Remembering Benson: One Year On

Today marks a year since Benson. my beautiful pug sadly passed away. 28th February was the day we brought him home back in 2014, we didn't know much about him including how old he was (we thought he is most likely 7 or older) so we decided that the day we bought him home would be his birthday. 

Benson was my little baby, he was a mummy's boy, he even had a jumper that proved it. A part of me disappeared with him that day, he was my best friend, my little therapist and my cuddle buddy. The couple of years we had him were special because he helped me with my mental health and in all honesty I've never felt so lost and lonely, he gave me something to look forward to, someone to wake up to, someone who counted on me. I'm sure other animal lovers will agree with me when i say losing a pet feels like losing your best friend, a big part of you has gone - that's what it felt like for me, it was like I'm by myself, people will leave me at some point but why did it have to be my fur baby?

It seems cliche to say that losing a pet is like losing a member of the family. The fact is, though, it’s actually a gross understatement. Pets are unique and hold a special place in our hearts. The day I said goodbye (and my mum & sister too), it seemed to take a while to sink in until that night when everyone had gone to sleep, i remember thinking 'oh i haven't let Benson into the house after going to do his business' and when it had sunk in - i cried, it felt like i couldn't stop crying. I was going to bed without kissing my little boy goodnight and saying i love you.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that dogs are more important or more valuable than other people in our lives. But they do trump humans in many ways.

For one thing, they love us unconditionally. They don't judge you. And that’s more than I can say about many human companions. They get excited when you come through the door, simply just by handing them a treat, you could look like you've been through the bush backwards and they'd still think you looked a million dollars. 

In some ways, it’s harder than with people. At least with humans we can talk with each other, say goodbye. With animals, there’s no way to have that kind of interaction. And somehow, maybe that’s what makes us feel it more.

As self centred as this sounds, i wanted him to hold on a little longer but that was just cruel. He was losing control of his bowel and bladder, he couldn't keep his food down. He wasn't himself. No matter how many antibiotics he took, they just didn't help him. The only thing that comforted him was having cuddles with his mummy. But after yet another visit to the vet, checking him over and having a feel of his liver and stomach, they confirmed he had liver cancer and i felt that it wouldn't be fair on him to have hundreds of tests, antibiotics when he was looking at me as if he was telling me that it was his time to go. Teddy and Benson had a little moment together as if to say 'i'm going now, look after my mummy' - I'd like to think Teddy dreams of him as well as having little psychic conversations because who knows.

I miss cuddling up with him on the sofa, listening to his little snores during his little naps and snapping as many pictures as i can of him looking oh so cute. It comforts me in someway that i was with him, holding him in my arms - telling him how much i love him and what a wonderful dog he is. It feels as if i delete pictures of him or get rid of his cute jumpers, that it would erase my memories with him. I still have his name tag with me, that i like to carry with me.

There wouldn't be a day where i won't be thinking of him because he pretty much saved me, he comforted me during my bad mental health days. Benson was just perfect. He was my little bodyguard, seriously. He'd curl up on my lap or follow me to the other room, he was my shadow. Even out and about, he'd be with me making sure i was okay - he calmed me during my anxiety episodes, and if he saw me crying he'd try and lick away my tears. He was my little therapy dog in a way. Benson supported me more ways than anyone knows, when we adopted him that's when things started looking up

I hope in the future, i can give another dog a loving home like i did with Benson because having a house filled with dogs would be my idea of heaven. Thank you Benson for all those sweet, funny and special memories, i love you so much. You have left your paw print thoroughly glued to my heart.
The question I'm asking is why shouldn't we publicly mourn our pets? 

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
— Roger Caras

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