Benny has no more scabs on his body. He has a few rough feeling areas and is growing fur all over though it is still a bit hard to see. I will not be updating Benny's blog as frequently and yet will keep you aware of his progress, his fur as it continues to show more and any other interesting tidbits.
Here are a couple more photos of frisky Benny playing with Billy:
Wishing you all fun with your friends,
Aren't these photos amazing! Benny has begun to excitedly yap to Doug everyday now when it is play time (lest Doug who has been doing this for many many years may somehow forget)!
There is an author, Joseph Chilton Pierce whose writing I really admire. One of his sayings, "Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold," is perhaps true for all species!
May your day be filled with play,
The whole pack has bonded to Benny and they take turns doing a daily 'Benny cleaning', sometimes 2 or 3 dogs working on him at the same time. The photo above is Monty cleaning Benny's ears. And yes, that is the same orange ball that Benny took everywhere in previous photos!
Doug gave Benny a bath today too. After each bath more old skin washes away and he looks better and better! Here are a couple more photos of Benny after his bath, with his orange ball:
Now that's a beautiful Benny Face!
Wishing you lots of friends who help you stay clean,
Today I saw a photo of a very young pup, emaciated, needing help, and was reminded of how far Benny has come. When I picked Benny up from the vet's he weighed 30lbs and could hardly walk. Here is the first photo I took of Benny:
This photo still brings tears to my eyes. I had never seen a dog this thin, literally every bone could be seen and yet he was willing to hope for help.
This next photo shows Benny sleeping (snoring) away in one of the motels as we made our way to Texas. You can see where he has scratched himself by his ears resulting in bleeding which turned into scabs:
And now this photo of Benny, falling asleep in Doug's chair. His hair is growing back, he weighs 46lbs, and was playing with other dogs before this photo was taken:
Dr Martin Luther King said, " We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope." I believe all of you following Benny's progress gave him hope. You have certainly given it to me. I believe that Benny, as he has progressed has given hope to each one of us. May we carry that hope forward and help all beings.
Wishing you all the gift of infinite hope,
Yep, there is Benny over to the right. He weighs 46lbs now. That seems to be a good weight for him so he is now getting 2 meals a day (instead of three) and will eventually be down to one meal a day like the rest of
After eating, Benny heads to one of his favorite spots... Doug's chair. Here he is falling asleep in Doug's chair (this is my new favorite Benny photo):
Today in sunny California it was sunny! However we have another series of storms reported to be starting tomorrow. Here is a recent photo of my friends Dogloo (her dog of course sleeps in bed with her human).
Wishing you all naps in your own special "Doug Chair",
Below Benny is playing with his best friend Samson, the Dobie:
Here they are continuing to play:
and playing some more:
Doug mentioned that Benny also enjoys playing with the different toys he finds around the property. Is this wonderful or what!
Wouldn't it be great if school playgrounds, parks, and neighborhoods were as safe and fun for children and animals as it is for Benny at Dougs. What if the school bullys (male and female) were the ones who were made fun of, ended up with the lowest status, were the ones no one wanted to be around......bullying then would not spread. When a culture supports bullying then it grows. Yes, we give lip service to the idea that 'bullying' isn't good but bullying behavior is essentially embraced within our culture. Bully behavior is when a person uses strength or power to harm and intimidate those who are weaker.
What if the highest possible status and value went to the people who protected the humans and non humans who are weaker than they are? Our culture would be radically different. Radically. We would not have millions of abused and neglected children and animals. Our backyards would be safe.
What if Love was understood to be Love by the resulting behaviors instead of shared DNA?
Benny is growing hair. Look at the above photo and you can see it! This is truly a great hair day photo. Here where I live in Cobb CA, we are shoveling out from a huge snow storm . Power poles and trees were down all over. We were without power for three days and just got Internet a couple of hours ago. During this time Benny has been happily growing some hair and is beginning to look like he has a brindle coat. In the photo below he is actually looking like a dog:
During the storm which caught those of us living on Cobb Mountain by surprise with its severity life got paired down to both more simplicity and intensity. This became especially true when we realized it could be five to seven days before we had electricity and that travel out was blocked by fallen trees. We shoveled snow and talked with our neighbors, offered help. Sometimes this type of unpredictable event brings out the best in us. Sometimes it doesn't. I am left to ponder what causes the difference.
I worked on a quilt, many of the pieces of fabric were from very old worn out clothing. It was helpful for me to takes pieces of something that had fallen apart, been worn out, faded and ripped and to make something new and useful. Perhaps it will be a blanket for another rescue dog, or a friend, or someone I don't know. I do know that in times of crisis many of us reconsider what is meaningful and find it in our connection to all of life around us, to the simplicity and intensity of each moment.
