One of my favorite pets growing up was a raccoon named Bandit. He wasn't by any stretch a traditional pet, but he was by far the most entertaining. The lessons that accompany these stories aren't particularly deep, but the simple truths, learned from our life with Bandit, have served our family well. As you read, you might shake your head and wonder how and why our family had so many uncommon animals. The short answer ... my eccentric dad, and my incredibly gracious mom. Perhaps the most amazing part is that every story you'll read here actually happened--unbelievably, often unfortunately--it all happened. May you enjoy reading these stories as much as my family enjoyed living them.