- Saturday, 27 December 2014 -

A Dog isn't just for Christmas

Hello my lovelies and a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to you all! As the final chapter of 2014 draws to a close, a new phase of our lives is poised patiently on the horizon, with the expression "a new year, a new me" ringing enthusiastically in our ears. With the recent influx of food and presents, drinking and general merriment, it can be easy to lose sight of all that you truly hold near and dear. Ever since that fateful first viewing of Lady and the Tramp, I've lost count the amount of times I've imagined myself as Darling, unboxing a little bundle of joy underneath the Christmas tree only to be met with lashings of wet licks and kisses. And I suppose it is quite the coincidence that my Ben should pose a striking resemblance to Lady...

However, fast forward a few years and I'm a little older but none the wiser. Still under the pretence that life is like a Disney film, I am visiting my dad's house one weekend and we decide to go for a walk. The year is 2004, Christmas is just around the corner and the rain is beating down fast and heavy. My dad decides to pay an impromptu visit to a nearby neighbours and I breathe in my surroundings like a toxic gas. All I remember is that the house is small and that those dwelling inside are loud. The garden is strewn with derelict toys and miscellaneous car parts and that's when I see him: the image etched in my mind. It's still raining and cast in the centre of the garden is a handsome yet uncaring Cocker Spaniel, looking longingly at me with his big brown eyes. His neanderthal owners have tied him to an arbitrary pole pierced from the ground.

Completely consumed by what the future held for that little dog, I escaped further into myself, bewildered and quizzical as to why let an animal - a wonderful companion of comfort and care - into your life, if you're unwilling to make the commitment to this creature? After all, you don't rely on the animal, it relies on YOU. As an only child, my pets had always appeared higher on the pedestal, they were my friends (whom I, of course firmly believed I could talk to). What happens next is what I like to call 'one of my dad's more redeeming moments' - because leaving a family to make a new one can leave a nasty taste in a child's mouth. Christmas had flown by in a flurry with the new school year imminent, until one evening I arrived home only to be greeted by a large kennel in our driveway.

Tentatively I unlocked the kennel door and out steps a shivering shell of a dog, petrified of its previous fate to be repeated with new owners. From that moment on, we showered Ben with all the love and attention you would unto a new sibling - he was part of the family and even to this day I cannot fathom how my father rescued that little dog, as a man of very few words and even fewer emotions, I can't even comprehend how he knew that I was breaking my heart over Ben, desperate to see him go to a better home, yet unknowing that it would be mine he would be welcomed in to! This Christmas is Ben's 10th year sprawled contently in front of the fire, and I hope your furry friends spend theirs the same!

  1. What a lovely story, and a lucky and beautiful doggy! I've always felt a better bond with animals than (most) humans, and I'm very pleased your Dad did what he did so that you could give Ben the life he deserves! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas x

  2. My heart just melted :( Such a beautiful story and I'm so glad Ben found a wonderful home! I can't bear to see animals not being looked after properly!

  3. I have always had the dream of opening a box with a little pup inside with a big red bow around it's neck - just like on Lady & the Tramp!
    Unfortunately,my parents house isn't big enough for anymore of us,so a dog has always been out of the question, I refused to let a dog be brought into a home where, yes it would be treated like a prince/princess, but just wouldn't have the room it needed. I cannot wait to get my own place,become secure in my life, and bring a little treasure into my life to be my best friend and companion! I just wish lots of others would be as selfless as myself and many others.
    Ben is a beautiful pup, you are extremely lucky :) as is he for having you!

  4. Aww he's such a lovely dog, I couldn't really imagine my life now without my dog Molly around :)


  5. What a lovely story. I've heard of far too many dogs being abandoned this year! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

  6. Aww what a lovely post! Looks like you've changed Ben's life for the better, what a perfect Christmas gift :) he looks so lovely - those ears are just adorable! xx


  7. This is a lovely story! Speaking as someone else who's not always the easiest relationship with their dad it's so nice when they genuinely surprise you and do something special like that! X

  8. We got our dog around this time last year, and this is his first Christmas with us! :) He is also a cocker spaniel, and I love him to bits. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to know that he had once been in Ben's situation, but luckily we got our dog as a puppy from a loving family who already kept cocker spaniels.
    However, Ben's story is a lovely and touching one <3 Ben is lucky to have you as an owner :) He is also adorable!

    Lucy x

  9. Oh, that was such a lovely story to read! It saddens me when people don't look after their pets properly. Too many people don't think about the commitment before buying one!

  10. Gorgeous! My heart breaks at the tiniest hint of an unhappy pooch. In another life I'd be in a cottage in the middle of a couple of acres filled with all the pups that weren't wanted or weren't loved enough.

    Lucky Ben! He looks very content.
    M x