Feb 21, 2011

Meet Da Pack -- Day Two

Todays I wants to tell ya'll all bout our pack mate, BENJI.  But since I was jus' a wittle baby when Benji arrived, I will turn my bloggy over to Mom...(I don't likes to do dis....really).
Mom Here and Signing In

Well, we live in a rural area in Central Florida.  Our home is in a sub-division with most of the homes being on one-acre lots.  There is one way into the sub-division and the same way out so there is very little traffic except for the residents themselves.  It was on our way home late one night in the summer of 1997 when we first met Benji sitting right in the middle of the road that goes around the sub-division.  As the headlights of our car caught him and brought our attention to him, we slowed down and stopped, waiting for him to get out of the way.  Instead, he sat up in a begging position and refused to move.  So, what else could we do?  We got out of the car and he ran right over to us.  We took him home with us and let him spend the night in the garage since we didn't know anything about him or if he had any hidden illnesses we didn't want our own dogs exposed to.

The next day I put a leash on him and walked him around the neighborhood hoping he would recognize his home or that someone would recognize him.  This approach was unsuccessful so the following day I dropped him off at our vet's office on my way to work so he could be checked out and given shots so I could bring him into the house.   He remained at our house and seemed very happy to be there.  Then a couple weeks later there was a knock at the door.  The people told us they had seen "their dog, Shaft" playing in our backyard and were there to pick him up.  They did live in our sub-division down the road from our home.  So we said goodbye to Benji and sent him back home.

A couple days later I came home from work and was greeted by "Shaft" sitting in front of our garage door.  Now that we knew who his owners were, we called them and informed them that we had a little visitor at our house.  They didn't come to pick him up until the next day.  A few days later, there he was again....sitting by our door waiting for us to get home from work, but this time he had a chewed up rope still hanging from his neck.  Once again, we sent him back home again.  The third time he showed up, he had apparently slipped his collar off from wherever they had him tied, because his collar was missing.  Then one time he came in with a broken chain hanging from one of those chain spikes that you push into the ground to keep a dog tied up.  The real kicker was on another occasion when he showed up with a big chain around his neck and the other end padlocked through the hole on a CINDER BLOCK.  The poor little 17-pound dog had dragged a heavy cinder block all the way down the road to get back to our house.  There he was, in his usual spot, waiting for us to come home.  I still wonder how long it took him to drag that hunk of cement from his house to our house.

Each time he came to visit, it took his owners longer and longer to come pick him up.  Once he was with us for 2 weeks before they showed up.  We didn't even call them anymore to let them know where he was, because they knew exactly where he went every chance that he could get away from them.  But we already loved him and didn't really care if he came over whenever he wanted.

Then on Labor Day in 2002 when his owners came to get him, they informed us they were moving away to a town about 30 miles from us.  So we had to say our final goodbyes to "Shaft" that day. 

We thought of him often over the next year and wondered how he was doing and if he ever thought about us.  One of the vet techs at our vet's office was having a Christmas candle party at her home just before Christmas of 2003.  I really wasn't planning to go but then something inside of me told me I needed to go for whatever reason.  A few of the other vet techs were also at the party and started talking about the little dog that was brought into the clinic the day before and how he wasn't expected to live.  His owners had him tied up outside and a group of stray dogs attacked him and injured him so badly that it was considered a miracle that he was still alive when he was brought in THE DAY AFTER THE ATTACK!  His owners didn't even realize he was near death until the following day.  The vet tech also mentioned that the dog's heart had stopped beating twice during the surgery to try and repair the many wounds he had.  The vet had to use paddles on him to bring him back to life until he could finish patching him up.  He was injured so badly he wasn't expected to live. 

During the conversation at the party, one of the techs mentioned the dog's name.....SHAFT!   Now how many people name their dog "Shaft"?  I started asking questions about the owners and where they lived.  The answers were enough to tell me that the Shaft who was dying was actually our Benji.  They apparently never took him to a vet for anything and only knew his original vet from when he was still a puppy.  Even though it was late at night, the tech said she'd take me over to the clinic so I could see him.  I called my husband and he met us there, as he loved Benji too.  Benji was just laying there unable to move.  His entire body was shaved and looked like nothing but a series of little zippers where all the staples were holding his wounds together.  We were told he hadn't responded to anything and wouldn't eat, probably because he couldn't even lift his head.  He was being tube fed.    We walked in and started speaking to him very quietly and suddenly he started wagging his tail.  Could it be that he remembered us after not seeing us for over a year?  The next day and every day after that, we returned to visit him.  After only a day he was able to sit and we hand fed him.  He would only accept food from us, and not from the techs. 

After a couple of weeks his owners were able to take him back home again with instructions that he was never to be left outside alone so he wouldn't get dirt into his wounds.  The owners just didn't believe a dog should be a house dog, so I'm not sure what they did with him.  They also traveled a lot and would take Shaft to the vet's office for boarding.  The techs always called us when he boarded so we could visit with him.

