Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here Comes Trouble

Those of you who have been reading this blog (and Frank's) for a while know all about Benny and his crazy but endearing antics. Something drives a Jack Russell Terror like few other breeds of dog. He has a powerful curiosity and an uncontrollable need to chase. Combine this with tireless tenacity the inability to reason about the possibility of danger, and you have a dog who can get himself into trouble if the wrong circumstances present themselves.

For example, if a squirrel were to taunt him by running onto the street, Benny would take off chasing it and find himself in the middle of the road before you could even offer a warning "No!" In fact, your voice wouldn't even touch his ears while he's in pursuit. He tunes out everything except the object of the chase.

Many actions and activities evoke the same response - such as snow shoveling, weed pulling, car washing (see yesterday's photo) and fish swimming, as the video below will show you. It was taken in 2009 at this time of the year, when salmon are making their way upstream to Lake Ontario. I've posted it before, but it illustrates how Benny reacts to a perceived challenge.

If you receive this via email, you'll need to tune into my blog in order to see the video.

Need another example of his tenacity? One day last month, when we were up at the cottage, Frank decided to indulge in a rainy day of fishing. Sitting in a boat in the rain is not my idea of fun, so I stayed behind with Benny who didn't quite get the idea that he was not invited along for the ride.

Benny is impossible on a boat. He runs from end to end, jumping over legs and laps biting at rods as he hops from one end to the other. He leans far over the edge trying to lick the waves and has jumped out a couple of times trying to capture the boat's wake. He's not fun and not welcome on the boat but that doesn't stop him from trying. These photos were taken through the cottage window.

Sneaking aboard
While Frank was busy preparing to leave for a few hours, Benny decided to make his way into the boat hoping he wouldn't notice.

benny out you go
Of course, Frank did notice and tossed him off onto the dock before departure.

benny in the boat
Frank was a few seconds into his departure when he realized that Benny had snuck back into the vessel. I watched from the cottage, quite amused. Benny was certain that he'd get away with it. Frank had to circle around to return to the dock.

Benny NOW
When he did, he was quite miffed at Benny, and he knew it. There was no mistaking the seriousness of Frank's voice when he yelled "Get out!" and Benny finally responded by obliging.

Something demanded Benny's attention one day during that same cottage visit which could have turned out deadly.

Frank and I were standing around on the dock with cameras in hand, enjoying the many stages of the sunset. Benny, who is a good swimmer, was in and out of the water, as he often is but he kept trying to approach something in the water, right between the rocky shore and the edge of the dock. It might have been a floating pine cone, a small fish or the tip of a plant growing upwards and teasing him by waving in the gentle current. Whatever it was, it was important to Benny and it kept him busy while we focused our attention on the sunset.

Please enjoy it with me, before I go on with the story.

The sky was turning to gold.

I liked the dramatic appearance of this lone tree against the colourful sky.

A fisherman heads home at the end of the day.

After a short while we heard a soft whimper coming from... somewhere.

"Where's Ben?"

We both made a quick scan of the lake and shoreline and came up empty. More whimpers. We quickly realized that he had somehow gotten himself under the dock, and that he would be almost completely submerged in water. We envisioned him treading water frantically, his nose finding a small pocket of air. We also knew that he plays so hard, he'd have already exhausted himself and could quickly lose the strength he needed to keep his nose above the surface. The space was too tight for either of us to fit.

We each leaned over an edge of the dock and put our arms into the water. At first it was to see if we could reach him and pull him out and when that proved impossible, we took to splashing in the water to try to entice him. In order for Benny to swim out from under the dock, he'd have to go underwater first and he just wasn't getting that idea. He was going to need to be rescued.

Finally, Frank caught sight of him by peering into the space at just the right angle. He wasn't treading water. He had found a small ledge which allowed him enough room to rest his front paws, and his head was more or less comfortably above water. Sure enough, when I looked down between the boards of the dock, I could see Benny's big eyes staring back at me, and the tips of his little paws resting on a board, keeping him afloat. He continued to whimper but I'll bet his little tail was wagging beneath the surface of the water.

