Ben’s 2nd Birthday

As I write this post, my faithful fur baby is asleep on the end of the bed. In theory I’d say that he’d guard me from all the monsters out there, but, as I know Benny, I know that his guarding would involve sneaking his head around the bedroom door to check what’s there and then safely barking from behind the open door. Apparently you can never be careful enough. Despite all the fur that floats around, I can honestly say I love having Ben as part of our lives.

He came to be after I pestered my husband for 6 months that I wanted a puppy. He finally gave in, on several provisos; a)  I had about a week or so to get him and b) I could only get one if it was less than 20km from home. I had been looking on the labrador breeding sites for so long, and knew which litters were available around the time. Having owned a female dog before, I was happy for a girl, but, there weren’t any female pups available. The only other thing that I knew he had to be was yellow. With my beige tiles and carpet, I knew I couldn’t handle having a choc or black labrador in my home! And so, the searching started. I didn’t manage to meet the time deadline, but, I did (sort of) manage the distance deadline. We picked Benny up from the airport, after he had flown down from northern NSW. All I remember is getting this massive dog crate up on the bench, and this lady opened up the door to find our little yellow boy, with simply GIGANTIC feet! I had wondered what we’d gotten ourselves into. He was 10 weeks old, and completely wary of his new surroundings. He was the best first wedding anniversary present that you could possibly get.

He has some of the funniest behaviours – we’re not quite sure why the rangehood is so scary, or why odd behaviour sets him off to do his mad run. We know that he loves going for rides in the car, especially when his head is out the window, and his ears are flapping in the breeze. We know that he has a preference for a bowl of ‘big boy food’ over a piggy ear, or even a meaty fresh bone. We know he loves destroying his soft toys, especially poor puppy – one set of eyes, ears, tails and limbs at a time. He is also happy to greet you at the door with teddy or lobby in his mouth, and will go and pick up each toy by name. Unfortunately, he still thinks that once you are inside the house, that you need to be led down the hallway, generally by him grabbing your own jumper or whatever piece of clothing dangles close to his eye level. When he’s heading out for a run, or coming home after a big walk, he loves nothing more, than putting the lead in his mouth and staying right beside you. Even if you take him off his lead, he will still walk beside you with his lead in his mouth. And we can’t forget Ben’s ‘wake-up Dad’ morning routine! All these things and more make up our special boy. Since the arrival of Jack, he’s changed even more. Yes, he still does his silly boy mad sprints up and down the hallway, ears back, legs unable to get enough traction on the tiles, but he also shows us a more docile side. Ben’s happy to curl up, generally at Jack’s feet, and receive several kicks and never bat an eyelid. I’m so proud of how he is adapting to life with a little one around. I can just see the day where we will be replaced – no longer will Ben want to curl up on our bed, entangled in our feet, but he will choose Jack’s room, watching over the little boy that he will grow old with…

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