Your Pet Loss Stories

'My Beloved Benjie'

by Brenda
(York, UK)

Benjie was a very special Cairn Terrier. We had him from being 8 weeks old. At the time, I was crippled with arthritis and spent most of my time in a wheelchair or on a mobility scooter. Benjie gave me an incentive to try and take him out for a walk, and each day I managed to walk a little bit further with him, until, after a year or two, I was able to enjoy fairly long walks with him. Yes, it tired me, and I couldn't do much else afterwards but to sit down and have endless cuddles with him.

Benjie had a lot of ill health in his early years with colitis, and we never seemed to be away from the vets with him. But we nursed him, looked after him, and did all we could for him.

When he was 6 years old, he had a severe ulcerated mouth, and had 8 teeth out. From that day on, he had repetitive stomatitis - inflammation of his mouth - and had great difficulty eating. So he was on antibiotics sometimes every 10 days or so. Our local vet wanted to put him on steroids, but I wasn't happy about that, and found a holistic vet that treated him with homeopathic remedies, until, at 11 years old, he did have to go on steroids.

This seemed to give him a new lease of life, but, in the mean time, my daughter joined a so called church - one that had come over from South Africa, and she disowned not only Benjie, but the whole family. Benjie was heartbroken, as we all were, and his health deteriorated for a while and he started having fits. I took him out everywhere with me, never left him alone, and he gradually began to enjoy life again.

But, in December, he had another fit and seemed to recover ok, but somehow he had lost a lot of his energy, and I knew he was getting old. On the 30th December, he didn't seem his usual self, ate his breakfast reluctantly, but still wanted to go for his walk. I took him onto the riverbank, where he did his poo, then he collapsed and had another fit. He took ages to come round this time, and I sent for my husband to come and pick us up in the car.

We got Benjie home and he slept for a while. Then he vomited and collapsed again. He slept all afternoon, ate his dinner, then later was stumbling around and was sick. All day he seemed disorientated. Then in the night, he had another bad fit. I sent for the emergency vet, who advised injections to stop him being sick and arranged a visit to the vets later that day for Benjie to have tests.

An hour later, Benjie was charging around the house completely disorientated, jumped on the bed, barked pitifully, and had a bad fit falling off the bed. My heart broke, I had always promised him I would never ever let him suffer, and that once his quality of life was over, I would put him to sleep, and trust him into the loving hands of God. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, but I couldn't see him go through endless fits until anticonvulsion drugs started to work, and take the risk of him being brain damaged.

So I said a final goodbye to my angel. I am heartbroken, and miss him so much. The tears haven't stopped yet, the hurt and sadness so great, and I haven't left the house since. I have to go and pick his ashes up this week, and then members of our church pastoral team are going to hold a service for him at home here. I hope this will ease the pain of losing a very very special dog, whom I am sure was sent from God to give me the most wondrous 11 years of my life.

God Bless you Benjie, and may God and the Angels take great care of you until we meet again soon. You gave me a reason to live, a reason to walk, a reason to get up in a morning and to carry on. And now my reason for living has gone. I love you Benjie, I will love you for ever, you will always be in my heart.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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