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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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.



Ben's favourite game was chasing his ball. I would toss it and he would chase it and bring it back and drop it within my reach, often laying down as in the picture above, patiently waiting for me to pick it up. When he tired of this he would take his ball and go and lie down in a favourite spot.
I will miss him, but I understand that part of he bond between him and me had a terminus. Pets usually die before we do. Their time with us is a gift, an act of Grace, just as our bond with each other is.
He is gone. I will feel the loss for some time. But, I am thinking of getting another dog already. Perhaps, a dog more to my liking, a large dog, a gentle giant.Posted by Picasa

19 Comments:

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Oh, I am so sorry. I hate when a family pet dies especially when they have become part of the family.

 
At 8:50 PM, Anonymous loretta said...

I feel for you, I know how much we can love our pets and miss them when its time for them to go. But, you gave him a wonderfull life and he knew he was loved...man nor beast could ask for anything more.

 
At 11:15 PM, Anonymous veronica said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Bens death and the way it happened.I felt the same about Lady as you do about Ben...Here one minute and gone the next...I will send you all the photos i have of Ben. Love,Veronica

 
At 6:08 AM, Blogger oldmanlincoln said...

I am sorry that Ben was killed by the neighbor's dog. It is a sad story to read through and the result is a tragic loss to you. I know what dogs mean to people as I have had at least once dog in the house since since 1935 or 1936. My last dog had to be put to sleep, as they say, because of age and ill health that made life a painful experience for her. That was 911 of 2006 and I still miss her. I have ached for a new dog but my wife of 52 years says, "No more dogs" primarily because she usually had to train them and then she has to go through the suffering part and we grieve together. So no more dogs. It makes my house a lonesome place to live but I don't have a long time left so it won't matter much.

I hope you find your gentle giant and that you come to love him or her as much as you have Ben.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger lv2scpbk said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I know what this feels like. We've lost several dogs now. I now have two dogs living with us. A part rat terrier and jack russel mix, and a pit bull. The Rat Terrier barks alot and has his quirks. The Pit Bull is the most sweetest, gentlest dog I've ever came across. They get a bad rap, but I believe it's how their raised. He's so quiet and loves people and most other animals. He doesn't get along with one of the neighbor dogs, but that's to be expected with any dogs.

I've also had a border collie who I just loved, and a beagle. They are really cute, but barked alot. At least mine did. He was a sweet dog though. I don't really think I've ever meant a dog I dislike.

Anyway, I hope you find the right dog you are looking for. They have some great info online about the different breeds if you type in for google.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

Poor Ben...
He died free... and thats as you wanted him to live... you will feel the sadness of your loss of a friend and a dog.
I hope your Gentle Giant kicks the butt of your neighbours dog...

Thank you for your concern while I've been ill, I am nearly back there now... I feel stronger each day so my medication was all that needed to be altered.
I'll write you soon

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Vic Grace said...

I am sorry that your dog was killed, I really think the law should require pitbulls to be muzzled.

Thank you for your note. I don't know how you connected to me through facebook. I know that you left a comment on my blog over a year ago but I was not aware that I had sent you a message. I don't actually use my facebook that much. I have to be pretty bored to go there. However if you are interested I have a new address since the last time you visited me.

Cariboo Ponderer

So maybe I will see your there sometime. Again I am sorry today was a horrid day for you.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger Navigator said...

The loss of a dog is always terrible. Each time it happens to me I swear I will never get another one because I can't stand the pain. But I do. There is something about the "boots" of a dog that no other animal can ever quite fill. I am sorry to hear about the manner of your dog's death. I completely agree with your sentiment about dogs in the country running free. I have had some run-ins with neighbours regarding my overly friendly Labrador and came to the conclusion that the number of men I see walking wimpy little yappy mutts has more to do with the dog unfriendly urban environment than any lack of testosterone. Sadly I have concluded that big dogs are only welcome in the country. I assume your dog must have been accused of harrying neighbours' stock to have invoked the visitation from officious officialdom.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Rosie said...

Oh, I'm just heartbroken for you Phillip. It's never easy and Ben looks like quite the personality. He's going to leave a big footprint...or paw print...in your heart. The funny ones always do.

Gentle hugs.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Philip,

My heart goes out to you. I know how hard it is to lose a pet.

Instead of bothering Ben, Animal Control should be taking care of the vicious dog that belongs to your neighbor.

Another dog won't ever take the place of Ben, but will be good company for you.

Blessings,
Mary

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger KGMom said...

Philip--even though you have reconciled that owners and pets must part--what a sad terrible way for him to go.
Dogs are no longer feral--humans domesticated them eons ago, so the dog fight that caused Ben's death should not have happened.
Goodbye to Ben.
Do let all your readers know if you do get another dog.

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Aw, it's so hard to lose a pet, and this was an especially hard way. You have written a great tribute, and I hope that you do find another dog real soon.

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger Seldom Seen Acres said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I know so well how our dogs become our family and to lose one is to lose a part of ourselves. I'm glad that you were able to give Ben the type of live that seemed to be suited to him for the time that he had left on this earth.

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger possum said...

I had a dog once, a long time ago... I still remember having to bury him. I don't think I could stand having another dog - and losing him. I cannot keep an animal chained and I cannot afford to fence in 4 acres... soooooo I have cats. They are company, sometimes they are fun, Rascal is a trip, Snuffy is a care, Hadji talks to me, the outside cats keep me company out in the yard, and the ever elusive Spook is so beautiful...
A nice tribute to Ben. You gave him a good life - on his terms.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Renie Burghardt said...

Oh, I, too, am very sorry you lost Ben. Animals are a part of our family, and losing them is very painful and hard. I hope you find a gentle giant, not as a replacemnet for Ben, but as a new companion. Life without a dog and/or a cat can be lonely, especially in a rural area.

Blessings,

Renie

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I thank everyone for their kind remarks about the death of my dog Ben.

I have been looking for another dog. I really fancied a Hungarian Kuvasz, a working livesotck dog but it didn't work out. Now I am seriously considering a Great Dane/Doberman cross that is really in need of a home. The next couple of days will tell the tail.

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger edifice rex said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your dog.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Lizzy said...

Philip, I am a really poor blogger and I take too much time to catch up with everyone.

I'm sorry to hear about your sad loss. I hate to see any animals tied up, so it is sad that he died because he was free.

I will now go up and catch up with your new dog thread - and also I haven't forgotten your tag, I just can't think of 5 interesting things at the moment.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Neva said...

wow....how awful for Ben to go that way... I know you have another dog as I saw it in a post but I always think it is good to go right out and get a dog sooner than later once you have lost one....that is me though. I know you will miss Ben but there's another good dog out there for all of us....

 

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