9.13.2011

Benya/Bobo

Last Monday night, in the middle of the night, Benya died. It was unexpected, and we have every reason to believe that it was quick and not agonizing.

Tummy time with Benya, 12-18-08We are pretty devastated. Benya was only four, and such a beloved, integral part of our family. We knew that big dogs have shorter lifespans, but we felt certain we had years ahead with Bobo. We've reflected on the extent to which the Bobo had to take a backseat after Maybelle came along. I guess this is what always happens when a child enters the family, but we both feel less than ideal about it. Biffle did some research and believes that Benya died from an adrenal gland issue that we might have caught if we'd been more attentive. She'd been increasingly inactive, but we just hadn't really hadn't taken the time to notice. The Bobo still seemed to take it all in stride.

Hanging out with BenyaBenya had many talents: tolerance, a good attitude, and ferocity when needed. But let's talk about the Bobo's truly astonishing talent: she was the perfect dog for a home with a little kid. This was a talent that we didn't know about when we got her, because she was a year old before we had Maybelle. It turns out, though, that she had outstanding kid instincts. Protective instincts? Absolutely. But also caretaking instincts. When Maybelle was little, she'd try to feed Benya from her high chair. Benya wanted the food, but couldn't successfully get it out of Maybelle's offering fingers because she wouldn't use her teeth, and her lips were too floppy. She tried multiple times to use her lips to pry the piece of toast or Veggie Booty out of Maybelle's hands, but she couldn't do it, so I finally took it and put it in her mouth myself. Just last week, Maybelle tried to give Benya a Milkbone, but despite how much she desperately wanted the Milkbone, Benya wouldn't take it from her hands.

That's not due to any training we offered Benya. That was her own choice.

Walking Benya, front viewShe's been a central, and safe, part of Maybelle's life from the beginning. Bobo was Maybelle's first spoken word. She has offered every kind of unintentional abuse to Benya's body: falling on her, sitting on her, climbing up by pulling her fur, touching and identifying her eyes and nose and teeth. Bobo didn't mind. In recent months Maybelle decided that when we went for a walk, she was the one who'd get to hold Benya's leash. This also meant that when Maybelle stopped, she wanted Benya to stop, and when she started walking again, Benya was supposed to come along. Benya picked up on these requirements almost immediately and was an incredibly good sport.

Biffle has pointed out that due to a dog's short life span, a dog person is going to get to know a lot of dogs. All of them are special, but some of them are special-er than others. Bobo was certainly in that category.

13 comments:

Erica said...

Big hugs from me and doggie kisses from Kai. It sounds like you had 4 great years with Benya.

micahblaise said...

oh nooo! what a tragic loss, alison. i'm so sorry to hear it. she was a special creature indeed.

lifeversiontwo said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry. Bobo certainly sounds like a wonderful companion, whom I'm sure will be sorely missed, but lovingly remembered.

The Mom said...

RIP, a very much loved Bobo! You will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved you. I loved how good you were to Maybelle.

sarahmartin said...

I'm so sorry, you guys. My deepest condolences.

krlr said...

I'm so sorry. I know how big a part those pups play in our lives. May she rest in peace.

Elizabeth said...

I am so sorry to hear of that unexpected loss -- take care.

Danielle said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this. Having seen Benya at carpool, I know what an integral part "the Bobo" played in your family. So, so sorry. Hugs to you all.

allisondcarr said...

as a new dog owner, this is, like, my worst fear. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.

Cate Bush said...

Oh the Bobo. I'm so sad she's gone. Even though I often told her "bye bye" she was the sweetest dog. I'll miss feeling her press into my leg at every opportunity :).

hughtube said...

I am so sorry to hear about Bobo. What a sad loss.

Erica said...

Oh no! I am so sorry for you all and for Maybelle especially -- what a sad loss for the whole family.

starrlife said...

Oh my heart felt condolences to you whole family.....She sounds adorable and I'm sure I know how you feel on all levels. A beloved and loyal pets loss is immeasurable since the gifts they offer are so unique and often under appreciated by outsiders. Hugs.