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

During 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.

  Benson's Lump The Lump is Removed - But Benson's Still Feeling Sorry for Himself!  


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.   Being Looked After at the Marstan Posing in Front of a Blazing Marstan Fire  
Occombe Mamhead Reservoir with Sue & martin
View from Rock Walk, Torquay Dartmoor Broadsands
Fernworthy Reservoir On the Beach at Bude in Cornwall Phil Enjoying the Winter Sunshine in Bude
Late Afternoon Sun at Bude Boscastle in Cornwall With Sue and Martin at Westward Ho!
Berry Head Thatcher Point  


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.

  Benson's New Kennel Canterbury Canterbury Shop
Steve & Benson by the River Stour in Canterbury Benson by the River Stour at St Radigunds Steve & Benson on a Walk Near Fordwich
On the Beach at Whitstable in Kent, near Canterbury Reculver A Picnic in Clissold Park with Rowena and Ella
The White Cliffs of Dover Dover, with the Castle in the Background Benson on a Walk by the River Stour near Canterbury


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.   Steve, Carmen & Benson in our Garden Phil, Carmen & Benson in Whitstable Phil, Carmen & Benson in Whitstable
Carmen & Steve in Lady's Wooton Green Carmen & Steve by the Cathedral Gate Carmen, Phil and Benson on a Walk
Carmen at Canterbury Cathedral    


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!   Outside Our House (in the Tracks We Dugin the Snow!) Our House, with Cathedral Behind In the Fields Above Our House
Boxing Day in Wye Country Park Boxing Day in Wye Country Park  


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.   Happy Birthday, Benson!


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.   View over Wye Benson at Wye Nature Reserve Benson and Steve on Margate Seafront
Benson Amongst the Bluebells Benson and Steve on Chaucers Fields, Canterbury Benson and Phil on the Isle of Sheppey


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.

  Bray Dunes, Last Town in France before the Belgian Border Casa Deus, an Old Alms House We Rented Steve at Mittelmeer
The Belfry (or 'Belfort') Steve and Benson by a Bruges Canal Phil and Benson by a Bruges Canal
Bruges Town Hall Steve Trying Belgian Hot Chocolate Steve and Benson on a Dutch Beach


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.


  Benson at 12 - His Last Birthday Benson with his Frisbee
Chillaxing as Only a Doggy Knows How!
Chillaxing as Only a Doggy Knows How!
Benson with his Soft Ball
Phil with Benson in the Lounge


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