[at-l] A week with Ben

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 25 00:17:11 CST 2010


Let’s start with the idea that many of you haven’t been kept up with our lives.  Not that it’s been 
deliberate, just that we’ve been very busy, sometimes very confused and a lot of the time, very 
tired.  So… the 30 second update is that we (meaning Jim) couldn’t do much hiking this year because 
of knee and foot problems.  Probability is that long-distance hiking is a long shot from now on.  
NOT happiness.  
 
So… after 100 miles on the AT, about 65 miles on the Florida Trail, and getting blown off the PCT 
(twice in about 300 miles), we bought a house, moved in Sept 1 and spent two months trying to 
find all the stuff that we’d “stuffed” into storage over the last 4+ years. And then came the dog.  
And none of it was that simple, but you REALLY don't want all the details on that mess.  
 
We’ve both wanted a dog for the last 18 years.  When we bought the house in MD, it was supposed 
to become home to a dog.  But that didn’t work out, largely because of work schedules, and then 
because we went hiking and traveling.  It’s hard to live with a dog when “home” is a backpack – or 
the back of a pickup truck.  
 
The dog’s name is Ben.  It “was” Duke, but that didn’t fit for us.  He came by way of a Golden Retriever 
rescue shelter in West Virginia.  And he was... a three year old 70# male puppy with no manners, very 
little training and no clue about how to play.  But he was house trained.  
 
We brought him home a week ago Monday night.   And it’s been an interesting week living with a 
multiple-personality dog.  Yep – many personalities.  
 
First, there’s Gentle Ben – the one who takes food very gently from our hands or lies with his head 
on Ginny’s feet.  
 
And then there’s the Demon Dog who showed up on Tuesday, and “almost” made the trip back to WV 
on Wednesday.  
 
And Ben the bloodhound, who takes long walks with us with his nose to the ground, tracking every 
other living thing in the Universe.  
 
And Ben the obstinate, who wants to go outside – and then flops on the ground and refuses to move. 
 
And Ben the tractor, who pulls us along on our walks.  It’s like walking a deaf water buffalo.  
 
And Ben the love-sponge, which is typical of Goldens.  
 
There was also Ben the stinky, but we fixed that with a bath.  He didn’t enjoy the experience.
 
And there’s Ben the thief, who sometimes steals anything he can get his jaws around – and runs.  
 
And Ben the insane, who about once a day shows up, picks up his duck or a ball and exhibits a 
wonderful (and hilarious) case of the “zoomies”, racing around the house like he’s possessed.  
 
And Ben the super-hiker who loves to walk, especially in the woods where the smells are even 
more disgusting, or at least more interesting,  than in town.  
 
And then there’s Ben the intelligent – the one who’s learned sit, come, down, off, and NO, 
and is learning to walk without emulating a D-5 Cat.  
 
It’s been a wonderful, time-consuming, laugh-inducing, frustrating, tiring and satisfying week for 
us.  And we’re looking forward to many more unique experiences with Ben.  
 

We all got a good night's sleep last night - for the first time in a week.  Even Ben needed it.   
 
We wish you all a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving 
 
Jim & Ginny



http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/

 		 	   		  
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