On Friday morning August 6th, 2021 Benni and I walked the trails in town with his pack: Guiness, Sky, Buddy, Tulley, Ari, Tommy, Buddy2, and the neighbors who are regular morning dog-walkers: Denise, the"Treat Lady", Heather, "Treat Lady #2", Larry, Susanne, Cindi, Bill.
Benni was slow, (see previous posts about his condition: degenerative myelopathy) but kept pace with the pack. Back home he was settled for a long nap as is his habit. I had errands to do in town and got back around 2pm. I took him out to pee and he was a bit wobbly. When Leon got home around 3:30pm Benni stumbled in the driveway when he went out to greet his Daddy.
I said to Leon, "Maybe he's a bit stiff from napping all day." We both thought that was the case and rubbed Benni's back thighs. But Benni was having some difficulties. A short while later Benni fell down while eating his dinner. His hind legs just gave out. And his 110 pounds of weight very likely caused physical injury to his leg(s) because when we tried to get him up he whimpered in pain. (Up until that point he hadn't showed any signs of pain. Pain is generally not a symptom of degenerative myelopathy.)
We called the Vet immediately and was given an appointment for the next morning, Saturday, August 7th.
It was then that I posted a request for a doggie wheelchair on "Nextdoor" - a neighborhood social media platform. We were thinking that Benni might be able to get around with a device but by later Friday night that possibility seemed very unrealistic.
We could barely get Benni out to pee before bedtime and we arranged a number of old towels on and around his bed in anticipation of bowel or bladder accidents. He had been pooping in his sleep for several weeks and often times during the day he would head toward his doggie door but not quite make it. It seemed that my life was revolving around poop.
Somehow, around 2:00am Benni got himself up and came over to my side of the bed - something he might do in the morning when we were waking up, but never did in the wee hours. It broke my heart. I gave him some love and rubs and scratches on his head and neck and he went to lay down on the floor.
Leon and I were awake at 4:00am and I said, "It's about time for Benni to poop." (he had been unable to control his bowels for several weeks and he seemed to have to go between 4:00 and 5:00am). We moved the big guy onto a towel and sure enough, there was soon a nice solid (thank goodness) turd to dispose of.
A bit later Saturday morning Leon and I got Benni into the car. The two of us could barely lift his 110 pounds of dead weight. We drove the 35 miles to the Vet.
The vet assistants and Dr. D. attended us as soon as we arrived. We knew in our hearts what the outcome would be. The vet confirmed that dogs at this stage of the disease would often injure themselves by falling and then become unable to get around. She gently and compassionately suggested that Benni was telling us that he was no longer physically able to be either independent or to be cared for.
Benni was still alert, aware. And this fact made our decision all the ore difficult. He was still, as always, ready for a snack. The vet assistant gave him some treats and he soon polished off the entire contents of the packet.
The vet let us spend some time alone with Benni - Leon, Benni and Frank. We cried and told him goodbye. We hugged him and petted him and hugged him some more.
The vet and assistant returned to the room and shaved a spot on his leg for the IV. Benni was quiet, peaceful, calm as he awaited the injections. It was over so quickly, so finally, so irretrievably. Leon and I sobbed.
When we returned home, the post about the wheelchair became Benni's obituary of sorts. And the comments of our friends and neighbors on "Nextdoor" are perhaps the best memorial to our beloved Benedict - a name that means "blessed" or "blessing". Benni was probably the only dog in the neighborhood that regularly walked without a leash most of the time. So many neighbors knew him by name.
ME: Doggie wheelchair Just wondering if anyone has a doggie wheelchair that. will fit a 100-pound dog. Our Benni just took a turn for the worse and we are barely able to get him up. Concerned that we won't be able to get him moving to do his business. We have an appointment with the vet in the morning.
Posted in: Ask a Neighbor
Awwww! Poor Bennie. Did you look on line? Also ask Gary T if he could build you something he loves that kind of challenge
Keep us posted.💕🐕🙏
Use a towel under his chest as a sling! Lift him up and you basically have to haul him around. Had to do it for my Riley, they will go to the bathroom 💕💕💕I am so sorry
Sure hope the vet can do him some good😕 Give Benni our best 🥰
I don't but I will send Bennie happy puppy thoughts so he feels better
Hope Bennie and you have a peaceful night and that the vet can help. Sending love and blessings 💕🐶💕💞🐾
I have a lift with handles, easier than a towel and same idea. Had to use it on Gracie. Also try Marketplace on FB and check on the Santa Fe BB and ask. Hugs to Benni and his dads. Peace to you both.
ME: Perhaps we could borrow that tomorrow morning in order to get him into the car to the vet. We used a blanket tonight to take him out to P. It was not easy. He doesn’t want to put any weight on his hind legs and is reluctant to move his front legs as well. We’re thinking that we may have to decide to put him down tomorrow at the vet. The thing is that his mind is alert and he still enjoys eating and his treats. But there’s no way we can even move him easily let alone taking him out to do business.
another thought - my sister's dog wasn't moving, and was stressing (he's a 12 yr old lab), and she was thinking that they were close to the end, and she got some CBD treats to try, and he's a changed pup. He stopped stressing, and she is able to take him out again. Just thought I'd share. Hugs to all of you 💕
what time in the morning are you going? I have the lift right here. Just give me a call and I’ll run it over.
