Sunday, January 4, 2015

Crazy Little Thing Called Benny

Ahh Benny. He's funny, loveable, goofy and cute. And undeniably insane.

Need some examples?

Let's start with snow shoveling. If one of us takes on this task and Benny has been left in the house, he will jump at the glass door incessantly while yipping, barking and emitting mournful cries until the person who is stuck inside with him can no longer stand it, and allows him to go out.

crazy benny2
Once released, Benny has a huge dilemma on his paws. "Do I wait at the bottom of the deck so that I can eat each shovelful of snow as it comes over the railing...






...or do I attack the shovel and derail it by emptying it just before they are about to toss it over?"

Being a relatively good problem-solver, he runs back and forth between the two and does both. The trick is to fake a snow toss in one area so he'll run to get it and then actually discard the snow where he won't be so that 1) he doesn't get buried in it and 1) he doesn't add its contents to his already full belly and increasingly extended bladder. Even clearing up after a small snowfall will result in a shivery, nauseated, manic dog. He spends the next hour throwing up and peeing excess melted snow, while never losing focus on where each and every one of those shovelfuls landed. Crazy!

Benny does not know how to enjoy a dog treat. Oh he wants the treat. He sits pretty and waits patiently while it's being retrieved from the drawer - his tail wagging and eyes focused. He'll take the offered goodie very gently from the obliging hand and that's when the crazy kicks in. All of a sudden, everyone is his mortal enemy whom he believes wants to take that treat away from him. He walks over to his bed with a paranoid skulk and tries to bury it within the folds of his blanket. If anyone dares to approach his bed over the next day or so (or until he has forgotten about it), he utters a low warning growl. He never ever bites but the closer you get to Benny and his hidden treasure, the louder and more vociferous his growling becomes. If you lean in REALLY close, he'll merely lick your face. Usually, we have to just retrieve the treat and throw it away again. Clearly he doesn't really want it but he does want to want it. He just doesn't know how to enjoy them without paranoia. He will however take cat food from my hand and happily eat it right away. Yup, crazy!

Benny sniffing
Why do we keep trying? Because it wasn't always this way. He used to love his treats. Only the odd one would evoke that reaction. Then more and more, it became a habit and there's only one treat he won't act like that over. Back in the day, he used to try and retrieve them himself, if he could. This image was taken just over three years ago at Frank's family cottage. We caught Benny trying sneak over to the treats by climbing on the sofa which backed onto the desk where we had put them during our visit.





Benny you can't see me
Caught in the act, he merely closed his eyes because when it's dark like that, we obviously can't see him.

He's a good dog, for the most part and generally gets along well with visiting animals but one pooch did not go over very well with him. Frank's son Francis has always belonged to Benny and there has never been other canines with which to compete for his affection. Until recently. Frank's sons filled the void that Benny left when we moved up here by getting themselves another dog.





Stella
Meet Stella. She's a pretty good natured Olde English Bulldog and she would have been a great friend for Benny if he hadn't figured out that she stole Francis from him. He spent much of her visit being rather unpleasant to her. There were a few times that they seemed to get along better when they were outdoors with plenty of room to romp and frolic but when Stella was anywhere near him inside, Benny was not very happy. Crazy!





fog on melting ice
About a week ago, we had some mild weather. The already-frozen lake was beginning to get mushy in parts and the edges had begun to recede a little bit in places.






lake hockey5
It was still pretty solid though, as evidenced by our neighbours taking their grandchildren out on the ice for a game of hockey. Some had boots and some had skates. All of this was very wrong to Benny. He's not used to seeing people walking on the ice to begin with. And the sound of the skates and hockey sticks made him uneasy. He spent a fair bit of time barking at them but it was later, when nobody was around that he became very fearful of going outside.

We wondered if the skating was still playing on his mind but his fear became such that he would not go out to pee unless Frank accompanied him. That's when he figured out that the lake itself was scaring Benny. Because of the melted edges, the lake was burping and belching water and gasses from underneath the surface of the ice, and releasing it where the ice no longer quite met the shore. This was a near constant sound which became loud enough over the next couple of days to be heard indoors, in the still of the night.

At one point, I tried to outsmart Benny by letting him out the kitchen door on the other side of the house. Forgetting his woes, he happily scampered down the stairs but must have heard a lake burp. I closed the door behind him and turned around just in time to see him waiting impatiently by the lakeside door to get back in. Crazy... like a fox!

