Ben was rescued, along with his Eskie family, from a horrific breeding environment in upstate New York and spent six long months in a shelter, waiting for his chance at a new life. Finally, the court case was settled, and Benny was available for rescue. Thanks to the efforts of Mike and Diane Couch, Benny and his pack...the Utica Six...were pulled from the shelter and transferred to me, where he moved in with the Angels From God.

The first stop for Benny was the groomers. He was truly stinky, and had an icky yellow tinge to his coat with clumped mats everywhere. After his "fluff and fold", Benny looked like he had lost about five pounds with all that nasty undercoat gone. He came home prancing like a little pony, and started to pee up a storm. Benny is your typical male territory marker, so he was outfitted with a "belly band" that was created by one of our ingenious adopters to encircle the offending appendage with maxipads that absorb the pee before it hits the wind....or the antique Haitian fireplace screen. This was the first time in thirty years that I had to go into a drug store and buy maxipads. And, the economy size, at that. I was tempted to blurt out that the purchase was "for my dog," but who would believe me?

Benny was a joy to foster. He was a perfect houseguest and did not go out of his way to test the waters with the Angels From God. And, believe me...that was much appreciated. I was worried that Benny would be hard to adopt because of the marking issue...but it goes to show you that when people are problem solvers...problems can be solved!

Kramer waits to meet Benny.

When I heard from Scott and Lara, of Connecticut, I did my best to accurately describe the housetraining issue...and still, it didn't put them off. They were eager to meet Benny and introduce him to their beloved dog, Kramer. And so, we made plans for me to visit them with Benny.

The adoption meeting was a great success. As we sat by the roaring fire, signing the adoption agreements, I was tempted to put myself up for adoption, so that I could live in this house too. And, so far so is their first report.

Lara with Benny and Kramer.

May 17, 2004

Benny meets Kramer.

I just wanted to send you a note and let you know how Benny is doing. He and Kramer are getting along just fine. And the best part is that Kramer seems so much happier now that he has a buddy. They don't play well together (I think Benny gets intimidated by Kramer's size), but they have their little "games" (like "steal the bone" and "follow the leader").

Benny is even doing better on his house training. We haven't used the "belly-belt" in about a week, with only a couple of initial accidents. Both the dogs stay in the downstairs kitchen during the day while we're at work. But I leave the light on and turn on Animal Planet for them. We're also looking into getting a large exercise pen now that it's nice out.

Benny has taken well to his new food. We feed all of our animals a Raw Food Diet. Benny never thought twice about eating it. He's like a Hoover! He'll eat anything and everything you give him. The hardest part has been getting him to stop eating! After he finishes his bowl, he tries to nudge Kramer out of the way and eat his food. Then he runs upstairs and chases the cats so he can eat their food! So, lately I've had to gate him in the kitchen until everyone is done eating. Then I leave him in there a little while longer hoping he'll forget about the food. I think he's slowly getting the hint.

We also observed that he LOVES water! Just the sound of water gets him excited. One night we decided to bring him outside with us when we went in the hot tub. We put him on a cable and attached it to the fence so he could run around. Then as we were getting in the hot tub, we heard a big splash!!! And there was Benny doing the doggy paddle in the hot tub! Too funny!!!

We are just thrilled to have Benny as a part of our family. He is very affectionate and loving. Thank you very much for bringing him into our lives.

Lara and Scott