Benjoli (AKA Sixer)
For the entirety of our son’s life, we had Pepper. We actually brought Pepper home five days before our son was born (we were supposed to have six weeks but he had other ideas!). Pepper was a great dog who had been left behind when his elderly owner went into a rehab facility. He had some abandonment issues but he eventually realized we weren’t leaving him behind and gave us many good years. Unfortunately, his best years were when our son was too young to remember. Good thing we have lots of videos and photos of the two of them! By the time our son was really old enough to play with Pepper, he had been diagnosed with Cushing’s and was definitely slowing down and getting pretty grumpy. We loved him still all the way to the bitter end in January 2015.
Our son was 9 at the time and started lobbying for a new dog within a few months but we knew we had a good bit of travel coming up in the early part of summer so we wanted to wait until we could devote the time needed for a new dog. So, in early summer we started searching in earnest, hoping to find a new family member to bring home shortly after our big trip to Costa Rica in July. We weren’t having too much luck and then a friend of mine who does rescue work pointed us in the direction of A Tail to Tell. There were a few dogs who caught our eye and we submitted an application right away. Lo and behold, we were contacted that afternoon by the lovely woman who was fostering two of the dogs we were interested in, Lisa. She just happened to be coming our way that weekend (we live about two hours away) and said she could bring both those dogs with her for us to meet. We had been told that Sixer was a bit standoffish at first and didn’t expect much (especially because my husband really wanted a little fluffy white dog!) but from the moment we met in the front yard because our son just couldn’t wait for the dogs to come inside, it was true love. Sixer crawled right in his lap and never wanted to be away from him for the whole visit. It was pretty much decided then and there! We went on our trip a week or so later and then stopped to pick him up on our way back from the airport. By then we had settled on his new name, Benjoli. The name is a play on the name of my husband and son’s favorite basketball player, Manu Ginobli.
Right from the start, he has completed our family again. He is such a smart, playful cuddle-bug. He gets so excited to see “his boy” every day and cuddles right up with him at bedtime. He travels with us and has even gone to New York City! He is definitely not a city dog but he handled it just fine. The poor boy just wanted some grass!!! He’s now been with us for six months and our son still says from time to time that he can’t believe we got him. And my husband and I look forward to watching the two of them grow up together.
The Paris Family