Not all of Benny's hyper-awareness is troublesome. During the Christmas holidays, he ran to the kitchen door and barked at what sounded like a vague tinkling noise to me and my visiting son Alex - sort of like hail hitting the window. Only it was a clear but very windy day. Nothing we could see was causing that sound. It stopped after a few seconds but Benny was clearly spooked by it. It had us perplexed but we quickly forgot about it.


one tree two spots
A few minutes after Alex left for home the following day, he pulled over to phone me to report that two large trees were partly blocking the road a few houses over. This had to be what we heard the previous day. It was far away enough that the sounds were subtle to us but to Benny's alert ears, the breaking timber was a very troubling noise. I called the roads department and the trees were soon removed. I believe it was really just one tree, broken in two - the pieces landing quite far from one another, so my guess is that it fell from the top of the steep hill. And though I didn't notice it at the time, I can see in the picture that it seems to have taken a power line down with it. Many of the homes here are seasonal and so a specific power outage might not be noticed by anyone until spring or summer. Our own power remained intact, thankfully. Not so crazy!





found kitty2
This is Soul. She was not impressed with a curious Benny when he approached her by dancing, dodging, hopping and woofing. All Benny wanted to do was play but this little five month old kitty was unsure of him. Her story is a sweet one.

One of our neighbours stopped by, one November day to tell us that this little sweetie had been hanging around her place for a few days - a bit underweight (she's puffed up to look threatening to Benny in this image) and very hungry. I stopped by to have a look and we opened some cat food and watched her make short work of it. This is when I decided to join the local lost and found animal group called Home Again, on Facebook - to see if anyone might be missing this very friendly, purry cutie. I snapped the above photo and posted it to the group.

Within ten minutes, someone came forth and claimed her as hers. She had been missing for a month - since the day the teen split up with her boyfriend and he moved out. Soul must have escaped through the frequently-opened door on moving day. The astonishing part is that the distance between Soul's home and mine takes about twenty-five minutes to drive. My guess is that somebody found her wandering around close to her home and decided to bring her to live with them up my way. Soul probably got lost again up here or tried to find her way home and settled instead for the warm, blanketed box that my neighbour set up for her. Anyway, she was on her way to her home with me the next day, to be reunited with two other cats, three dogs and a couple of bearded dragons. Nothing crazy here!

But then there's Christmas. Remembering last year, Benny made it near impossible for me to wrap any gifts in his presence because all he wanted to do was get at the paper so that he could rip it to shreds. He stole the rolls from me a couple of times and whined and whimpered his way through the process each time the paper, tape, tags and bows came out. Of course, when it came time to opening gifts, he was just like a toddler. He cared not a whit about what was inside of each package, or for whom it was intended, as long as he could get at the paper. And he did a lot of that.


An awful lot of that. Crazy!






exhausted puppy
It's exhausting work.

Yes, I know there are far worse character traits than eccentricity in a dog. And Benny has a boatload of good ones. But this post is about Benny getting his crazy on and so that's what I'm sharing.

benny hose
In case you haven't seen enough of his insanity to be convinced, here's an older photo of Benny "helping" my previous neighbour wash her car. Crazy? Hell, yeah!






benny grass and bubbles
And here he showing everyone he can float just like a bubble. Whacko! (Nah.. adorable)





I think that's just about enough crazy for one Benny post. He's not always this insane and really, there's only one time when his behaviour becomes even more loony and that's when there's a...

mooned
Oh crap.. that's tonight!

59 comments:

joeh said...

Doggie Prozac maybe?

Isn't Bennie slang for a drug that makes you hyper? Just sayin.

He looks like fun.

TexWisGirl said...

benny's snow shoveling video had me laughing out loud! oh, my!!! the bladder stretching and retching would be bad, though. really sorry about the lake burps/snaps scaring him, though. that would make life miserable for all of you! the rest is just funny benny. he's a lovable mess. :)

so glad you and your neighbor rescued soul!

Glo said...

Merry Christmas, Bennie, is right! haha I really enjoyed becoming reacquainted with Bennie and his frantic antics. What a character!! He doesn't miss much. I think this one is referred to as the Full Wolf Moon. Oh oh...howling time! Happy New Year, Bennie and family :)

Glo said...

...furthermore, Benny's name was written 25 times as Benny throughout this post, and I still managed to spell it wrong. Sorry Benny!!!!

ditchingthedog said...

That dog! It seems as if that spot was put on him just for the fact that it would make a funny dog even funnier.

