Benson Finley bounded into his new family’s life in mid-March 2020, just as lock down began and the pandemic dramatically altered daily living. The timing could not have been better, as Benson’s affection, energy and enthusiasm for the outdoors helped Mary and Bob appreciate the simple life in their country home. After spending their first two years of retirement traveling worldwide, this retired couple’s passion for exploration was redirected to learning about and loving two-year old Benson.
Although they had adopted three rescued goldens over the past ten years, Bob and Mary always adopted seniors, assuming a young pup would be too much to handle. Benson has proven to be the ray of sunshine to burst that mistaken belief. This loving pup easily endeared himself to every family member, friend, neighbor, delivery person, and dog he’s met. He’s even become best friends with Pedro, one of the family’s outdoor cats! On Thanksgiving Day, Benson was excited to watch the National Dog Show, barking every now and then to see if any of the dogs would play with him. Benson loves to play; so much so, that Mary and Bob are on the GRRMF waiting list to adopt a dog who needs a companion.
Benson is the definition of a Velcro golden, and he wants to not only be near, but preferably touching his humans. In Benson’s mind, 67 pounds is not too big to be a lap dog. His sweet and persistent nature has even worn down Bob’s resistance to dogs in his bed, and Mary’s objection to dogs on the sofa. Ever obedient, Benson is sure to stay on his blankie in both locations.
Benson is a bright boy and eager to please, so he’s learned a few tricks to complement the basic commands he’d already mastered. Mary was especially pleased to teach Benson to swim in the pool – the first of the family’s goldens to show off that retriever talent in a swimming pool. Diving off the edge to retrieve squeaky balls was a lifesaver for exercise in the heat of summer. Benson’s favorite activity is lizard patrol! He likes to patrol the shrubs along the front porch, the screened enclosure and potted plants by the pool, and the acres of woods around the house, always looking for lizards. For Benson, the thrill is in the chase, and he never actually catches or kills his lizard friends. Luckily, Benson quickly learned that the family’s and neighbor’s outdoor cats are not for chasing.
Mary and Bob had the opportunity to foster a rescue for the first time this past Fall, and Benson enjoyed having another dog in the family. He helped in training sessions with his foster sister Sophie: he’s more food motivated than she, but she liked to show she could do whatever Benson did. Bob and Mary continue to use the training and enrichment ideas with Benson to calm his anxious side.
Benson is quite the outdoorsman and athlete. He delights his humans with his zoomies, and they’re convinced he must have some greyhound genes for speed and agility. Benson loved hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains in August, even swimming in a stream. Bob and Mary discovered a sturdy bungee lead clipped to your belt, a collapsible bowl and extra water bottle were all they needed for Benson to accompany them on the trail. Of course, Benson was popular with everyone they met along the way. The family spent most of December in their vacation cottage in the North Carolina mountains, and Benson ran tirelessly up and down the hills of the property every day. Won’t he have fun when they spend the summer months there?
Although every pup is precious, Mary and Bob are delighted Benson’s found a place in their hearts and home.