Pet of the Week: Benny the Rescue

I first saw a picture of Benny–then called Mendell–on the Southeast Corgi Rescue FaceBook page in 2015. I felt an immediate connection with the sweet face staring back at me, but it was too soon. Just a few weeks earlier, I had said goodbye to my longtime corgi companion, Melvin. Mendell was clearly a senior dog with some health issues, so, I looked away. I thought of him over the coming days, but each time, I put him out of my mind. “When the time is right, the right dog will come along,” I told myself.

I spent the rest of that summer missing Melvin and trying to enjoy my newfound freedom. Melvin had required extra attention during the last year of his life, so why not take a break from the responsibility? It’s so much easier and less expensive to live life without a dog. No more vet bills. No more carrying Melvin up and down stairs that he could no longer navigate. No more planning my day and week around my geriatric dog. Yes, that made so much sense.

But my heart ached. I missed Melvin.

By mid-September I decided to complete a foster application with Southeast Corgi Rescue. I had been following them on FaceBook for a year or so. That’s where I had seen that picture of Mendell back in July–the one that tugged at my heartstrings. I figured I could foster a dog in need, help the organization, and perhaps find my next dog.

After checking my application and references, Southeast Corgi Rescue approved me to foster one of their dogs. Within a week or so, Walton, who ran the rescue at the time, asked me to foster a dog named Benny. Benny was currently in another foster home in Savannah undergoing treatment for heart worms. Once the heart-worm treatment was complete, he could be moved to a new foster home. Walton’s email explained that since the current foster-mom, Edith, had three dogs of her own, a new foster home with no other dogs would be better for Benny and also give Edith a much-needed break. Her email went on to say that Benny could come to me around October 17 and noted that a picture was attached.

I quickly scrolled to the bottom of the email, eager to get a look at Benny. And there it was, the picture of Mendell from July 16, the same one I had seen on FaceBook. “Isn’t that something,” I thought. What a coincidence that Walton should ask me to foster the very dog that I had felt so drawn to earlier.

As I anticipated Benny’s arrival, I learned more about him from Edith. A kind man in North Carolina found him one night in early summer, lying in the road during a thunderstorm. A trip to the vet revealed skin and ear infections and the presence of heart worms. When no owner came forward, the kind man decided to turn Benny over to Southeast Corgi Rescue so that he could get the treatment and care that he needed.

When Benny came to live with me in October, 2015, the vet estimated his age at 8-9 years. Despite all that he had been through, Benny quickly adjusted to his new foster home. He was immediately affectionate and playful, and quickly became confident, bossy, and talkative. He was, and is, wonderfully soft and cuddly. His favorite pastimes are eating, playing fetch, and sleeping. He loves people, but needs a strong leader to keep him from becoming too bossy, as is the case with many corgis.

After I arrived home with Benny on October 17, 2015, I sat down to review the folder containing his veterinary records. I noted when heart-worm treatments began and ended, which vaccines he had received, his weight, that his age was listed as unknown, that he was first called Buddy by the kind man who saved him, then Mendell, and eventually Benny. And then I noticed the date of his rescue on that stormy night in North Carolina. June 29, 2015–the same day as Melvin’s departure.

It was meant to be.

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