Benson - Alone Again
With Toby's demise, we had wondered about getting a new dog. Not a replacement - that would never be possible - but a new friend for Benson. But soon it became clear that, rather than missing Toby, a new more confident Benson seemed to be emerging. Was it possible that he had been living under the shadow of his younger brother? Yes, for the last two and a half years of his life Benson seemed to like having all the attention for himself!
Click Here to See Earlier Pictures of Benson and Toby
December 2009 - Now Benson Has a Brush with Cancer
2008 and 2009 Benson had developed a lump on one shoulder. We'd had it
checked out and had been told that it was just harmless fatty tissue.
But by December the vet decided to remove it. It was Benson's first
time under the knife, and he didn't like the come-down from the anaesthetic!
There were a few days of worry after the vet revealed that, amongst the fat, she had discovered a couple of unidentified lumps. The biopsies showed one to be harmless, but the other was cancerous. Happily it had been completely removed before it had any chance to spread. You can imagine our relief, so soon after losing Toby.
Winter-Spring 2010 - Saying Goodbye to Devon
|We carried on exploring the South West of England with Benson (and re-visiting favourite haunts), but somehow knew that a change was needed. First we found a buyer for our house in the suburbs of Torquay (and so moved temporarily to a rented place) and then, a few months later, the sandwich-making business was also offloaded.|
Spring - Summer 2010 - Back to the South East
In March we made a
week-long trip to the South East, staying in the trendy seaside town of
Whitstable. But our focus was on nearby Canterbury. Here we
viewed a house a few minutes walk from the city centre, made an offer that
evening and, a couple of days later we had ourselves a new home.
So Benson got a whole new set of walks in Kent that Summer! He has even returned to one of his puppyhood haunts, when we visited Clissold Park in Stoke Newington for a picnic with Rowena and her daughter Ella.
July 2010 - Carmen's Visit
|One of the things we had looked forward to about moving back to the south-east was being able to catch up with friends we had not seen very often since we left London. One of these was Carmen, who of course had a special affinity with Benson as she had often dog-sat him as a puppy in Stoke Newington. So of course he was as happy as us to welcome her to Canterbury when she came to visit for a weekend in July.|
December 2010 - Whiteout!
|Our first winter in Kent, and our fears of cold snowy conditions are borne out! Benson didn't seem to mind - positively skipping through the freshly-laid powder. It also meant he saw more of his dads - unable to get to work!|
February 2011 - Happy Eleventh Birthday, Benson!
|We took this picture of an eleven-year old Benson on a walk by the River Stour, just outside Canterbury.|
Spring and Summer 2011 - Exploring Kent
|Although we were both working, we still managed to explore the areas of Kent surrounding Canterbury with Benson. And when we were both at work, we had a dog-walker come to take him out.|
January 2012 - City Break to Bruges
We had a week in January with nothing to do
and, with two flying holidays planned for 2012, we chose to visit somewhere
closer to home where Benson would be welcome.
Bruges is only just over an hour's drive from Calais, so an easy journey from our home in Kent. Mid-January was not peak tourist season and many restaurants and attractions were closed. The weather was also not at it's best. But despite all this, the charm of this beautiful city won through. Benson saw some of it but, with his arthritis, most of his walks were limited to the nearby park. We did however manage an excursion to the nearby Belgian and Dutch coasts.
Spring 2012 - Benson's Last Months
In April we noticed that Benson didn't seem
to have full control of his back legs. We took him to the vet, who
suspected a disc problem and upped the strength of the painkillers he was
already on for his arthritis. A few weeks later Benson started having
problems eating and, when his legs failed almost completely, we knew that
the time for the decision that all dog-owners dread having to make had come.
You were the best ever doggy, Benson. Thank you for all the love you gave, and for letting us give you ours.
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