Then it finally happened.  There was a knock on the door late on a Sunday night in May of 2004.  It was Shaft's owners.  They told us they just couldn't keep a dog if they had to keep him in the house all the time and it was getting too expensive to board him every time they had to leave for the weekend.  So they said they were planning to turn him over to a shelter but wanted to ask us first if we wanted him since he seemed to want to live with us so badly.   Of course we said he could live with us.  They said they would drop him off at the vet's office the following day and pay all his remaining bills from the surgery after the attack.  We were to pick him up from the vet. 

When we picked him up, we were also told he had active heartworm that needed immediate treatment.  So we left him there until the next day after the first heartworm treatment.  Apparently he had never been on heartworm preventative medication, but that was no surprise.  He came through all the treatments and we had him neutered.  He just seemed so happy to finally come back home to the only home where he was ever happy.  Of course, he was no longer "Shaft" and seemed to smile whenever we called him BENJI.

According to our vet's very first records he kept when Benji was just a 6-week old pup, Benji was born in May of 1996, making him nearly 15 years old.  He is in the best of health and certainly doesn't act 15 years old.  He is Reno's buddy and will often go out to lead Reno back into the house when Reno forgets where the doggie door is.

Now, for a few pictures of Benji.
One of the scars from the dog attack is still visible on his upper rear leg

This picture was taken when he finally came back to his forever home

This is just how he looked on the road the first time we met Benji

Benji loved digging tunnels in the sand on a hot day

A haircut helps

An even shorter haircut

Silly Boy!

A nice restful evening in "my chair"


Ok....I is back again!  Thank you for putting up with Mom's commentary.  I didn't tink she would ever shuts up.  Next time I will have to tink twice befores turning over my bloggy to her.

And...since dis is my blog....here is a foto of me as a wittle one when I first met da Benji!



3 doxies said...

It's just amazin' what some dogs has to put up withs! I has some choice words bouts da owners but mum says I can't say 'em heres:(
Ya'll was definately his guardian angels and he knews it from da beginning.

A cinder block...WTH?


Madi and Mom said...

Oh my goodness Amber please give your sweet Mama a great big hug from us. Benji looks like a teddy bear in the first few pictures. We love teddy bears in my house.
Heaps of hugs,
Puddles asked my question about the cinder block. MOL
Madi and Mom

Mollys Momma said...

Please give your Momma a big hug from me, Benji is just adorable thank dogness for your mom & Dad and Karma will catch up with his horrid old owners.
Please also hug Benji from me I am so glad he has a safe, loving home and family now
Momma Tea
xxx xxx xxx

Mr. Pip said...

Oh my goodness, my mom and I were glued to our seats reading about poor Benji. Thank goodness he found you and kept returning to you again and again. What a horrible life he must have had - I am SO HAPPY he is safe and happy with you and your family.

Your pal, Pip

Agnes B Bullock said...

Benji is certainly a lucky and happy dog to live with you AMber!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

This is just such a wonderful series on your blog, Amber - we just love Benji. He has gotten the best seven plus years of his life that he could ever have by coming to your home. He must have known that from the time he was a young pup - he knew where to find the love. Thanks and lots of hugs to your Mom for being there for him so many many times.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Maggie Mae said...


Benji knew a good thing when he found it! Your mom and dad ROCK! What a wunderful story to shares wif all of us.

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Brian said...

Oh my goodness, that is one of the most wonderful saves ever and thank you so much for being there for sweet Benji. I am gonna have to share this incredible story with my pals.

Sam and Pippen said...

We just loves hearing about your pack, Amber!

Benji is very lucky that he found you all and I'm sure you all are very lucky he found you!

Sam and Pippen

Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

I have to shake my head at some pet owners, they are just horribles! Mom said that this story makes her just want to cry and she is so happy that you were finally able to save Benji!

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

Oh. My. Dog! Wot an incredibull story! Thost stoopid peeples, GRRRRRR! I has to beleef that wot goes around comes around and that those peeples will get their someday. Can you beleef peeples like that would apply to adopt dogs from mom and then they would be the maddest when mom would tell them NO! Some peeples should stick with pet rawks.

Jess and Glacier said...

Oh, this post made me teary. You guys are great people and it seems as though he picked you. :)

rottrover said...

Oh Amber, Benji is won lucky fellow to have found y'all. One of Mom's favorite doggies came to us in a similar way. He just kept coming to our house and hanging out in the front yard or coming to thae gate. finally he just adopted our family :-)

Thanks for sharing YOUR blog with your mom just for a minute!

-Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

Ruby and Penny said...

Benji is a sweetie. We are so happy that he gets to live with a great family and sister.
Love Ruby & Penny

Frankie Furter said...

