Pet of the Day

June 23, 1998

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Ben, the Pet of the Day
Name: Ben
Age: Seven years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Springer Spaniel
Home: Ireland
   Ben is special for a lot of reasons. First I will tell you how I came upon Ben. I was having a drink in a local bar, a small place which if full would only hold about 40 or 50 people but this night it was very quiet. There were no more than 5 or 6 people there. The bar is in the middle of the country so talk of hunting and fishing would not have been out of the ordinary. I overheard a guy at the bar say how he had a gun-shy dog and that the next day he was going to shoot him. I was friendly with somebody who ran a animal sanctuary, and I stepped in and said I would take the dog and give him to my friend at the sanctuary.

    The next evening I arrived over to his house to collect the dog and leave him at the animal sanctuary. It was late so I took him home for the night. He was very frightened and I tried my best to make him feel welcome. The next morning I let him out to pee. Living in the country it was and still is quite normal to let an animal out in an open area to do their business! The phone rang, and when I got back the dog was missing. Well, after looking and not finding him, all I could do was to go to work. When I got home there was no sign of the dog so I asked around the neighbours and nobody had seen him. I went to bed and told myself at least he was probably alive. Lost, but alive, more than he would have been if I had not rescued him. The next morning when I woke, I decided to try to find him before work. I opened the back door and he was there asleep, after finding his own way back, how I will never know.

    Ben must have been treated badly because if I lose my temper with him and shout even now, seven years later, he will lie on his back and pee. He is the only dog I know who is afraid of the post man. Last year I left him for two weeks at my parents while I was on Holiday and the neighbours phoned up to see where he had gone because I did not say I was moving him for my Holidays. Everybody around my country home loves him and if anything ever happens him a lot of people will miss him. Ben is my friend and after a very bad start to life he is with me as long as we live. He is now spoiled rotten, but I know he will never forget his early days.

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