I have several reasons which explain that notion. He's been known to play with small toys by tossing them in the air, much like his feline counterparts do with mice. He's a lap dog - any chance he gets. He loves to bask in patches of warm sunlight. He's curious as all get out.
And he seems to be working his way through nine lives.
Unlike most cats, Benny is very fond of the water. It was his penchant for water play that got him in trouble at Frank's family cottage a few years back - and where Life #1 was relinquished.
We took possession of our new home on the last day of July. Frank has been living here since then but I had spent most of my time back in the city preparing my house for sale and finally packing up to move here - which I have now done.
During Frank's earlier days here, he had our dock lengthened so that it would extend beyond the shallow portion of the shoreline, and he bought a boat so that he could pursue his lifelong passion for fishing. He had been so hungry for getting out on the water and hauling in walleye, that he has become the last one on the lake to bring the boat and dock in for the winter.
Overnight after my first day living here, the temperature dropped well below freezing to -15C (5F). The morning didn't warm up all that much and when we looked out through our living room window, we saw that the bay was frozen over.
That's my son, Alex walking with Benny. He helped me get the last of my stuff up here and provided another familiar and comforting voice for the cats during the long drive up. He's a tough guy. His long hair was still in a towel after his morning shower and his jacket remained inside the house. He seemingly does not feel the cold. Note the boat stuck in the ice.
After the towel came off, Alex continued to stay out in the cold playing with Benny. He's tough and nuts.
The ice was nowhere near thick enough to hold our weight but a certain little Jack Russell Terrorist has found that it's plenty strong to support him very close to shore.
Frank has been out there a few times, rocking his
It only helped open the ice up in one very small area.
There had also been precipitation recently - both rain and snow and some accumulation of each in the boat. With the milder days and colder nights, his boat has endured melts and refreezes and ultimately enough ice for Frank to crack and break up into bits. Those kinds of bits are very enticing to a crazy little dog like Benny.
Frank cracked some of the ice from the bottom of the boat and gave them to Benny. After a while Benny just began helping himself to the ice chunks, allowing Frank to abandon ship and warm up inside.
Doggie-sized chunks of ice make a good chew toy.
It was then that Frank came into the house to do the obligatory annoyance that some
It was not the sole reason for the cold shiver down my spine.
As Frank was telling me this, I happened to glance outside to see if I could see Benny doing his thing, transporting ice chunks from the boat to the dock. Something looked very wrong. The bit of open water surrounding the boat had grown larger and choppy, and there was a fair bit of broken ice, where moments before it had been smooth. One of those large white chunks was our Benny.
Frank and I made a mad dash out to the dock and onto the boat. He was only a few feet away with his head out of the water and and his front paws clinging to the ice in front of him. The rest of him was in the icy water. He was not overly distressed. Frank was hoping to avoid going in after him (it was only about three or four feet of water) and he quite adeptly took the rope which was tied to the boat and looped it around Benny's neck, causing him to fall backwards. I was ready to scoop him with the net but there was no need. Frank was able to tug him closer, reach into the water, take hold of his collar and snatch him up into the boat.
This is how the previously-smooth, icy water appeared after Benny's impromptu dip. The white rope hanging from the boat is what Frank used to haul him in.
One crazy, shivering wet dog tore his way around the yard for a few minutes before we grabbed a towel and wrapped him up in it. He shivered so hard in my arms while I carried him downstairs to the propane stove. This is where his similarity to cats ends. He had no interest in lolling in front of that heat source. He continued tearing his way through the house, rolling himself on the carpet and sofas to rid himself of the excess moisture that the towel left behind.
He was fine. And like Frank said, he has hopefully learned something about the perils of ice. Frank and I had recently discussed our concerns about how he would handle ice during the spring thaw, after he would presumably spend a winter walking on water. We might all have a better idea of that now.
There's never a dull moment in Benny's life, and in my estimation, our little ice-breaker has seven of them left.
Next post will be one that I had previously scheduled and it coincidentally contains photos of Benny playing in the water late in the summer - back when water showed no signs of turning solid.