By now, Frank was in the boathouse looking for a tool with which to rescue that crazy little pooch. He returned with a pick axe and before another minute went by, one of the boards was lifted from the dock and a bedraggled little Benny appeared. I lifted him out and after a few licks and tail wags, he was right back in the water in pursuit of whatever it was that got him into trouble in the first place.

benny swimming to trouble

THAT's when his life was actually in danger. It took great effort on both our parts not to strangle the tenacious, little beastie.

Very grateful that all turned out well, we watched the last of the sunset take shape.


ADRIAN said...

A very entertaining post.
You have one I have two......double trouble.
They are fun.........most of the time.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh baby dog.....sheesh!!!! You know our beagle Penny is almost exactly the same...I blogged her spider adventure today, actually....
thanks for sharing such a good story and photos!

Out on the prairie said...

When I used to go to horse shows a lot of owners had Jack Russels so I thought I would like one also, until I heard all the stories and was told they take lots of patience, more than other dogs.I have a life vest for mine and it has a handle on the back to make it easier to pull her out of the water.

DJan said...

You couldn't help but love Benny, but he is a handful! As cute as they come, and as rambunctious as they come as well. Love the story, the pictures, and glad he's safe! How can I love a doggie I've never met? I do! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness - what a fright! And what an obstinate and tenacious dog!

Tabor said...

I know that I would not have the patience to have this species of dogs. They are wonderful but exhausting entertainment.

Slamdunk said...

Funny video Hilary.

I think Benny needs his own fishing license to best pursue his hobby.

ellen abbott said...

oh that crazy little Benny. what a dog. loved the shot of Frank with his arm out ordering Benny out of the boat. no words needed.

Lisa said...

Hilary I loved the video.Benny is just too sweet. I have no idea what we would all do with out our pets .
Great story and photos.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Benny is a beast.....of a darling dog. He would definately be too much dog for me..I prefer mine a little more sedate. I have great fondness for little dogs though. They are so cute and vivacious.

Great story, cute video and of course fabulous photos. Oma Linda

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, Benny, you endearing little goof! I fully get how life-threatening that situation turned for him..... after you rescued him!
Love all the photos, but the pictures of Benny trying to sneak onto the boat totally cracked me up!

Friko said...


Labradors get into trouble too but there's more to get hold of.

Gail Dixon said...

Oh, my! I've always loved JR's and their feisty personalities. I don't know if I'd have the energy to keep up with one these days. Enjoyed the story so much. I'm so glad it had a happy ending. :)

Naqvee said...

haha.. i saw this video of your along with Benny and the water. my dog used to do same when we used to put a big container kinda full of water he thought he was swimming with his half body and would take out all the water on the floor. Lovely cuute dog. I wish I could have my dog for once again. but things have changed. :(

Brian Miller said...

oh wow...the patience of the gods to children for

Eddy said...

Benny is my hero.

Ruth Hiebert said...

He sure keeps you pin your toes.

TexWisGirl said...

i just love this little pup, and i know you obviously do!!! thank goodness you could save him (from himself!)

ds said...

Oh, that Benny! He will keep you busy. Glad he is okay however (most dogs would have given up and gone to nap; you gotta admire B's tenacity. I do). I think we're all in love with him, a little bit.
Those are glorious sunsets.
Thank you.

Dianne said...

I know I've said this before but it always amuses me to mention how much Benny's movement remind me of my cats. He has the paw up and then pounce move down pat!

I love that loon :)
and I'm glad he was OK after his adventure

frank's body language in the boat was so clear I could almost hear him saying NO

hugs to all
with an extra one for Benny :)

Daryl said...

You tell a good story ... Benny is one lucky imp

abb said...

Glad he's OK! And that last photo is superb.

Suldog said...

"... a Jack Russell Terror..."

Can't much argue with your terminology! He's a handful, but certainly an entertaining one.

messymimi said...

My #2 Son would have made a great Jack Russel Terror...uh, um, Terrier.;)

photowannabe said...

Never a dull moment with Benny around. He certainly is a character. I get exhausted just reading about his "adventures".
What an amazing sunset you captured. I would love to see skies like that here.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely LOVE your Benny. I'd be in stitches watching him all the time. :-)

Unknown said...