Wishing you all warm licks and soft blankets. Love, Benny
First off, Patti's out of commission, so you'll have to hear from her stand in. Hopefully, though, Benny will pipe in with a thought or two.
I was with Benny all morning. It was Buddy's chicken delivery, so I got to bring Doug's and my orders over. Doug lets me sort mine out which is huge and helpful. My freezer is downstairs and across the yard in a shed, so being able to sort it at Doug's with all of the doggies around is quite a treat.
Every time we'd empty a carton of chicken, Doug would throw all the melted ice water and chicken blood down for the dogs to lick up like a big dog slushy. Squirt had dried drops all over his head.
Lady was all bff and very vocal. She is such a trip. He had 47 dogs there today. Not too many people can do that. Certainly not me!
At one point, Doug started hollering out, 'Benny. Where's Benny?' With all the other dogs trying to eat through the cartons and party, Benny was just sitting over in another part of the warehouse minding his own business like a little gentleman. That's what he is, a little gentleman.
On my blog, I'm ranting and raving about getting my article pulled. I'm happy I can come over here to Patti and Benny's peaceful blog and go 'om' for a minute. I'll be heading right back over to listen to Iggy Pop tear it up in a little while as I can't be too quiet for too long. But for now, I can take a little breather and be grateful as Benny's teaching me. If he can withstand all of the years of abuse, in his quiet way, he's helping me handle one sort of tough day.
"I usually take a two hour nap from one to four. " Yogi Berra
Here are Benny and Squirt deeply involved in their Siesta:
I read awhile ago that the Chinese pictograph for 'busyness' is "heart killing." This stopped me in my tracks. I relate with how once I get into a busy mode any feeling heart I may have had is limited to say the least. Before this photo Benny and Squirt had finished eating and then headed to take a nap. Think if we all had to take even a brief, 15 minute nap after eating our afternoon meal.
A number of years ago I heard a talking given by Dr Marty Becker on, 'The Healing Power of Pets'. He also has a very interesting book published by the same name. He presents quite a bit of scientific knowledge to back up his premise that "The Bond" as he calls it between humans and animals is healing. In the area of stress, just 15 minutes petting your dog or cat releases oxytocin, a hormone that calms and reduces the negative affects of stress. I am guessing that anyone reading this blog already knows this!
Quite a number of Traditional cultures looked to the non humans as a source of wisdom, as a way of connecting to something larger than the human sphere of existence. I have often found that simply sitting in the sun with my dog Raven, listening to birds singing, the sound of the wind going through trees does expand my feeling of connectedness with all beings. To me, feeling connected to all is a gift of such magnitude, given freely to us by the non humans,that I sometimes can't believe it isn't announced as a national headline on a major TV channel! I don't know that it could be scientifically proven, perhaps someday. Until then however I am deeply grateful to all of the non humans who still give us humans a chance.
Here is Benny and one of his friends saying "Hello All" (yes, he is adapting to the Texas lingo),
"Wishing you all a happy heart day where we get to celebrate the heart in all beings!"
Benny is almost finished with his Waiora regime (3 drops three X's/day). He continues to get healthier every day. Some of his personality is starting to come out and it appears he has some "imp" in him. In the photo below he is sleeping after another bath, notice how pink his new skin is:
He still doesn't like baths but is very tolerant about getting one. Benny wishes everyone a day filled with the giving of love.
"In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart" M Gandhi
While I do not know the specifics they discussed I do know that Benny is very grateful to Cindy for saying" I will save that dog," and he thanked her. I know he thanks each one of you for the different parts you all played in saving him. Each one of us helped to breath life into his heart, with our words, prayers, driving, money, healing touch and most of all our love. In the photo copied below I believe you will feel him telling you "Thank you."
"You have no idea of the countless lives you touch in the course of your lifetime." Sara Ban Breathnach
Here is Benny on his morning walkabout, enjoying the sun:
The first week Benny was at Doug's he was fed separately and given time to adjust. The second week Doug fed Benny with the rest of the pack and he behaved as if he had always been fed this way. The dogs wait while Doug prepares the food and then one by one calls each dog by name. Benny patiently waited until his name was called, ate his food and then calmly left the eating area while other dogs finished. Think if our school cafeterias were this peaceful!
Here is Benny eating his food:
Here is Benny eating a big beef bone:
Wishing you peaceful and plentiful meals,
Yesterday we saw how Rummy, one of Benny's new friends was helping Benny. Well Rummy wanted to share his definition of friendship so it has been written at the top of the post.
