Benji {Bennie}

Jan. 1983 —– Aug. 13 2001


Our family dog had to be put to sleep this evening.

We didn’t want to let go but didn’t want him to suffer anymore.

Bennie would have been 19 years old in January.

When I was a sophomore in high school

another beloved dog of ours passed away at the age of 4.

That dog Sammy was a wonderful pet. My mother had been especially attached to him

and did not want to ever replace him. Being kids we wanted to have another pet.

Two weeks after Sammy died

we drove to the animal shelter against our mother’s better judgment.

The dog we found there was a pitiful sight.

He was in a cage with the rest of the pups in his litter.

They were all robust healthy dogs.

They jumped at the cage door and licked our fingers.

But there was this littler pup at the back of the cage just shaking in fear.

He was a third of the size of his brothers and sisters.

Of course being always for the “underdog” we wanted that little mangy mutt.

He was mostly terrier and a little of “this-n-that”.

Needless to say mother was less than pleased with our choice.

He was flea-infested and so tiny we thought he might not live throughout the week.

But he did! We showered him with attention but it was not our hearts

he needed to win over he knew.

He would sit by my mom’s feet and just stare up at her for days on end.

He would whine. My mother was an animal lover.

She could not bare to resist this little runt with his huge brown eyes staring up at her.

She picked him up and he was “hers” from then on out.

Bennie loved us all. Us kids grew up and older and left home to have our own families.

My mother doesn’t have the easiest life. She doesn’t have the best of health.

Bennie was her constant companion. When she was home he was by her side.

When she wasn’t home he would lay by the front door.

If she was on vacation I would take care of him.

He would still wait by the front door even if she was gone for a week or two.

He knew he had won her heart and wanted to

show he loved her back. When mom cried Bennie cried too.

He would lay by her side just so she could feel his comfort.

He always knew when she needed him.

That little mangy mutt was the gentlest dog you could find.

He never bit anyone in almost nineteen years he was alive.

He was gentle with other animals. My sister had a cat that thought it was Bennie’s father.

Her cat would grab Bennie and clean him all over with it’s kitty tongue.

Bennie would just lie perfectly still.

It’s like he knew he had good home and wasn’t going to blow it.

He grew to be mom’s best friend. If she had to take him to the vet

she would stop by Dairy Queen and get him a puppy cone on the way home.

I never got ice cream after going to the pediatrician!

Bennie was really showing his age lately.

For as old as he was he was really active up until almost the end.

My father had gotten a new dog about a year ago. She became Bennie’s companion too.

As Bennie got older and got some arthritis he couldn’t walk as well.

The new dog would lead him outside to do his business.

Bennie couldn’t really hear well anymore

but when his huge brown eyes looked into yours he would come sit by you.

His eyes grew clouded and he would limp more each day.

The doctor was monitoring his health now.

He lived longer than most dogs do.

Three days ago Bennie had a couple episodes

where he had trouble breathing. He grew more listless.

My mother knew what was coming but it is still so hard to let go.

Well this evening after a day of running errands

Mom came home and he was just laying by her chair.

She called him then picked him up carefully.

His bones were so old and stiff that we had to be really careful.

Bennie had an accident on her so she called the vet.

We didn’t want him to be in any unnecessary pain. Mom and my brother took Bennie in.

His kidneys were failing and his lungs had filled up with fluid.

He was basically drowning. We couldn’t let him suffer anymore.

Mom wanted to say goodbye to him.

At that point Bennie stood up and tried to go to her.

She had to leave the room.

My brother was there with Bennie when they had to put him to sleep.

We buried him in the back yard at mom’s with

the other dogs that had passed.

This is a tribute to that wonderful pet that wasn’t expected to live

but lived a lifetime of giving loving and unconditional companionship.

He was totally devoted to the family

especially that lady that he knew he had better win over fast.

And he did. Boy did he ever.

We will love and miss you Bennie.

We know you are waiting with Sammy and Pepper

in Heaven for us all to be there someday.

We know that your old heart is young again and

your earthly arthritic legs are running through wildflowers there.

Your once deaf ears can now hear our tears for you.

Rest easy now sweet boy faithful friend.



Benji {Bennie}