Loss of a Loyal Pal
My dog died yesterday, . . . sadly, a violent death. Ben was killed by the neighbour's bull terrier.
I found his frozen body in the snow down a steep bank off the road. He must have been pursued there by the other dog, who once before tried to kill him six month ago, from which I managed to rescue him. as his attacker, gripping him by the neck, was dragging him into the middle of a field. But not this time! I was not there to protect him.
Ben was not my choice of a dog. He was given to me by a friend who got him as a pup with the understanding he was part weiner dog and would not grow very big. Well it was all a lie. He kept growing to be too big and too active for an apartment. Ben became a Benji type dog of medium size.
Ben grew on me and was a constant companion. He spent a lot of time outside but came in often to remind me of his need for food or water. He was quiet in the house and often lay at my feet while I read of tinkered with the computer. If he wanted affection he would come and place his
head in my lap to which I always responded with some petting of his face and head until he was satisfied, either to lay down again or to go to the door to go outside. On cold nights he slept under my bed. One of the few rules I managed to enforce was that he could not sleep on top of the bed. A curt, "Under the bed. Ben", usual saw him crawl under. If I got up in the night , he got up and followed me and returned back to bed when I did. In the morning he would not go out until he was ready to go out. Often I made several offers by opening the door but he had to be ready or he would decline.
They say dogs take on the characteristics of their owners. I think that was true of Ben. He was intensely loyal and friendly to only a few people. He did not welcome company but after a while would accept them. He was not particularly well behaved and didn't follow all the rules. He need to be free and his own self. Several times, I stared down the animal control officer, or the police, as a result of my dog running free. "I did not own 366 acres so my dog can live at the end of a chain," I would tell them. It occasionally got be a fine but usually just the admonition, "Dogs must be kept on a leash" . He lived free risking the hazhards while enjoying the world around him. Freedom is a risky way to live. ! I thought he should be free to be a dog and not an object for me to control. Ben was not a well kept dog. His fur was disheveled and often knotted. He resisted improvements and would growl in a threatening manner if you tried to make him over.Ben was happy to be alone but when his one dog friend, Blackie came by he was pleased to hang out. He was happy most of the time to just be with me and me with him.