Ben

January 15, 2018

Yesterday was a big day for The Benster. He went to his very first Meet & Greet.  Here’s what he has to say:
Hi to everyone in Brookline-land, from your friend Ben (aka Bentley or The Benster)!  I had a wonderful adventure yesterday.  FM took me to a party!  She said the whole point of the party was for Brookline puppers and their peeps to meet each other and, more importantly, to meet folks who might be interested in adopting us.  I got to meet so many Brookline volunteers and so many visitors and so many dogs I could hardly keep track of them.
Let me tell you this: That event would have been a challenge for any Lab whose tail wasn’t in tip-top condition.  I ended up tail-wagging non-stop, the whole time I was there.  Luckily my tail IS in good shape, so it really didn’t get tired.  In fact, it was working well enough to knock over lots of display items in the store: plastic bottles, packages of treats, and boxes of stuff.  And there was this one tall cardboard display…I almost knocked the whole thing over.  Hee hee!
So you might wonder how my tail got to be in such good shape.  Here’s the secret: working the wags every day on our walks and then supplementing during the holidays by clearing off the lower branches on FM’s Christmas tree. Fun and fitness rolled into one!
If I missed greeting anyone at the big event, please know it wasn’t intentional. I was busy enjoying myself and it’s possible I lost track of my social obligations.  Maybe we’ll meet again at another event pretty soon.  I would love it!

xoxo  Ben/Bentley/The Benster

January 6, 2018

Hello-o-o-o to everyone and Happy New Year.  You may not remember me, ‘cuz it has been a very long time since I’ve checked in.  I’m the foster pupper who was found sleeping along the side of the road in New Jersey last summer. I made my safe landing in Brookline-land and it then came to light that I had heartworm.  So the journey of The Heartworm Treatment (notice the capital letters!) began in July and is now more or less finished.  So, you might wonder what’s been happening in my world.
Well, IF you remember me, you might recall that I started out in a different foster home and things didn’t work out perfectly there.  It turns out that my idea of a great social interaction didn’t mesh very well with the resident dogs’ ideas along those lines.  More specifically, I wanted to hump them. All the time.  And they weren’t happy about it. And my foster mom and dad weren’t happy either. And the vet wasn’t too pleased either, since I was supposed to be limiting my exertion.  So I came to my current foster home, where there are no other targets for my affections.  And that of course has worked out splendidly.  The active part of my heartworm treatment wrapped up in mid-October.
Meanwhile some other issues had to be addressed…chronic ear infections, some lumps, some concerns with eye irritation, maybe allergies…you get the picture.  So we’ve been working on those things.  I have managed thus far to avoid the dreaded neutering, ‘cuz the vet thinks I should be well past my last heartworm injection before having any surgery.
While that has been going on FM decided to take a big chance on my behavior and she brought a second foster pupper into the house for about ten days of dog-sitting in December.  You probably know a little about my temporary house-mate. Her name is Grace.  She’s about my age, a lovely back Lab who was brought from a shelter in Houston when they cleared those shelters to make room for Hurricane Harvey rescues.  And Miss Grace is a heartworm dog too!  So anyway, Grace and I met at a “neutral” spot with the help of our foster moms.  It went well.  So I figured I’d test the waters and put my chin on the back of Grace’s neck.  Well!!  She didn’t like that one little bit and she told me so. I backed off and our relationship was entirely cordial from then on. In fact, I allowed Grace to boss me around, take things from me, and so on.  Not one instance of humping the whole time she was here.  We were just a couple of pals hangin’ out.
FM is very happy about the way things went with Miss Grace.  She said it shows that I can do just fine with  a female dog, even though I haven’t been neutered.  So I imagine I’ll be in the market for a forever family in the near future.  FM says she wants to have a clear idea about my probable future veterinary needs so she can include that info for anyone who would consider adopting me.  Seems reasonable to me.
I’m not in any particular hurry to move on.  I like it here, I get along nicely with the other dogs in the neighborhood, and I have no problems with the steps to get into FM’s house.  I do not go up the stairs inside the house.  FM has really tried to coax me, but I have no interest.  She thinks I may have lived in a home where that wasn’t allowed, and maybe I was disciplined for going upstairs.  I do act scared about coming up, even with an offer of yummy treats.  So I’m a first-floor dog.  And I’m a good boy!  Oh, by the way, I’m also a big boy.  I’m about 105 lbs, and the vet thinks that’s ideal for me.
I’m planning on going to next weekend’s meet & greet event. (Jan. 14.) Maybe I’ll see you there! I will send some photos separately.  That will help you to recognize me if you come to the event!
xoxo  Bentley/Ben/The Benster   with a little assist from FM Coleen