Dianne said...

I love that he believes he can't be seen if he closes his eyes
fantastic !!
I just adore Benny

Vagabonde said...

What a great pup! He certainly has much energy and looks like he is quite helpful with snow shoveling and gift wrapping … what a character. A lovely post!

Betsy Brock said...

Your crazy dog is hilarious! Great actions shots of him...

Glad the kitty's home was found!

christopher said...

Sounds adorable...just hard to keep up with all his energy.

Cloudia said...

Best post of the year!!!!!!
Brava!

Touched my soul with laughter!


Warm ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
<3

Red said...

Bennie is a first class performer and comedian. He knows how to keep you attention.

Frank Baron said...

As you know, Ben and I both prefer the term "eccentric."

tyvm.

:)

June said...

My poodles used to do some of those things . . . snow shoveling was a group activity. Benny closing his eyes so you can't see him: a riot!
I didn't know that lakes burped, but I guess that noise and the sound of a slowly-splitting tree would be torturous to sensitive little dog! If Benny ever wakes you up and wants you to get out of the house in the middle of the night, I'd be inclined to listen to him. He knows things you don't!

Leave It To Davis said...

lol....really enjoyed every word and picture in this post! You have yourself a gem there!

Michael Manning said...

What a fun dog he is! Happy New Year, Hilary! These videos really bring Benny to life in a way the most beautiful photos cannot--even though they are great too! He has personality! :)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

BENNY and the bubbles, OH MY :)

Kerri Farley said...

What a GREAT post! Definitely one of my favorites! I can never get enough Benny :)

Out on the prairie said...

Lots of laughs and fun to read. I had one similar. liked the bubbles.Mine now demand treats every time they go out.

Theresa said...

Oh Benny, I believe you have a few long lost cousins down here in OR. And it is perfectly okay to put your crazy on, we all do, we just won't admit to it. :) Some spectacular shots there Hilary
of your handsome and eccentric boy. Interesting about the snow shovel. Does the vacuum produce the same interest? Hope the scary lake noises (it could be monsters you know) subside. With Robin it is the radiators heating up, in the middle of the night. Thankfully no one else is going along with the silliness..yet.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

You gave me many grins...but also sighs, for my very laid back Rott. Life with her is good. The Lab now...makes me laugh, a lot.

DJan said...

I have always loved your Benny posts, but this one is my very favorite. And that last picture? It makes me laugh just to think of it! :-)

ladyfi said...

What a goofball Benny is! Love the shots of all the animals.

William Kendall said...

Crazy or not, Benny's a cutie!

Stella's adorable.

And good for the cat to find home again!

Stephen Hayes said...

I'll open my window tonight to see if I can hear Benny howling at the moon.

messymimi said...

Benny sounds like a lovable lunatic, and he wants to eat his treats and have them, like the rest of us do with our cakes!

Tabor said...

I have no energy for such a crazy kid. He reminds me of my grandchildren when they were still in diapers. They got into everything and then threw tantrums to get their way. I could not shovel snow with that distraction...so dangerous!

Bob Bushell said...

Good old Benny, he rules the world.

Rita said...

I wonder if it's a terrier thing--LOL! A girlfriend of mine had a Yorkie who had a lot of the traits Bennie does. Not all, but Lucy had a lot of crazy, too--LOL! You couldn't help but adore he demented little self. ;) I loved this post!!! and so glad the kitty found her way home!! :)

Marie Flutterby said...

Beautiful nature shots, Benny is a cute crazy though and I love your sons dog what a cutey pie just love her expression in that photo shot. lol

Linda said...

Benny is funny! Love that he closes his eyes like that.

ellen abbott said...

I loved this post. I never thought I'd hear of Benny being fearful though.

Jackie said...

You have THE cutest pets!!!
And Bennie is like a BB in a boxcar (only, more fun!)
Hugs and love to you,
Jackie

Jackie said...

oooops....
The teacher misspelled your fur baby's name. My apologies.

SK Waller said...

I shared this entry on my Facebook timeline and people are just loving it!

Linda Wildenstein said...

Benny is just adorable. We have a "small" dog that has some of the same traits. Love her a bunch but sometimes it's a bit difficult to like what she is doing. My big dogs (St Bernards) didn't have quite as many quirks....maybe it's a little dog thing. Hope the moonlight was soothing for all of you.
Stella is a beauty. Come on Benny give the girl a break.
Oma Linda

Rick Watson said...

