Went to the Bridge on 3rd May 2007

Several weeks have now passed since Dear Old Ben passed away so suddenly and the memories and pain of losing him have not diminished. When he came he was a confused boy. Well, we would be too if we had had to leave our home of more than 11years and pass briefly through several other homes, where, although every possible care was given, it must have been strange to him and then here was yet another one. He was reluctant to eat at first but some chicken and liver finally tempted him and soon he became a normal retriever and ate everything in sight!! He quite liked a drop of Guiness too! He, obviously, was not used to going for walks and, whilst he was delighted to have his lead put on to go out, he must have been taken everywhere by car, which he loved. It took a long time for him to come around to the idea of walking from home to the nearby parks. He used to stop suddenly every few yards and look at me as if I was quite mad for leaving the car on the driveway but, once we made it to the park, he was a happy boy again. But Ben was a real mischief boy - any open door had to be investigated immediately. He always knew if the pantry door had not been firmly shut and would either come out with a couple of empty plastic carrier bags, proudly showing off his prize, or would try to get his nose into the large bag of dog food. Towels and other clothes were also a real favourite plus my slippers but he was a very bright boy and fetched them back instantly when told. I often thought he would have made a great dog for the disabled. In the garden he liked to steal empty plant pots but his favourite was the sweeping brush and he would be undeterred, no matter how many obstacles he bumped into, like.dustbins or the linepost, but he did seem somewhat surprised when he fell backwards into the pond one day whilst dragging the brush around! For the first few weeks he slept through the night without a murmur but, as he realised that this was home now, he decided he would let us know when it was time to get up - 7.30am was the latest so no alarm clock was required and a lie in was not an option! He would not want to go out but he was awake and therefore we should be! I think he must have lived in a flat or bungalow before as he seemed confused by us disappearing upstairs to bed. Ben was the 4th Goldie that has shared our lives over the last 25 years. They have all been wonderful, all had typical retriever ways and yet all been uniquely different. I accepted that in adopting a golden oldie that the time shared would be limited but had hoped that it would be much longer than turned out to be the case especially as he had generally seemed to be quite fit and active. He will be remembered always with a smile, He was fun to have around and responded to the love we gave by being very loving in return. I wish I had more pictures of him but it is easy to see what a fab.boy he was. To Ben - we have been missing you so-oo much but hope that you have made some new friends at Rainbow Bridge . Love always from Pam, Gavin & Zoe.

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2006 Irish Retriever Rescue UK