July 8, 2015

Ben, A Brief Bio

Today we mourn the loss of our cocker spaniel, who died this morning. He had congestive heart failure that finally overtook his indomitable spirit. Last night he lost the strength to even stand or roll over so we knew the end of his life was near. This morning he still could not walk and we had to carry him to the car.

When we first got him he was about 5 months old. A family in Dumfries had decided to give him up because he seemed a threat to their little girl. He was an excited little fellow, bouncing around their townhouse almost frantically, tearing and nipping as he went. Frank wanted him anyway.

Our early efforts to calm him were not successful. We send him to a trainer for two weeks and all he learned was "sit."

Eventually Ben learned a few more commands and could walk on the leash passably well. However, he seemed to be anxious at times.

He liked his walks, though, and learned to enjoy riding in the car once he got used to it. Unfortunately he continued to over-react at times and sometimes had odd episodes of focusing intently on someone and then threatening to bite them. It wasn't until after he had bitten me a couple of times that his vet and I realized that he might have some sort of seizure disorder.  A prescription for phenobarbital made a huge difference!  Around the same time, my husband discovered that an episode could be ended quickly by swinging a fly swatter back and forth, back and forth in front of him until he suddenly relaxed and smiled, looking relieved!

Ben had a heart murmur and last November he was diagnosed with heart disease. In April he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. A collection of medications was prescribed and for a while he was feeling better. But lately he seemed to be weaker and by Monday I knew I'd be taking him back to the vet soon. I hesitated though, for fear that the news would be bad. But after he collapsed on the floor last night, we took him to the vet today and learned there was nothing more they could do to help him.

I took the photo with the orange toy on June 25th. He was still doing pretty well and his mood had gotten sweeter while he was sick. He seemed to know that I was trying to help him.

I like to think that he was greeted at the rainbow bridge by his friend Guppy, who died in 2007 and whose mellow disposition had a calming effect on Ben.

Farewell, little Benny! We miss you.


  1. What lovely photos and commentary about your dog Ben. I lost one of my four dogs in April. He suddenly went into a seizure that could not be controlled by the vet, so we had to make the decision to let him go over the rainbow bridge. I still miss that little Pepper who despite his small size had a big personality. My sympathy and condolences are with you.

  2. It's heartbreaking to lose a loved one, that's all there is to it. I too believe that Ben and Guppy are together again, just like I believe that my miniature dachshund Duncan is with my Mama and Daddy.

  3. So sorry for the loss of your beloved dog. My dog Bear is 13 years old and has failing hips. I know it is only a matter of time before he will no longer be with us.

  4. Really sorry to hear your sad news; it is exactly like losing a close friend or family member. Your eulogy is just perfect.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss of Ben! He was a sweet and cute dog. A lovely tribute to your furbaby. Sending my {hugs}.

  6. Oh Linda, I am so sorry for your loss. Pets become so much a part of the family. It is painful to lose one. Hugs to you.

  7. A loving tribute to a grand and good dog, Linda.

  8. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. He sounds like a great character.

  9. I am so sorry you lost your fur friend. Sounds like you all gave him a great home.

  10. It always makes me sad to hear of one losing a beloved pet, they become so much like family and their loss is hard to take. May your sweet Benny rest in peace and may you cherish those sweet memories of him.

  11. Awww, I am so very sorry for your loss. It is always so difficult. I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to you. ♥

  12. Ben has had a happy life with you. A beautiful dog.
    Keep the good memories of your little friend.
    We have a black Labrador, who has hearth problems, so we go for shorter walks and have to do the best for her... She is one of us.... and we just have to make sure we do what ever we can as long as it is ok and be grateful for the time we have together.


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