Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

DJR
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Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:06 pm

Some of you remember my big, goofy, harlequin Great Dane, Ben, who I got in January 2010 as a 3-mo-old puppy. He was meant to be a show dog but he developed conformation issues as he grew that cut short his show career. I had never shown dogs in conformation before so it wasn't a big deal.
2010Feb06 Ben12wkface.jpg
Ben at age 12 weeks.
2010Feb06 Ben12wkface.jpg (37.65 KiB) Viewed 291 times


He became such an important, loved, and fantastic companion dog and he touched many people's lives. In 2012 or 2013, he became a certified therapy dog and brought a breath of fresh air to the lives of many, many hospitalized patients who were otherwise having a bad day. He was so tall that he could easily put his big, lovable mug right in their laps even when they were still in their hospital beds. He became a favorite visitor during his years there. He also brought some joy to a good friend's last few dying days when he was confined to hospital and missing the life he led with his agility dogs. Ben visited him two or three times before he died. He did the same for another friend who was in pain and nauseated and awaiting surgery for a badly broken shoulder ... and another neighbour who was dying of breast cancer. This photo shows him with a dialysis patient (he was written up in a story that ran in our local newspaper, and this was one of the photos from that story):
BenTherapy2.jpg
Bringing joy to hospital patients as a therapy dog.
BenTherapy2.jpg (107.71 KiB) Viewed 291 times


His most important role came in 2014 when I adopted my daughter, Kara, who was then just 7 yrs old and had been through three foster homes before landing with me. When she came to visit me with her foster family in the very early days (before she knew I was a potential adoptive mom), she met Ben and loved him as well as my other dogs & farm animals. But Ben really stuck out for her, to the point that on her way out the door at the end of the visit, she said to her foster dad, "I hope that I have a dog like Ben when I get adopted." It squeezed my heart so much that I almost burst into happy tears knowing that Ben WOULD be her dog (and she moved in with me and Ben two weeks after that visit). Ben became the dog that Kara snuggled with the most. They shared so many tender, close moments, words couldn't describe what they had together. He was her confidant, her rock, and one of the many factors that helped her find "home" when she moved in with me.
2017Mar12 BenKara.jpg
Telling secrets with his special girl, my daughter, Kara.
2017Mar12 BenKara.jpg (42.7 KiB) Viewed 291 times


He was 35.5" at the shoulder, 155 lbs, and a heart of pure gold. Gentle as the day is long, wise beyond his years, and yet also a big, huge goofus with record-breaking loogies that I'd find stuck to the walls, and even to the ceiling.

In the last several months, he'd been steadily weakening in his hind end, and I knew it would eventually catch up with him. Yesterday, we let them out for a potty break before heading in to watch a movie, and he fell hard and couldn't get back up. I gave him time, a massage, put a sling on him and (with great difficulty due to his size) got him up, but he had NO control of his right hind, and his left hind was better but quite weak. He simply couldn't stand or get up on his own. We took him in to the emerg clinic because I wanted an objective opinion (I'm a lousy vet to my own animals), but she agreed with me. If he was smaller, I'd have considered a doggy wheelchair, but his size and his inability to get up at all made the decision clear.

We said a tearful farewell to him yesterday evening. The hole in our house, our lives, and our hearts is enormous. RIP, sweet Ben.
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:11 pm

Here are some photos showing the crazy/wild side of Ben.

Play-fighting as a pup with one of my border collies:
2010Apr02 BenBrexPlaying.jpg
2010Apr02 BenBrexPlaying.jpg (72.3 KiB) Viewed 288 times


Leaping & cavorting during one of our countless walks:
2011Nov06 BenLeaping.jpg
2011Nov06 BenLeaping.jpg (56.57 KiB) Viewed 288 times


Ears a-flappin'!
2013May2013 BenBrex.jpg
2013May2013 BenBrex.jpg (130.76 KiB) Viewed 288 times
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:14 pm

He played hard, but he also slept hard!

Sacked out as a pup:
2010Mar07 BenSleeping.jpg
2010Mar07 BenSleeping.jpg (71.43 KiB) Viewed 288 times


Taking up the entire 3-seater couch!
2010Nov06 BenStretchedOut.jpg
2010Nov06 BenStretchedOut.jpg (57.06 KiB) Viewed 288 times


Any position would do ... he'd fall asleep no matter what!
2013Jan06 BenSleeping.jpg
2013Jan06 BenSleeping.jpg (76.22 KiB) Viewed 288 times
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:16 pm

Most people equate Danes with adjectives like "noble" or "regal". Ben didn't always pull that off ...