That is a cute video, a great story, and the sunset was GLORIOUS!!! Loved this post!

Zuzana said...

Dear Hilary, having an evening on my own (again and still for another 5 days), the only good thing I can find with this involuntary solitude is that now I can spend some time blogging again.;)
I truly enjoyed the tale of Benny and his escapades, even got a bit nervous along the way, but all turned out well.:) He is a resilient little creature and that clip made me smile and warmed my heart, as I stroked Sammy lying next to me. Pets surely make life special.:)
Beautiful images as always.;)

Maggie May said...

Brilliant photos, as always.

Oh my goodness. That was a near thing. You wouldn't think a romp in the water would end that way. Stuck under the ramp.

Benny chasing the fish made me wonder what he'd do to my rabbits! Bet I can guess.
Does he ever kill anything?
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Anonymous said...

Oh what a dog!! He sure keeps y'all busy but what a cutie. I need some of his tenacity!

Travis Erwin said...

I used the fight that battle with my Chesapeake Bay retriever. Ever try to cast with a retriever that wants to fetch everything you toss out the boat?

Reena said...

LOL.... you most certainly have your hands full with that little guy! Good thing he is cute!

Liz Mays said...

I'm glad he was ok on that last little misadventure, but I'm shocked that he got right back in again!

Anyes said...

I'd say he knows how to keep your on your toes ;-)
Superbe photography Hilary

Mental P Mama said...

Just love him!! What was it? A snapping turtle??

Lynne with an e said...

Glad to hear the happy and comical ending to another nerve-wracking episode of Life With the Benster! I wasn't able to view the video due to some glitch but I can well imagine. On second thought, no, I probably can't.

Red said...

Great story . Great dog. I have a jack russel that lives behind me. I always feel as if I am being watched because Max very seldom barks at me. Max barks at everything else.

Birdie said...

Benny posts are always my favourites. Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

What a troublemaker! But a cute one... I get my JRT fixes by reading your posts so I don't have to go out and adopt one of my own. (That would definitely be a problem!)

Cloudia said...

this is truly a post I would like to re-read many times!

Your dear laughs on the video, Benny's Benny-ness, the boat, those skies! I feel I have had a full day in a beautiful place and this post will stay with me...
just enjoyed it so much

Warm Aloha from Honolulu;

Comfort Spiral

/ )

> < } } ( ° >

Anonymous said...

phweee ~ i was so worried as i read and just cracked up when 'when his life was actually in danger'

great sunset shots :)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I am thinking you didn't call him a tenacious little beast while pulling him out.

Would like to nominate my mom's blog Old?Who?Me? for Post of the Week.

this week was written by my 19 year old son. Trying to figure out if he writes that well, how come he didn't have such great grades in English! Perhaps a focus problem?

Bob Bushell said...

Isn't Benny a little squirt, he make me laught, ha ha ha. The golden sunset is remarkable, you caught it properly.

Indrani said...

Great captures. The skies are gorgeous.

lime said...

oh my goodness. that benny really is a scamp isn't he? i'm glad things turned out ok and he was safely back on shore with you and frank. what glorious shots of the sunset.

CiCi said...

Benny has a mind of his own, and only has you and Frank for backup when necessary. Great video. And the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Linda said...

Hilary, that video of Benny and the fish is so funny. So he thinks he can fish now?

He and his antics are adorable, but I can understand how frustrating his mischief making can be, and it must try your (and Frank's) patience to the limit sometimes.

I am glad you were able to rescue him, and shame on him for going back in for more!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Poor little hyper pooch!!! I'm so happy it turned out well for your little Benny.

Girl, I'm simply in awe of your glorious sunset pics!!!

God bless ya and have a wonderful weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Dave said...

In that video Hilary it looked like the fish was playing with Benny. Do you think? - Dave

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

You had me on the edge of my seat! :) You and Frank need to teach Benny to swim underwater. Will he dive to fetch something that you've thrown into the lake? Loved the sunset photos. That first one was my favorite.

Steve Gravano said...

Jack Russells will be Jack Russells. It's always fun to read about his antics.
Could be a terror instead of Terrier.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Benny reminds me of Joy sometimes! They're entertaining and mischevious little creatures. Great post, Hilary.

