Sunday, May 23, 2010

Benny has Finally found his Forever home read his story..

Benson came to us as a foster a couple of months after we lost our beloved boys Scooby and Sparky who passed within weeks of each other. We couldn’t replace our ‘boys’ but we missed the pitter patter of tiny paws and decided that fostering would fill our need to share our home with a four-legged friend while providing a little one with a safe, warm and loving environment while he was awaiting his forever home.
Benny was a challenge from the start. The first night he was resource guarding a rather large rawhide. He didn’t realize that nobody here was going to take it away from him. He was chewing so vigorously though that he cut his gums and we had to get the rawhide away from him to allow his gums to heal. A bowl of food eventually convinced him to give it up. Benny likes to get behind the couch to watch the world through the picture window – knocking lamps and other items along the way. We moved those things to allow him better access. Later on he scratched at the front door when we were away, his separation anxiety getting the better of him. Eventually he learned that we were coming back and he stopped scratching the door. He is a fence fighter too, always listening in the backyard for the sound of the dogs that live behind us. If he hears them he tears to the back fence to do battle. He gets so excited that he chews the fence sometimes. We’re hopeful that, over time, he will realize that each time he fence fights he goes back in that house and that if he doesn’t fence fight he gets to stay outside - this might be a longer term project for us. His beagle nose leads him to food and he has encouraged us to put all our food much higher than we would have thought necessary. He reminds us when we forget, like the time he got up on the dining room table and plucked a bag of bagels out of Cathy’s bag and proceeded to eat 5 of the 6 bagels! When I came home there was a bagel in a plastic bag on the rug in the livingroom and pieces of bagels scattered around the floor and one stuffed beagle lying contentedly on the couch. Benny didn’t need dinner that night!
Benny loves other dogs and strains very much on the leash to go and see them. He howls his greetings and is so exuberant he sometimes startles the other dogs we meet. He came to us a wee bit on the portly side but he is now quite trim. He loves his walks and he holds his tail high as he wanders the trails, nose to the ground, ‘reading’ his pee-mail and enjoying the outdoors.
Benny is very affectionate with the two of us, often nuzzling his muzzle under our chins or resting his head on my lap as we watch TV together. He has a need to be touching both of us so he often stretches out on the couch so that his head rests against one of us while his feet are touching the other. He gets up with me in the morning to have his brekkie but then zooms back to bed to be a cuddle monkey with Cathy, he loves to sleep in!
I took Benny to obedience class to help make him more adoptable. Benny already knew sit and he instantly raises his paw when he sits. He learned ‘stay’ and ‘down’ (I’m actually most impressed with his down). Very vocal and exuberant in class he could be distracted at times. He really excelled at ‘come’ and a beagle’s love of food is truly a great motivator. I was quite proud of him when he took ‘top dog’ honours at obedience class (and more than a little surprised too).
It took Benny about five months to truly settle into our home. In that time we had ups and downs and we became strongly bonded. Benny had been in the program quite a long time and had endured multiple moves and disappointments. We didn’t want to see him have to start all over again. In the end Benny had already found his forever home - it had just taken us six months to realize it too. So we signed the paperwork and Benny is officially in his forever home (he doesn’t seem to have noticed any change at all!). We are thrilled and looking forward to a long, healthy and happy life together with Benny!!

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