Leader of the Pack

Written By: 
Julie Flanagan
Photographs by: 
Randall Hill

Bandi beats out 151 other cute pets and steals Grand Strand readers’ hearts in our Cutest Pet Contest

PHOTO: La Bandita Del Corazon, Bandi for short, is a seven-year-old cocker spaniel.

Say hello to Bandi, the big winner in Grand Strand Magazine’s Cutest Pet Contest, presented by the Veterinary Clinic of Myrtle Beach. Bandi was born in April 2010 and adopted in June of the same year. Linda Chiolero, Bandi’s mother, fell in love with her after seeing her four-week-old photo on Petfinder.com. Her dad, Jerry, named the cocker spaniel “La Bandita Del Corazon,” or “Bandit of the Heart,” since he thought she looked like she was wearing a mask and she stole the couple’s hearts immediately.

Bandi loves the cat siblings she has had over the years and thinks she can do anything they can physically, including high jumps and running tackles. She enjoys sneaking in the laundry room to steal cat food and toys every chance she gets.

Congenial Bandi is always happy to meet new people, especially young children. She loves walking through her neighborhood and has never met a stranger. Gentle and welcoming, she can never get too much attention or affection. She dresses up for Halloween each year to greet children at the door.

Though she lives in a neighborhood with surrounding wetlands, wildlife like deer, black bears and wild boar don’t hold Bandi’s interest. However, she does enjoy watching the birds and squirrels while lying on the back of the sofa. Of her large toy collection, an old, well-loved squeaky squirrel is her favorite. Bandi goes to find “Squirrel” after her humans eat dinner and settle onto the loveseat, which becomes a game of fetch until she’s ready to join them for some cuddle time.

“Bandi has been a total joy and blessing in our lives,” says Linda. “There is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t do something goofy to make us laugh.”

Check out Bandi’s runway debut at The Market Common Fashion Show on Saturday, September 9.