Saturday, 15 April 2017

Introducing 'BENJI'

After my lovely dog, Zac, died last August, my life changed; I stopped going out for walks because it felt so strange after having a dog by my side for most of my life.  Having lost some weight (Yay!) I started to put it back on because of lack of exercise. But although I missed having a dog - and the house felt empty and too quiet - I felt that I didn't want another one, because I could never replace a dog like Zac.
But I realised that things were getting worse; I was only going out when absolutely necessary, ordering my shopping online and often not even getting dressed unless I expected visitors.  I NEEDED a dog and somewhere out there, there might be a dog who needed me.
So I recently contacted The Cinnamon Trust (http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/) and enquired about dogs needing homes.  And I heard about Benji.  He lived with an elderly couple who couldn't cope with him, were unable to exercise him and didn't want him.  He was kept in a small dog crate.  I learned that he was fed on unsuitable food - and far too much of it. He needed to be re-homed as soon as possible.
So Benji, a 4/5 year-old Bichon Frise, came to me and I found that cruelty to animals doesn't just mean they have been starved, or beaten.  Benji had been given unsuitable food and far too much of it. A male Bichon Frise should weigh about 5 Kgs (11lbs); Benji was weighed yesterday at 17.15 Kgs (38lbs)!!!! That is 2 Kgs more than my son's Staffie bitch!
Obviously, I have already started him on a diet - good food but very much less than he has been used to.  It's hard to resist those pleading eyes, but it has to be done for his own good.
He has also been shampoo'ed and had his nails trimmed - he no longer smells like a stale ashtray and his fur is whiter, softer, fluffier and much more pleasant to touch.
He has a sweet nature and loves his walks; he has never been socialised with dogs, children, people or animals of any sort, so our walk on Bodmin Moor yesterday introduced him to sheep, lambs, cattle and ponies.  He was amazed - just stood and stared! The sheep were glaring at me; I think they suspected me of stealing one of their lambs!
So here are the photos, the 'Before' photos; I hope to eventually bring you the wonderful 'After' photos when he has been transformed.
























Cleaner, sweeter-smelling Benji - he also has a spring in his step and a michievous twinkle in his eye.






















24 comments:

  1. Welcome Benji, I am sure you can help him get back in shape and he will be a happy boy xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely chap and how lucky he has found you to care for him. I understand his breed do not shed fur, hope you enjoy many walks over the moors and his food habits are easy to overcome. Very chilly in Dorset today despite the sun. Sandra.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So happy to hear that Benji has found a good home with you, and you have a companion to love and walk with! He does look rather like a lamb, doesn't he? :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am so pleased you have a new friend, and he will so benefit from your care. Poor old Benji, he is a bit 'solid' now! But I'm sure he will look sleek and slim very soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall take him to be weighed next Friday, which will be 2 weeks after his initial weigh-in, just to see if I'm heading in the right direction with his portions. He's such a major change from feeding a 32Kg Border Collie!

      Delete
  5. He's a sturdy wee soul isn't he? I'm sure you'll have him back in shape in no time and you will both have a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lots of country walks to come this summer - good news indeed

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome Benji! My niece works for the Cinnamon Trust in Devon and I've got the forms to register as a dog walker for them. It sounds like you're going to have lots of fun together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once I've got Benji fit again, I shall register as well, for dog-walking or temporary foster home; it will be good to give something back to The Cinnamon Trust.

      Delete
  8. So glad you rescued Benji...what a lucky boy. You will enhance each others lives so much.

    ReplyDelete
  9. awwwwww so happy you saved his life.
    He looking like a sweet wonderful dog who will bring you much joy.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Benji, I shall look forward to all of your adventures.

    He looks such a sweetheart

    Julie xxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. He's a real sweetie - it's very lucky that you have found each other x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lucky you and lucky Benji. I lost my beloved Ansa in September but am no replacing as I'm moving to a pet-free apartment. But oh I wish I had a Benji.

    All the best.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so sorry to read about your loss of Ansa; they leave such a huge hole in your life, your heart, your home, don't they?
      I see that you've now taken possession of your new home, but are staying to tie up lots of loose ends at your big 'Sprawl' of a place. I hope you will be happy and able to continue your writing when you do eventually move in the autumn. xx

      Delete
  13. So happy to hear that Benji has found a good home with you, lovely photo's you've shared too.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh Wow! You were meant for each other. Blessings and Peace

    ReplyDelete
  15. Opening our hearts after a loss is difficult. I'm so glad you and Benji have each other! He's very handsome!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The poor little chap, as you say, cruelty can take many forms. He has certainly landed on all four paws with you, Huge kudos and hugs to you for giving him a second chance.

    Talking of paws - his feet should not be that colour, looks like severe saliva staining? Do you think that is from boredom, or maybe skin irritation from the wrong food? Really looking forward to the after photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jayne - I think it was boredom initially while he was kept in a crate all the time, but it is now a habit that is hard to break. He continually licks his feet. He doesn't have soreness between his toes and while I understand that iron or copper is present in many dog foods, he is now on a diet of meat and vegetables so I hope in time the staining will decrease.

      Delete
    2. Boredom and habit, that makes perfect sense. Of course, by the time you've given him multiple walks each day and he has pattered around the house behind you and played a few games*, he'll be far too tired to chew his feet! (*Will you have to teach him to play? We once had to teach a rescue dog what toys were for ... so sad to begin with but we ended up creating a Ball Monster who lived to play tug, and fetch and whatever other mad activities he could devise 🙂)

      Delete
  17. Yep! He has obviously never played before - a ball is a complete mystery to him. However, he has taken to a soft toy dog that squeaks and after I teased him with it, he now sometimes picks it up and shakes it like a rat, making it squeak. However, he is very possessive about anything he considers 'his', so that has to be stopped; in the meantime the grandchildren have been warned not to touch his toys, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a cutie!

    In the first photo I thought he was a sheepskin bolster!

    I'm so pleased for you both - you will probably both be trimmer in a few months time.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a darling dog and I can see why the sheep might think he is a lamb, so white and fluffy. I adopted a dog from a shelter last year to help me heal from grief. I got him a leash that says "who rescued who?". I like that.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for showing an interest in my blog. I do appreciate your comments.