September 9, 2017

I know it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me.  I hope you haven’t forgotten about me but I would understand if that may have happened!

I’ve been chillin’ here at FM’s house, wondering when we’re gonna get this show on the road with the heart worm treatment.  I think I may have told you that FM is pretty stingy with the information she shares with me. But she’s been gracious enough to tell me the next phase will start Monday (two days from now), when I will go to the vet for my first injection of Melarsomine.  I’ll be staying overnight that night and coming back here on Tuesday.  FM tells me I’ll have to be on my best and quietest behavior for a while after that, so those yucky worms don’t cause me problems as they start to die off.  She says she knows she can count on me, cuz I’ve been a good boy so far!  Our strategy for next couple of months will be one that you’ve heard before:  “Keep calm and carry on.”

So I was all set to tell you about how FM is the meanest and most heartless FM in the history of Brookline FM’s. Sometimes it does LOOK that way.  I’m incarcerated in her kitchen a lot of the time and my trips outside are really poor excuses for a real walk.  But FM keeps telling me it won’t always be this way, and every day brings us closer to the day when I will regain my freedom.  She says these are “temporary lifestyle modifications.” And when she puts it that way I can almost believe that these restrictions are actually special privileges. (Never underestimate the persuasive power of words!)  I don’t like to boast but I will tell you I have been very cooperative so far, and I plan to continue that.

 

And now a few words from our sponsor:

Mr. Ben has been amazingly patient with his activity restrictions.  I think that will continue through the next phase of his heart worm treatment.  We’re looking forward to the day (probably about mid-November) when he can be more active.  Then we’ll take some real walks, ! and we’ll try out the toys and the balls, and encourage him to come upstairs.  He’s shown glimmers of real playfulness and it makes me wonder whether he may be younger than 9 years old.  The vet says that’s certainly possible.  This poor boy shows signs of having had a hard life before he came to Brookline, so he may look older than he is.

Mr. Ben’s eyes look droopy and sad even when he’s obviously not sad.  The vet commented that he may have mild entropion affecting his upper lids.  He’s uncooperative about having his eyes checked, but that should be something they can evaluate better when he eventually has his neuter surgery.  His ear infection issues are pretty well-controlled right now, with a med that is put in just once and then lasts for two weeks.  His hearing has improved as the inflammation has cleared up.

Ben isn’t interested in any discussion of his medical situation but he wants everyone to know that he has improved in his leash-walking as we go down the front steps at my house.  For the first 4-5 weeks he was dragging me down the steps. Now he’s merely pulling, and getting better all the time.  Yay!

We will provide an update during the week, after Ben’s first heart worm injection.  Please wish him luck with the injection and with the “keep calm and carry on” business!

FM Coleen

 

  

August 10, 2017

Yo! Brookline!  I’m writing to you myself, since my foster mom hasn’t updated you in a little while.  (You know that expression, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”)  So here goes…

I’ve been in my new digs a little under two weeks.  My first foster parents warned me that I shouldn’t expect to have any more freedom in this house than I had at their house. They were right!  Everyone keeps telling me it’s nothing personal, but really a guy could get a complex…I’m a good boy, I haven’t been convicted of any serious offenses, and I don’t even get into stuff, but I’m confined most of the time in FM’s kitchen.  Jeez!

The kitchen isn’t a bad place to spend time, but it seems a shame to waste all the rest of the space around here.  FM has hinted that she actually knows how long this confinement business will last, but she’s not telling me.  I will certainly let everyone know the date of my first parole hearing.  Maybe I’ll issue an invitation for all my Brookline buddies to show up and plead my case!

