Our Big and Gentle Ben...
My beloved handsome boy slipped away last nite... I have come to think he hung on for his boy, Dave's 9 yr old son to come back. For a dog that didnt like children he certainly loved this boy. You came a long way from that sickly dog we brought home 5 1/2 years ago. My heart aches big boy... Daddy and I will miss you more than you could ever know... I wish you days of sun and play, pain free.. wait for us... we love you.
Here is a little something daddy wrote about you 3 years ago... it seems to be the best memorial we could give you...
Contributed by RT Dave
Feb 03, 2006 at 08:25 AM
Ben, Haliburton lookout
Lemme tell you about my best friend. It's a long thread, but it's some dog we've got. The word "good" just doesn't sum up my boy, Ben. Ben, whenever possible, travels with me, despite eternal truck sickness (Tina blames it on my driving, and probably rightly so....LOL).
Yesterday, as usual, he accompanied me out on the ice for a day of fishing. Lia wanders too much, and Cy's not too good with recall yet. I usually bring along a tennis ball and frisbee, to keep us warm and entertained between bites. But yesterday was one of those rare days when the action was virtually non-stop, and tending lines meant more perch to feast on this weekend.
We weren't alone on the ice, and considering it was a week day, rather busy. Ben kept dropping his frisbee at my feet, tail wagging, big smile...please play with me. After almost losing my rod down the hole, I told him to go find someone else to play with. Lo and behold, about 50 yards away was a boy in his early teens, obviously bored with fishing and sliding on the ice. Ben picked up his toy, and galloped across the ice. I yelled to the kid's father not to worry as Ben was good with children, and watched them start what became an afternoon of typical boy with dog action. Other fishermen not quite as busy as I was, also joined in on the frisbee action, and he became the prime souce of entertainment for a few dozen anglers. One old timer put down his rod and asked if he could share his lunch with Ben, who sat politely and ever so gently accepted the sandwich pieces. Occassionally Ben would amble back for a quick pet, and then return to his new found friends. As the sun began to set I hitched Ben's collar up to my toboggan lead, said "let's go home" and headed for shore. Ben pulled it, with some minor assistance from me to get it started, over half a mile across the slippery ice. Not a whimper or complaint about what even I considered a sizable and heavy load, he just dug in and pulled like he was born to it. A proper pulling harness is on my short-list of to-be-aquired items, but currently unavailable in his size.
At the shore's edge, we met the local A-Channel CKVR news team, who were doing a piece on Cook's Bay ice fishing, and had been watching with interest and curiousity Ben's antics and his sled-hauling ability. The news reporter was casually interested in my limit of perch, but asked lots of questions about my "sled dog". He thought it a shame the light was fading, and I wasn't prepared to hang around while they set up the lights for an interview on their live feed at 6. I gave my best plug for our Rescue, and the news crew agreed it was unthinkable that such a great dog was once in line for the "big sleep". Ben just sat there, smiling, enjoying the attention, and at my "truck" command, started by himself pulling the 70+ pound load down the street, made even more difficult by the lack of snow and ice. He stopped at the truck, sat so I could unhitch him, jumped in the passenger seat, and promptly went to sleep for the 15 minute ride home. Considering his efforts, I forgive the muddy footprints on Tina's seat, and inability to help with the three hours of fileting.
This is a typical day with my best friend. I trust him completely with our 5 year old son, something I can't say with most people these days. When I'm sad, he's there to make me happy. When I'm happy, he's there to share in my happiness. No matter where we go, we get astonished praise from everyone he meets and greets. Even back in Scarboro, the Orientals with their deathly fear of GSD's soon began to smile and greet us on our walks, calling Ben by name. Last Saturday, Ben and his frisbee kept several dozen bored anglers amused with his frisbee and friendliness. Parents brought toddlers over to meet him, to pet the big doggie, get their faces licked, and chance to see that big doesn't mean bad.
Gentle as a lamb, Tina and I have seen him "adopt" children on several occassions, herding them to safety, and standing guard while they play. Last year, while attending a backyard party, one father asked us to keep our dog away from his "highly allergic" child. There were about a dozen children playing and screaming, and Ben was having the time of his life. An hour later, we saw panic in the father's face as his child had wandered from the group and was no where to be seen or found. I called Ben and said "find the kid". Believe it or not, Ben went directly three houses down where the lost child had wandered out of sight. We know he "counts kids", and knew one was missing, but was guarding the majority until told otherwise. The relieved parent made no comment as the child hugged, cuddled and played with Ben the balance of the afternoon. As a parent, I understood the father's initial concern, but the only thing really allergic was an attitude towards big dogs.
My best friend is, as usual, only a few feet away from me as I type this. I complain to him about his being a velco dog, and the wear and tear on my poor knees, his pitifull whining and excessive barking when I arrive home, and of course, his share of the 5 gallon poo pail. But he's a poster-dog for that old expression "man's best friend". I know. He's mine. (0) Be the first to comment
Last Updated ( Feb 03, 2006 at 08:12 PM )
Tina and Dave - Volunteers for Precious Paws Rescue - Barrie Ontario
Proud Owners of:
Beni gsd Dec 31, 2000 - Sept 5, 2009
Lia gsd & Mas Survivor
Render July 9/91 - Mar 31/2001
Autumn Jan 1979 - Oct 1990 (Sheltie)