What a delightful critter. I love dogs. I thought ours were the only ones with strange quirks:)

Great post Hillary.
R

Indrani said...

Crazy indeed :) I was laughing reading him.
The kind of snow fall you mentioned sounds scary. We experienced snow fall for the first time in our lives, thankfully it was a mild one just 3 to 4cms. But it was a good experience.

Gayle said...

Bennster, Bennster. You are the cutest doggie in the world. I love your crazy behaviors. Benny, you are a rock star! What a charmer! Love this post.

EG CameraGirl said...

Benny sounds so delightful! I love a dog that can make me laugh! I hope you all survived the full moon. :)

Glad Soul is back home again!

Suldog said...

Benny is, as always, very entertaining, but... You can buy prepackaged balderdash where you are? Shoot. Having the stuff come ready made would have saved me loads of time on my blog.

Betty Manousos said...

ooh, benny is incredible!! and so funny. and such a cutie!

love your shots. thanks for sharing.

hope you're having a wonderful week.

big hugs!

Anvilcloud said...

Love your written ending as well as the last two Benny pics.

Shammickite said...

Hilary, I loved this post! Benny certainly is a crazy character, and well deserves a post all about him and his zany tricks. He certainly keeps you all on your toes. Loved the video and the pic of the torn up paper littering the living room.

Brian Miller said...

ha. love the first comment too...he has such personality...ha...so cool...attacking the shovel....def keeps you entertained...
happy new year hilary

Lady Lilith said...

Wow. Thats a lot of snow. We got hit pretty hard as well.
Looks like the little guy is enjoying himself.

sage said...

Benny appears to be a wonderful pooch--so much fun, i've always enjoyed his photos.

Daryl said...

what a fun post .. what a fun pooch ..

Existe Sempre Um Lugar said...

Boa tarde, o Benny é activo alegre e sente-se feliz, fruto do seu instinto e das meiguices que recebe, lindo Benny.
AG

Mage said...

I know you love him, but he would drive me crazy. And he's just enj0ying the heck out of live...more than anybody.

She says shaking her head....

Gail Dixon said...

A manic snow-eating Benny with super sonic hearing, a burping lake, shredded Christmas paper, and more. Lots to love and giggle at here. I ALWAYS enjoy Benny's antics. I once told a vet tech that I wanted a JRT and she told me if I wanted a dog that acted like it was on crack 24/7 to go ahead! I still want one. Maybe one day. :)

yaya said...

Oh my gosh was this post fun! I love that little guy! My sister has a Jack Russell named Sophie and she has her quirks too, but I think Benny wins the prize! My favorite shot...the bubbles...what a great catch! Eddy loves his treats. Even though he and Jordan have their own place now, when he comes to visit he always heads over to the cupboard where his treats used to be....I keep a few vanilla wafers there for him..they smell better! Have a good day!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a character. I just love hime. I do not know how you get things done with him around!
What a cutie.
I love the paper and the the snow shoveling. My goodness.
What fun.
Good for you with the cat.
We just adopted a new one. She wasn't happy in a barn. News and film at 11!!! :-)

Kat said...

Haha! What a fantastically fun post! Silly Benny. Yes, he may be eccentric, a little neurotic, and perhaps a bit crazy too, but he is oh so lovable. What a character! I bet he makes you laugh daily. And, as you said, there are far worse traits a dog could have.

I LOVE the pic of Benny crashed out on the couch amid his mess of wrapping paper! HAHA! What a great pic!

Thank you for sharing your adorable Benny with us.

photowannabe said...

Too, too funny Hilary. I love the Benny Saga.

Linda said...

Hilary, I really enjoyed seeing all of Benny's antics. He is really a prize! The little black and white kitty reminds me of Dood. She is adorable, and if she's anything like him, she lives up to her name. He was full of soul!

Barbara Shallue said...

Thank you so much for this Benny fix. He's adorable! I especially love the one of him with his eyes closed...so you couldn't see him. Too precious!

Pauline said...

Just think - if Benny wasn't so crazy, we'd have all missed this marvelous little missive.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Hahahahahaha! How fun that was. Benny with the snow shovel cracked me up. Reminded me of when I have to play Broom or Mop with my granddog. Exhausts me and he loves it.

Enjoyed the visit.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

p.s. Interesting to hear of the noises and movement of the ice on your lake. I never lived on a lake in the cold climates and our lake here never freezes. Always amazed at what I don't know.