If you’ve met my mother, then you’ve probably met Ben.Â If you haven’t met Ben, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about him to know that you want to meet him.
A handful of years ago, Mom and Dad adopted Ben from a pekingnese shelter.Â He had been in a horrible accident, leaving his previous owners feeling like they were no longer capable of caring for him. For Mom, it was love at first sight.Â This little blondeÂ ball of furry love instantly took over either mine or Amy’s place as favorite child (we’re not jealous – this way Mom never dresses us up in bandanas with doggie bones on them).Â Ben has ridden in Mom’s car more than I have.Â He is a trained therapy dog (he can dance, roll over – only to the left, pray, sit, stay and beg). He goes everywhereÂ Mom does (don’t worry, she’s never carried him in her purse) and most people she encounters on a regular basis greet him by name.Â
Since my parents have moved back to Spartanburg, Trey and I have been lucky enough to spend more quality time with Ben.Â This past week, while Mom and Dad were out of town, Ben stayed with us from Tuesday through Sunday…much to Rufus and Roger’s dismay.Â Frank, on the other hand, just seemed to think he was a very strange cat.Â
Being a cat person for so long made dog-sitting seem like a bit of a challenge.Â For example, the cats never have to “go out,” so I had to remember not to keep Ben indoors for too long.Â Also, cats are infinitely more independent than dogs.Â If I don’t pet them or speak to them for a few hours, they could care less…Ben, on the other hand, seemed almost heartbroken when I’d leave him to go work on the bathroom for the afternoon.Â And cats don’t run to the door to greet you as soon as you get home…this only proved to be a problem once: I had my arms full of groceries, so I kicked open the front door, knocking Ben square in the teeth.Â He was so happy I was home that he didn’t even notice that he’d gotten nailed in the kisser…or that his little gums had started bleeding.Â This, of course, sent me into fits of hysteria, sobbing and moaning “I’m such a bad aunt!”Â Trey assured me that if Ben didn’t seem to notice, then I was obviously over reacting.Â
A few Ben-isms I learned over the past week:Â
- When “marking his territory,” Ben prefers to only lift his right hind leg.Â So if you’re walking on his right side, he’ll do a complete 180 and face the oposite direction to do his business.
- Ben knows I love to see him dance, so much so that he’s stopped waiting for me to give him the signal, and just starts doing it every time he sees me reach for a doggy treat.
- Ben wants to be loved…even by cats.Â He wants it so badly that he will follow Frank around wimpering until she swats at him to leave her alone.
- Above all, Ben loves Mom.Â When she came to pick him up Sunday afternoon, he never looked back.Â He didn’t want to say goodbye to me, Frank or the boys…he just wanted Mom.Â
He never barks, he sleeps through the night, and he wants you to love on him 24/7.Â He’s the best baby ever.Â But I must admit, the cats seem to be much relieved that they’re furry visitor has left the building.