What a LUCKY guy to have found a loving caring FUREVER home!!!!

♥ Sallie said...

So happy he finally got his wish!


George the Lad said...

Wow what a story, so pleased the owners came to there senses, just a pitty it took them so long, he's a lovely dog, thanks for telling us his story
See yea George xxx

Junior and Orion said...

Well, it is obvious that Benji/shaft knew who he wanted to be with. He knew he would be treated better with you and he didn't give up, although we bet he would have if you hadn't visited him at the vet after being attacked. We would like to sic those attack dogs on Benji's former owners.

Bless you for taking care of him all those times and for finally adopting him and giving him the loving home he so deserved!

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

That story was both heartbreaking and heartwarming! It sounds like Benji always knew where his TRUE home and family were! We are so glad that he is with you now for good. Those people are dumb for leaving him outside all the time... but they did one good thing when they brought him to you before dropping him at a shelter!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

What terrible people that first had Benji. It's sad they didn't just give him to you back in 1997. He sure didn't want to live with them.

We're so glad he has a good home and lots of love. Thanks for sharing your blog with your mom today, Amber.

Hilary said...

wow, what a wonderful happy ending for Benji! However, I feel so bad for poor shaft... It breaks my heart to hear about how hard some animals have it... He was so lucky to have found you, and such a loving home.... I am crying....

Zona said...

What an AMAZING story!! I'm so glad Benji now has his forever home with a loving family!!!!

Happy wags,

PeeS: Ditto to Puddles re: "WTH?!"

Lorenza said...

What a story!
Benji is adorable and he suffered a lot!
Thankfully you have given him all the love and attention he deserves!
I love you all!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Kolchak Puggle said...

Mama is just bawling her eyes out over you Benji. She wants to hug you and she wants to hug your Mama and she wants to SMACK your old owners, all at the smae time (she isn't bi-polar, I swear). We are so gllad that you are HOME!

Jazzi said...

Oh mY!! Thats horrible what Benji had to go through!! Poor guy!! But I am glad that he is FINALLY safe and happy in your home!!


Mumsy, Chancy and Company said...

Oh, this story brought us to tears. We felt so sad to hear all Benji went through before he finally made it to his loving forever home with you. We love your blog so much we are following now. Hugs and nose kisses

Remington said...

What a GREAT post! Thank you for sharing....just a minute I need a tissue....

Rudy - The dog with a blog said...

OMD, this is a wonderful post!
You made me cry (more than once), but I kept reading it.
Benji truly loves you guys and we are so glad to hear that he's finally with you :)

Rudy's Raiser

Stella said...

Thanks, Amber, for letting your Mum tell us about Benji! What an adorable guy and what a nightmare past (except for his times with you all.)

Benji reminds me of a mini-schnauzer who moved in with us when she realized how stupid HER owners were. We had her from 6 months of age, until she was 13. We loved her so much, she was full of fun but congestive heart failure finally got her.

People should have to pass tests in order to have a dog!


Peeess: Thanks for your sweet words on my blog, Amber, we all appreciate them!

Asta said...

Youw stowy of Benjy just about bwoke my heawt..It was cleaw he wecognised a loving family of angels when he met you and as fow his "ownews"..i think they should be tied wif a chain on a hill all alone..and ...and... well just like Puddles, I am not allowed to use those wowds.
Thank you fow youw heawts

Ambew happy napping!!!(pwefewably wif a cookie)
smoochie kisses

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

We're so thankful little Benji FINALLY got to stay where he belonged! When mama read his story, it really riled her up. She might have let those horrid people have him back once, but they would never have gotten a second chance! Thank goodness your mom and dad were still there for him when he needed them the most. He looks like a terrific big brother.

Jed & Abby

Levi Mac said...

What an AMAZING story! Mom got all wet faced. We are happy to hear that Benji finally got to be where he knew he was supposed to be :)

Peggy Frezon said...

What a rough life Benji had...until you. I'm so glad you are making his golden years wonderful.

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

For some strange reason Blogger made us quit following you...We though maybe yall had disappeared. We came to your blog to check on you and it said we are not your followers. Silly blogger.

Wow Benji is one handsome doggie and glad he got a REAL family.

Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

♥MONA + MOMMY TOO♥ said...

Oh Amber,

My Mommy is crying reading this post. She hates those people that neglected Benji like that. He was lucky just like I am lucky. God Bless your Mommy & Daddy for loving him even though he wasn't theirs and now he has for home for over 7 years. Can't wait to read about the next member of your family.


the booker man said...

nice to meet you, mr. benji! i'm so glad you are with your way awesome pack now and not those stoopid hoomans who thought you should be tied up to a cinder block all day. grrrrr.
btw, my mama loves your handsome brown eyes! they just pop against your grayish/blackish furs!

the booker man