Cindy’s lift sounds like one of the harnesses I saw that allows you to support the dog’s weight. Hope it will help with carrying Benni. Bill & I have an appt. in Albuquerque tomorrow AM, so we won’t be in town to help but send love & are keeping you in our thoughts. I did read that to get a large dog in the car, with paralyzed or painful limbs, they recommend you put the pet’s front paws on the seat, then help lift the rear end, so they are able to get up more easily. I suspect you & Leon have tried a few things & hope for ease tomorrow. Maybe a fire dept. volunteer or another neighbor could help you with the lifting? (And the dog wheelchair is a good idea - stories we’ve seen are heart-warming, if mobility is the main problem.)💕🐾
ME: Cyndi G. Thanks for your concern. One of our neighbors offered to help and the vet office said they would help when we arrive. We are prepared for letting him go after the difficult night we’ve all had. Thanks again.
ME: Elizabeth. We will talk to the vet about that. Thanks
I'm so sorry, Frank 💔 Lots of love to Benni💗
I have a sling that I used on my 100 pound dog. Give me a call...
ME:Thank you for the kind offer. I think will be able to get him into the car this morning. I’m not optimistic about his return. Thanks
thinking of you.
I have a wheelchair that I made for my Ashen, but could never get him to use. He was about 60 pounds, so I don't know if it will fit, but you are welcome to it. If it doesn't fit, my offer stands for anyone with that size dog.
ME:Thank you for the kind offer. I think he is beyond the point where a wheelchair would help.
Frank so sorry. Don’t have any doggie handicapped equipment.
ME: Thank you all for your kind words support and offers to help. I think he is beyond the point where a wheelchair will be of any help. We will see after consulting with the vet this morning. Thanks again.
Sorry he's having a hard time. Hope things go well for him and you. ❤
Frank and Leon, I’m so sorry to hear that Benni is struggling. He’s such a sweet and kind guy. My heart is with all of you. 💗
Thoughts are with you and your faithful sidekick. The loss of his companionship will seem unbearable at first but then remember the wonderful life he enjoyed because of you.
What’s the latest on Benni?
ME: We said goodbye to Benni this morning. It was a difficult decision but the vet confirmed that he no longer had control of his body. Thanks for your concern. We miss him so much.
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Of course you will be missing your Benni, but it sounds like you made the only choice possible.
Making the decision is so hard to do but watching them suffer is worse. So for those of us who love our furry friends so much make the difficult choice. He will be missed but he was truly loved. So sorry for your loss of your dear friend Benni. Bill, Melody, Hooper and Chico
So very sorry, Frank and Leon. It’s just hard to say goodbye to our furry family members.💝
My heart goes out to you and Leon. Even though we know it is the right and best choice for the baby we love, having to put them down is hard and our heart still hurts. May Benni be running and playing like a puppy in heaven
So sorry guys. He had a great life with you all. His spirit is running free🌈
So sorry for this loss.
Oh dear. Benni was such a good boy. Really sorry to hear this. Hope you 2 are okay.
So sorry for your loss.
Dear Frank and Leon, I know your pain but I also know that you made the right decision for Benni. He's running around in doggie heaven right now and thanking you two for giving him a wonderful, loving life here on earth. Bless his soul. diane
ME: Thank You All. To our wonderful neighbors in Cochiti Lake: So many of you have expressed your condolences and thoughtfulness after an inquiry about a doggie wheel chair became a notice of our Benni’s passing. We were amazed at the number of messages we received on Nextdoor and text/email messages over the past two days. We are truly grateful for all of your support. Please forgive us for not thanking each of you individually or in person as we pass you in the street or mail room. I have never been good at remembering names or connecting names to the faces they belong to; and this is more true as I get older. It is often embarrassing not to be able to greet a neighbor by name, so please do not be offended if I don’t thank you personally for your kindnesses. (I would love if we all wore name-tags when walking around town!) All of your notes and messages during this sad event has demonstrated how special are the folks who live in Cochiti Lake. We are grateful for and appreciative of your friendship and heartfelt words. Thank you all.
Love you guys 😍
Condolences on your loss of a beloved family member. Benni was so lucky to have such loving parents. 💕
Our deepest condolences over the loss of your Benni. May you both know only peace and no further grief all the rest of your days.
I am so sorry that Benni is gone. He sure was such a sweet dog and will be truly missed.
Frank and Leon so sorry to hear of the passing of Benni. Our dogs are our family members and bets friends and companions.
Frank and Leon...I am so sorry to read about Bennie. These dogs are definitely family, and it is so hard to lose them.
I'm sad to learn of this. He had a kind ,warm spirit. He will be missed. He had loving parents
Frank and Leon - Benni will truly be missed by all of us who were blessed to know him. His was a very gentle spirit - you knew when you met him that he was deeply loved. He was the only black dog that my Daisy would have anything to do with! May you find comfort in your memories of him. Peace to you.
You can see Benni's Blog here: http://benedictbentley.blogspot.com/