This past September we lost our twelve and one-half year old Golden Retriever, Ben. Ben was not the first Golden to be part of our family. There were four before him and though each was a beautiful, unique individual for sure, they were all typical Goldens. Typical in the sense that they were what one expects in a Golden; playful, loving, loyal and once out of puppyhood, oh so eager to please. But this is called "Ben's Tree" so why am I telling you about Stanley, Oliver, Ernie and Henry? Well, you must know a bit about them to understand just how different our Ben was. Ben had every Golden trait for sure, but he had them ten-fold! He never stopped trying to get you (or any visitor to the house) to throw his hotdog toy - NEVER! When he put his paw on your knee for attention and you gently put it down, he never stopped putting it back up. We counted once-72 times- and WE gave up!! He never stopped badgering us to take him for a walk, even after we had just returned! Do you get an idea about who Ben was? Life poured out of him no matter what he was doing and sure, he could be the most annoying dog we ever encountered but when the sun went down and he had to come in, there was no dog who cuddled and loved like he did. He would hurl his big body into you with all the gusto he could muster and to hell with what got knocked over on the way - just as long as he landed in your arms or on your lap. We love and miss all our animals and feel so privileged to have had them in our lives. But like people, there are some who are "Bigger Than Life". That was our Ben.
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