In November 2009, I decided that I wanted to expand my puppy family but that this time I would rescue. I had bought my 2 older dogs, Bodhi and Bambi as 6 week old puppies from breeders in Ohio several years earlier. I love them so much and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but had come to recognize that the homeless pet population is a terrible issue and didn’t want to contribute to that. I was living in Colorado and found Benjjii (then called Champ) a 6 month old, on the Wyoming-Colorado Vizsla Rescue website. I contacted them and it was decided that I would keep him for the weekend as a trial run, while his foster mom was out of town. When I got to the foster mom’s home, she took me downstairs to the basement where he had been kept in a crate all day while she was at work. My other dogs were generally pretty calm so I was very surprised when she opened the crate door and he leapt out like his feet were on springs. We put him in the car and he immediately laid on top of me and starting kissing my face off. He was definitely a keeper.
He had been pulled from the pound by the rescue group. He was microchipped and his owners were called, but they didn’t want to come get him so he ended up in rescue. Like so many other wonderful dogs, he had ended up in hell, at no fault of his own. I won’t ever understand how they didn’t realize what an incredible companion he was, but I’m grateful they didn’t. His foster mom gave me his crate, which I promptly folded up and put in the basement as soon as I got home. This dog was never going to be in a crate again. He was so sweet and with proper exercise, so well-behaved. It was no wonder that he was so wound up, his paw pads were as soft and smooth as rose petals, he clearly had not been getting any real exercise.
Benjji’s favorite place in the whole world was bed. He stayed in bed as much as possible. It was a novelty for him that never wore off and I was so grateful for that. For me, these dogs are my therapy and their love is the greatest cure. Benjii’s unwavering, unceasing love was the greatest gift I’ve ever received.
In 2011, we moved to San Diego. By that time Benjii had transformed from a skinny, quiet puppy to a solid, gorgeous, confident, somewhat naughty dog. Witnessing his transformation was life-affirming and being able to contribute to his healing was an honor (along with my other 2 dogs who also helped him so much). He in turn helped me rehabilitate other dogs that I fostered.
In June 2014, we were in a car accident and this sweet boy left his earthly body – my son, my best friend, my teacher. I think about him every day and even though it’s always painful, I know that I’m a better, more compassionate person because of loving him and because of my loss. He was such an amazing and exceptional being.
I’m grateful for being given the chance to provide him with a loving and safe home. Most of the dogs that end up in rescue are not so fortunate. 10,000 dogs EVERY DAY are killed in shelters in the United States. In honor of his memory, please consider adopting the next time you are thinking about adding a dog to your family.