by Whitney | 4:49 am

Where on earth is Ben and why would he eat a bug? Ben was the family pet dog and he loved to chase bugs and eat them. Ben passed away thirty years ago but his memory is forever captured on film to be viewed whenever we missed him. I missed him the most because I owed him a debt I could never repay. Ben saved my life when he was barely six months old.

Where Did Ben Come From?

My grandfather took me to visit a neighbor whose female Collie had just had a litter of puppies. Grandfather told me to sit on a bail of hay and watch as he let all five puppies out on the barn floor. The puppies bounced around and played on the barn floor until one puppy wandered my way. The puppy pounced on my feet and played until it finally fell asleep curled around one shoe. My Grandfather told me to pickup, and hold, the puppy, in my arms. That is how I met Ben.

Why Did You Pick the Name Ben?

I named the puppy Ben because I admired Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was a statesman, an inventor and a rascal. My puppy was a first class rascal. Ben was intelligent and forever curious about whatever crossed his path. Ben was a challenge to keep up with and I enjoyed every step I had to take to help him. Ben was easy to train and slept at the foot of my bed. Ben listened while I spoke of my worries and I swear he understood everything I said.

One Christmas Eve.

A blizzard howled outside and I was told not to go out but I had forgotten to close the gate to the far pasture. It was Christmas Eve and I wanted to be good so Santa would visit. I dressed in my heavy winter jacket and boots and slipped out the back door. It was hard to see but I trudged slowly along towards my objective. The wind kept pushing me back for every two steps forward I took one step back. I finally reached the pasture gate and pulled the gate towards me to lock it. The wind slammed the gate into me and my foot was caught on the gate. The wind slammed the gate into me again and my ankle was crushed in the bars. My ankle was caught in the gate and I knew it was broken. I lay on the ground slumped against the gate. Snow began to gather on my clothes and I began to shiver.

Ben to the Rescue.

Ben began to bark and scratch at the back door. My Grandfather pulled Ben away from the door but Ben went right back fighting to get out the back door. Where is Pris? Pris is my nickname. No one could find me. My Grandfather put on his winter coat and boots and opened the door for Ben. Ben dashed out the door and ran as fast as he could in the heavy snow.

A Hospital Stay.

I don’t remember being cut from the fence or the ride to the hospital but I remember Ben licking my face. My friend Ben had saved my life. I spent Christmas in the hospital in traction and a cast on my foot. Santa left my presents at home under the Christmas tree. Ben was brought to the hospital and that was the best present I got on Christmas.


Ben was my friend for nineteen years and then he quietly passed away in his sleep on Christmas Eve. I recommend children have pets because it teaches them responsibility. Pets are beneficial to everyone unless they have allergies. It is a scientific fact owning a pet helps individuals live longer. I recommend taking your child or children to the animal shelter to select a pet to adopt. Please consider becoming an adoptive parent to a shelter pet.

Author Whitney Joh is a retired Science teacher.


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