overseas for the sixth time since 9/11, and he leaves behind not only Bandit, but also his wife of 26 years Karen, as well as 4 children. Souhrada got Bandit as a pup in 2005, shortly after losing one of his daughters in a car accident, an event that changed his life forever. In his absence Karen is happy to take care of Bandit and their other dog Bella who they got this past summer, but it is Todd that is the real dog lover in the family.
In email correspondence from Japan, Todd Souhrada said, “I got Bandit shortly after our daughter Anna died in 2005. It was a very difficult and challenging time in all of our lives and loss is something that forever changes you.” The bond Todd and Bandit share is noticeable to others as well, and it was actually someone who drove past Bandit sitting at the end of the driveway every day that brought the story to the attention of the media.
Of the many things the pair do together, Todd says, “I think the one that defines our relationship the most is the fact that he is my fishing buddy.” The family has a cabin in northern Wisconsin where they have been fishing together since Bandit was just 4 months old.
“He emails me and he’ll always ask how is the dog. He wants to make sure the dogs are okay,” said Karen. “I want to think when they reunite, he’ll feel like he’s home,” she said.