The cleaning continues with Benny cleaning Doug's ears:
Here Benny is smooching with Doug:
Look closely at the two above photos and you will see the brown fuzz that is growing in all over Benny's body. Those of you who have been following Benny's blog from the beginning know how very much he wanted to sleep in bed with Raven and me. I told Benny that when he got better he would be able to sleep on a bed. Well that last number of days, if Benny scratched himself he no longer bled.....so guess where he is sleeping now???? Yep, Doug's bed (and he is a very good snuggler).
This last photo is Benny, on the top table, and he got there by himself:
Wishing you lots of smooches, boo boo licks, and ear cleanings,
This afternoon Benny was really frisky. He actually ran! It happened so fast and it was over before Doug could get the camera out of his pocket. He's getting stronger. You really can't see it in the pictures but he is sprouting fuzzy brown fur all over his body. His gums are getting pinker.
Here is Benny playing with his favorite orange ball:
And of course the ball must be taken along when going inside:
When I agreed to foster Benny I knew that would also mean enduring the grief of letting him go. Actually that is true for all depthful relationships, if we are going to agree to get into this type of relationship, with a human or non human, we are also agreeing to enduring the difficulties that are always a part of the process. Change is a part of every relationship so fundamental to love then, is letting go.
Love requires letting go. It requires allowing for growth, supporting growth, giving love rather than withholding it even though you know the human or non human will leave in some form. Love is different from attachment which occurs when you want something back and leads to suppression, manipulation, and resistance.
When someone you love dies or moves on you are going to grieve and yet their are two very different ways to grieve. One is to dramatize the attachment game and not let the person go, and the other is to participate in the transition with real feeling and let the human/non human go. Both of these are expressions of grief and both will result in many tears. In one case you are shedding tears for yourself, in the other you are releasing the human/non human and participating in their transition.
Letting go of Benny has resulted in many tears and yet, look at the photo of Benny copied below. He is playing with Doug's hand, he is happy, his face is full of life, he is thriving and this is what he needed for his growth:
When Benny was here in California with us he began a tradition that Raven has continued. He had what we called "Benny's spots". These were places where he sat in the sun and as the sun moved his places moved. Raven now continues to rest in the sun in "Benny's spots, something she had not done until Benny's arrival. Also, because Benny initially moved very slowly we coined a term, "Benny's speed." While there is much research that indicates that when a person is hurrying they are not anywhere near as efficient at accomplishing any task as when doing the same activity calmly, I wasn't convinced. Okay, I have realized that I can drive faster and still end up at the same red light as everyone else. I had not realized how much more enjoyment there was in life that has everything to do with being in the moment. I hadn't realized that anything I ever desired or needed is right here, right now. There is nothing in the future to rush off to that can offer me anything more than this precious moment. There is nothing in the past to dwell on, everything is right here. The inner peace and serenity so many of us are looking for is right here, right now. The speed of Benny is all about simply being present in the now. Enjoying the sun, the breeze, the dishwater. And if the present moment is something that could not be called 'enjoyable', then acceptance.
Wow, Benny is so clearly happy and thriving at Doug's as the following photos will show. These were taken after Benny's bath!
This a happy content pack of dogs. In our hero Doug's words: "He continues to eat enthusiastically. I have him on a fortified weight gain diet three times a day of chicken legs, backs, necks, heart, liver, green tripe, feet and various offal's.He eats more than a dog twice his size and looks at me like he wants more."
What a BEAUTIFUL face!
Wishing you healthy and always plentiful bowls of food!
The above quote is by Picasso. Yesterday was bath day for Benny and one look at this face will tell you that he still does not appreciate them! (This was taken before any bathing occurred)
I am well aware that many of you who are suffering frozen water pipes would find a hot bath about now to be a miracle! I have stopped at a number of large truck stop gas stations along my way home that have had no water due to broken pipes. This results in no coffee, no bathrooms, no water! So Benny did have his bath and I don't have the clean Benny photos to share with you....yet!
As many of you have probably heard, it is COLD in Texas! Benny has only a few little scruffy patches of fur and thus he is not real thrilled shall we say about being outside in 17 degree weather. Here is a photo of where he likes to spend time wth his new friends:
Yesterday our hero, Doug, weighed Benny and he weighs 43lbs. When I picked Benny up from the vets he weighed 30lbs and could hardly walk. What progress. The above photo is Benny eating some raw chicken.
Benny is making new friends and happily fitting in.
We are heart beings. It is what we want to celebrate with each other.
Wishing you heart friends and celebration,