LESSONS OF LOVE AND LOSS
BENNY B, 2002 – 2013
LION KING and PRINCE OF PEACE
On the 28th March 2013, an unseasonably cold afternoon, Ben and I went for what was to be our last walk to the park we had explored and enjoyed so much together in the last two years.
We did our usual circuit. When it was time to come home, I noticed his walking was slower and more deliberate than normal, as if he wanted each second to count. Once we arrived home he seemed more subdued than normal. I put this down to the fact that he was missing mum, who feeling unwell, was upstairs and not in her customary chair.
Before his evening meal, he went out into the garden, turning around wistfully and looking directly at me as if he had something to say… he ate his supper and settled down peacefully by mum’s chair. I kissed him goodnight and he lovingly thumped his tail in acknowledgement.
At 4 am I was woken by Toby, Ben’s four-legged friend. Toby raced out, but this time Ben did not follow. He had not stirred from mum’s chair. I knelt down. His heart beat was very very faint. There was nothing left to do and nothing left to say. Stroking his beautiful golden coat and silky ears I lay next to him, washing him with tears of love and sorrow. Within minutes, his heart stopped beating. He had waited for me to say his final farewell and now was ready to pass over as gracefully, lovingly and peacefully as he lived his whole life.
Ben has been an unfailingly constant, loving presence and companion for the last ten years, eleven months and one week. It has been a period of my life like no other, marked equally by greatest joys and the most heartbreaking sadnesses. He has enriched all of our lives, fellow dogs, children, all humankind, beyond measure. To know him was to love him. Ben, you are an example to us all and taught me more than you’ll even know about how to live. Your spirit lives within me and surrounds me. I love you more than words could ever express. Thank you for being in my life. xxxx