He'd find this comfortable:
2017Feb14 BenSleepingPosition.jpg
2017Feb14 BenSleepingPosition.jpg (69.25 KiB) Viewed 288 times


This was classic Ben:
2011Dec04 ClassicBen.jpg
2011Dec04 ClassicBen.jpg (94.2 KiB) Viewed 288 times


And so was this ... sitting on a hillock of grass like it was a chair!
2016May11 BenGoofus.jpg
2016May11 BenGoofus.jpg (49.9 KiB) Viewed 288 times
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

khall
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby khall » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:17 pm

Ah geeze DJR, I'm so sorry. Tears here for you and your daughter.

Hits close to home as well. We have an aging dog (will be 13 in Jan) who is large as well (90 lbs) he too is showing weakness in his hind legs at times. He also has a very bad left elbow from DJD and a previous fracture. At some point we will have to make that hard decision too. So hard to lose a member of the family.

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:20 pm

But what we'll remember most are the tender moments with Ben.

Ben snuggled up with the cat, Bazinga:
2010Dec20BazBen1.jpg
2010Dec20BazBen1.jpg (115.58 KiB) Viewed 288 times


Ben putting his trust in me as we did some target & therapy-ball work when he was around 3 yrs old. He loved doing this!
2012Mar23 BenTherapyBall.jpg
2012Mar23 BenTherapyBall.jpg (44.51 KiB) Viewed 288 times


And, once again, Ben with his kid, Kara.
2016Dec17 BenKara.jpg
2016Dec17 BenKara.jpg (54.28 KiB) Viewed 288 times
Last edited by DJR on Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:21 pm

Rest in peace and run free, beautiful Ben.
2016Jun17 BenSleeping.jpg
2016Jun17 BenSleeping.jpg (74.25 KiB) Viewed 288 times


(done)
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

Kyra's Mom
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:30 pm

{{{{{Deanna and Kara}}}}}

What a character. I totally understand the huge hole that he left.

Take care of yourself and your daughter.

Susan
from susamorg on the UDBB

Canyon
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Canyon » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:36 pm

My condolences to you and Kara on the loss of your beautiful Ben. I have been owned by several wonderful Great Danes; they give so much in life and leave such big holes when they are gone.
Last edited by Canyon on Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PaulaO
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby PaulaO » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:39 pm

Beautiful Ben. Godspeed.

Josette
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Josette » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:15 pm

Hugs to you and your daughter for loosing your gentle giant. RIP Ben.

demi
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby demi » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:29 pm

Hugs to you and Kara, and thank you both for giving him a loving family and home. He knew he was loved... sniff.

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Chisamba
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Chisamba » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:28 pm

I am sorry to hear of your loss, much too soon , it looks like his heart was as big as he was

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orono
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby orono » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:59 pm

What a beautiful dog, I'm so sorry for your loss.

redsoxluvr
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby redsoxluvr » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:00 am

So very sorry for your loss. Hugs to you.

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quinta
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby quinta » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:15 am

Oh, so sad, Deanna! He was a beautiful boy. Hugs to you and to Kara.

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Imperini
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Imperini » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:18 pm

I'm so sorry, he sounds like such a wonderful boy who had a wonderful life.

fergusnc
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby fergusnc » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:45 pm

Godspeed Ben. You were one of the special ones. Peace to your family, especially your girl. How my heart breaks thinking about how she must be feeling these days...

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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Sue B » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:30 pm

So sorry Deanna and Kara, he was definitely one of the good ones. Hugs to both of you.

Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures of him and his life.

Oh, btw, I and my dh are both small animal vets and we both suck when it's one of our own--particularly son's dog Nigel. Last year I was almost 2 weeks and 500 miles away at Washington State Vet Hospital getting Nigel diagnosed and fixed up because neither of us had the strength to do the workup in our own hospital. Turns out we needed their expert hands and machinery anyways, as well as jingles from this board. It's ok to be a basket case about your own 4-legged friends.

piedmontfields
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:59 pm

Godspeed Ben! He was such a beauty.

chantal
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby chantal » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:05 pm

I am so sorry for your loss, they are so much a part of us.

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:25 pm

It'll be a week tomorrow and the hole is still huge that Ben left behind. Thank you for the lovely condolences. I miss him especially at bedtime and in the morning when he and I would have a little snuggle. And at feeding time. And ... all the time.
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

calvin
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby calvin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:17 pm

A giant body, and an even bigger soul: rest well, Ben. You are and shall ever be loved by many, especially your very own Deanna and Kara. {{{hugs}}} to you both. It just, plain, hurts.

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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Moonshine » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:53 pm

I am late to this after being out of the country, but I'm so sorry. What a noble face. And spirit, it sounds like!

DJR
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby DJR » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:54 pm

Thanks, everyone. We still miss him so much. I used to cuddle with him and fondle his big, soft ears. I was playing with my border collie's ears the other day and it made me miss Ben because ... well ... Ben ears were so much bigger, floppy & softer.
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

Abby Kogler
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Re: Another sad farewell to our gentle giant, Ben.

Postby Abby Kogler » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:01 am

Deanna, what a beautiful dog. Im so sorry.


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