I do sometimes get out of the kitchen.  We go for walks several times each day.  We don’t go very far or very fast, but at least I’m outside, meeting neighbors and other dogs, taking care of business, sniffing out whatever interesting scents I can find. We’ve been out for a couple of rides in the car, and I like that. And when FM is hanging out on the first floor of the house or she’s outside on the deck she lets me hang with her.  She’s invited me up to the sofa maybe once or twice. She said she was hoping we could just chill there and watch a movie, but I was way too excited for any such thing.  I actually got pretty charged up and rambunctious, and FM decided that idea wasn’t going to work. So I was dis-invited. (Is that a word?)

I will sometimes get on the sofa without her, or get on my dog bed.  I like to roll onto my back and flail my legs around and make lots of funny noises.  FM says she’s glad I can do something that makes me happy. She just wishes she could get a picture of it…

I had a visit with Dr. Stutz a couple of days ago. He was very happy to see me and he thinks I’m doing really well.  I had lost some weight but have now regained it.  No one is quite sure about what was going there, but the assumption is that I had worms that weren’t showing up in the stool sample.  So the de-worming medication seems to have fixed that problem.  I will get another dose next week.

My chronic ear infection is looking better-controlled after a couple of weeks of twice-a-day ear medicine.  FM asked if there might be an alternative way of treating my ears. Apparently she doesn’t really like the twice-a-day wrestling matches that are part of the ear-medicine routine.  I think the wrestling is pretty funny but it seems her opinion carries more weight than mine.  So…Dr. Stutz used a different medicine this time.  He put some in each ear and he said nothing more has to be done for the next two weeks. FM was delighted about that. Me, not so much.  I’ll have to come up with another way to make FM wrestle with me.

Of course the big elephant at this table is my heartworm treatment.  That’s the reason for my imprisonment in the kitchen, and my short walks, and my generally boring daily routine.  So I’ve finished my 30 days of Doxycycline and Prednisone and my first heartworm preventative pill.  I’ll have another one of those tomorrow, then nothing else will happen for a month.  In September we’ll get down to the really serious business, with my first injection of Melarsomine.  FM thinks that’s about all I need to know for now, so that’s all I can tell you.

I think FM will soon find out I’m writing this, if I don’t wrap up pretty soon.  Since I don’t have thumbs I can’t really take good selfies, so I have no photos to attach to this update.  Actually even with ten good fingers, including two thumbs, FM hasn’t had much luck getting photos of me either.  I’m sure she’ll find a way, and she’ll send you some pix as soon as she can.

I guess I should sign off now and go back to my sedentary lifestyle. Hmmmph!  Have a good night!

xoxo  Ben/Bentley/The Benster…filling in for FM Coleen

 

 

July 29, 2017

This terrific dog, originally known as Chocolate Cake, now answering to anything that includes the name “Ben,” has landed with me and will be here for a while.

 

He was being fostered by Janine and Doug Yerk and they’ve started him on the road with his heartworm treatment.  Ben says Thank You so much!!  However, all concerned, including the vet, thought Mr. Ben would be better suited to a home without other dogs for now. Janine and Doug have two Bassett hounds who are enthusiastically supportive of that decision!  It seems Benny Boy has quite the amorous streak and the Bassetts were the unwilling objects of his affection.  Ahem…

 

So Ben has re-located to my house, where there are no animals to tempt him.  He will need to get used to a sedentary lifestyle, as the heartworm treatment, especially during the injections phase, requires that the dog be kept as quiet as possible, with minimal physical activity, minimal excitement, etc.  Luckily he’ll have several weeks to settle in here before his first injection. He’ll have some time to adjust to my routine, with necessary restrictions, and together we’ll figure out how to keep him from going crazy with the inactivity.

So far we’ve established that he likes bully sticks and has some interest in antlers and stuffed toys.  And he loves food, so we can take advantage of that.  He is a beautiful, sweet, big mush of a dog.  He will get a good night’s rest tonight, after his big day today, and he will write his own update for you tomorrow, maybe with a picture or two.

Please wish him mojo as he sets out on the next phase of his journey to good health!