SandyCarlson said...

That was a cliffhanger! Oh, Benny! I am glad you are smart and that you made it!

I loved the video and the photos.

Hilary said...

* Thanks, Adrian. Double trouble trumps one Jack Russell Terrorist, for sure. They are an endless supply of fun, though. :)

* Thanks kindly, Gary. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed your Penny's adventure as well. :)

* Steve, they have a lot of energy and take a lot of patience and willingness to walk them often, and to find other energy-burners like chasing balloons, bubbles or snowballs. That handle thing sounds like a good idea. :)

* Djan, that's such a sweet sentiment. Dogs make themselves quite easy to love. I'm glad that Benny has captured your heart. :)

* You said it, LadyFi. He's all that and more. I'm glad you enjoyed him. :)

* Tabor, I could never imagine having a pet like Benny, either. Now, I can't imagine not having him. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks, Slamdunk. I think you might be right. But he's STILL not getting into the boat with us. ;)

* Thank you, Ellen. I was quite delighted with that shot. It captured a classic Frank/Benny moment. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks so much, Lisa. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. And yes, I feel very lucky to be sharing my life with a few creatures. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks very much, Oma Linda. Dogs like Benny are not for the faint of heart but they sure are a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. :)

* Thanks, Baggie. You defined Benny well with your opening sentence. He's a tremendous goof and totally endearing. Worth every minute of aggravation. I'm pleased taht you got a good laugh out of the story. :)

* Friko, that's true but it's easier to get your hands around a JRT's throat. ;)

* Thanks very much, Gail. I understand how you feel. I don't think we have enough energy either but what choice do we have? ;)

* Naqvee, I'm guessing that you're referring to one of the other videos on my YouTube page, where Benny is emptying the bucket of water, one paw at a time. He did that so that it would be light enough to carry it away. He's a bit nuts like that. ;) I'm sorry you're missing your dog and hoping circumstances will improve for you soon. Thanks for your visit. :)

* Brian, toddlers and terriers. There's not much difference between them. ;)

* Thanks, Eddy. He's equal parts of hero and nemissis. ;)

* Ruth, that's true. On my toes and sometimes flat on my butt. ;)

* Thanks, Tex. He's a going concern and yes, I'm quite crazy about him. Thanks always for your kind comments. :)

* DS, thanks so much. One of our fears is that Benny would succumb to utter exhaustion before he would consider stopping whatever activity catches his fancy. He's a machine, that boy. I'm glad you enjoy him and I'm always happy to see you stop by. :)

* Dianne, Frank and I have often said that he has some cat in him. He has many cat-like qualities, and interestingly, one of my cats - the one that engages him in play (and faux rage) has a few dog-like qualities. They're quite the interesting duo. And with Benny's feline-esque qualities in mind, I'd say he now has seven lives left. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I will indeed pass your hugs along to Benny and Frank and I thank you for the one destined for my own self. Thanks always for the visit, Di. Hugs right back at you. :)

* Thank you, Daryl. Much appreciated. He's an imp, alright. :)

* Thanks very much, Annie. I'm glad you think so. :)

* Jim, he's a few handfuls but who's counting? Thanks for the visit. :)

* MessyMimi, most kids have a bit of terrier in them. ;)

* Thanks so much, Sue. He's a going concern for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about him and seeing the sunset. Your kind comments always make me smile. :)

* Di, he's certainly entertainment for many. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

* Thanks so much, Susan. Very much appreciated. :)

Hilary said...

* Zuzana, thanks very much. I'm sorry you're spending time alone when you'd rather not be, but I'm glad you have something enjoyable like blogging to take up your time. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself so much, overall. Thanks always for the visit. :)

* Thanks, Maggie May. Good question about the rabbits. I've never seen Benny go after rabbits and certainly, he's had squirrels (the usual object of his chases), baby raccoons and kittens in his immediate presence. When an animal is introduced to him as friend (or "pack," if you will) he's very gentile and playful with them. He's crazy about kittens and is no more rough than delivering gentle nips at their ears or scruff. I suspect it would be the same with rabbits, if they're introduced as part of the pack. He does bark at and chase squirrels from the yard and on a couple of occasions, he's caught them. Both times, he mouthed them gently and then let them go. He's all about the chase and so far, nothing worse. I hope it stays that way. Thanks always for stopping by and for the very kind words. :)

* Barbara, we could all use some of that. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Travis, you can relate. Thankfully, Benny only barks at the lure as it gets cast out into the lake. That's from the dock though. From the boat is another story. He's NOT welcome to join us any longer. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Reena, his cuteness is what keeps us from killing him. ;)

* Blueviolet, nothing shocks me about that little brat, anymore. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks so much, Anyes. Much appreciated. :)

* MPM, I have no idea. It could have well been his own refection. :)

* Louciao, thanks kindly. Too bad you weren't able to see the video. It was a short piece with Benny jumping into the creek to chase a salmon which was about twice his size. He's a crazy dog. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

* Thank you, Red. Max probably accepts you as part of his pack. Maybe he's even guarding against some of those bark-worthy people for your benefit. JRTs are kind of crazy but loyal that way. :)

* Thanks, Birdie. I'm glad Benny could evoke a laugh. :)

* Spokalulu, I'm glad you can live vicariously through my blog posts. That's certainly one of the easier ways to live with a JRT. ;)

* Coudia, thank you so much. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed so much of this post. That means so much to me. Thank you, my friend. :)

* Thanks very much, Christine. I'm happy that you enjoyed the post. :)

* MJ, you're right about that. I hugged him first, then there were a few choice names. ;) Thanks for pointing out your son's post. I an so sorry for the loss of your mother. I had no idea that she was a blogger - I would have loved to visit. I will indeed include your boy's post as your recommendation the next time I post the POTW. :)

* Thanks very much, Bob. He sure is a squirt and an awful lot of fun. I'm glad you like the photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very kindly, Indrani. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks very much, Lime. He's a wee bit of trouble that one. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Hilary said...

* Thanks, Technobabe. You've defined it well. He does indeed have his own mind and a bit of our lost minds, as well. ;)

* Linda, I'm glad you enjoyed Benny's antics. He truly is a laugh and a half most times.. and a whole lotta love. That's what saves his hide. Thanks so much for your visit. :)

* Thanks so much, Nezzy. You're always so kind. Much appreciated. :)

* Dave, it would appear that way, for sure but really I think the salmon was just trying to make its way upstream to spawn. Of course he might have been considering whether or not Benny would make a good mate. ;)

* Thanks very much, Linda. Benny will dive into the water but I've never seen him intentionally go under water while swimming. Yes, he will absolutely fetch what we'll toss into the lake, but we love him and therefore only throw things that will float. ;) Actually, this summer, one of Frank's nephews skipped a stone across the water and Benny was off the dock and diving after it in a flash. He looked all over the surface of the lake for it while treading water. He probably thinks everything floats and hasn't clicked on the concept of sinking. He needed to be coaxed back to the dock where he waited for the next stone to go bouncing over the water.. then, there was Benny in hot pursuit. :)

* Steve, sometimes even a terrorist. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Elizabeth, your Joy has often made me think of Benny. That run around the tree was classic. Thanks always for the kind words. :)

* Thank you, Sandy. He did have us quite worried for a while but he's a clever guy and thankfully found his way to a safe spot to wait to be rescued. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

Jenny Woolf said...

The fisherman and the sunset - what a perfect combination.

Tom said...


Glad it all worked out in the end, some of us have become quite attached to Benny!

Your story reminded me of Lucy, a lab cross I grew up with. We introduced her to water as a 6-month old pup in a shallow part of a lake (Virginia Water in Surry, UK, look it up, it's owned by the Queen!). Anyway, she quickly took to the shallow water but then we went for a walk around the lake. All of a sudden she saw some ducks and thinking the lake must be shallow everywhere dived into the water after them and promptly sank.

Since she didn't resurface immediately I started to take my T-shirt off and was going to dive in after her. Just as I started to dive in she reappeared on the surface and then went off for a swim! She must have been under for a good 10 seconds or so!

After that we couldn't keep her out of the water but still can't forget that frightening few seconds when she vanished before our eyes...