Lenore and Ben

I  completely enjoyed working on Gallery 99, but it was nice to be back in my studio today making some night sky potholders for a customer.  I was going so well, even when I had enough, I just kept making them, the colors easily finding their place in each design.

I stopped for lunch and was eager to get back to work, but the dogs looked at me longingly and I was coerced into taking them for a walk.  We were half way down the path, and I turned to call Lenore who was lagging behind.  Then I saw her jump back from something and give a surprised bark.  Frieda and Izzy and I walked back and saw a dog curled up on the side of the path.  I had walked past him a moment ago and not seen him at all.

A month ago a neighbor came by letting us know that her dogs, a mastiff and a bull dog,  had run away together.   The dog on the path  looked like a mastiff to me and I hoped he wouldn’t take off before I got back.   I took our dogs back to the house.  Jon wasn’t home, so I got some treats a  leash and my cell phone.  I ran back down the path and the dog was still there.  I assumed he was hurt so I approached him slowly talking quietly and tossing him treats.  He gave a little growl then ate a biscuit.  I slowly moved closer and offered a treat from my hand which he gently took, then I put the leash on him. I saw that his nose was bloodied and speckled with porcupine quills. When he stood up I saw how skinny he was, his ribs sticking out.

The dog allowed me to lead him up the path, walking gingerly as if in a daze.  I put him in the fenced in area behind the house and he gobbled down two cups of food.  The donkeys were snorting and stomping her feet.  I didn’t have a phone number so I drove to my neighbors house and I was thankful to find someone home.  A small bulldog was at the door looking happy and healthy, she had come home  a few weeks earlier with porcupine quills in her nose, but their other dog was still missing.

My neighbor came back to the house with me.  It was a beautiful thing to see when she called Ben’s name, and that sad, starving dog started wagging his tail.  He didn’t have much energy, but he followed her to her car, tail going as she lifted him in.

As they drove away I realized that if Lenore hadn’t seen Ben on the side of the path and barked at him, he probably would have starved to death.  I walked past him and didn’t see him.  The other dogs either didn’t see him or  ignored him, knowing he wasn’t well.

I thanked Lenore and gave her a big smelly dog treat.

31 thoughts on “Lenore and Ben

  1. LOVE Lenore! It’s great that she found Ben and wonderful that you pay attention and hear what she tells you! Most people are so wrapped up in themselves to stop and see what their dog sees! I experience that whenever Abby and I are out for a walk, people pulling their dogs not letting them explore and smell, not letting them be dogs. I’m sure Ben and his human family are thankful for both you and Lenore today!

  2. The Love Dog strikes again. How wonderful that Lenore made this discovery. I’m sure both Ben and your neighbor were ever so thankful.

  3. Tears are streaming.
    Thank you Maria. It’s not enough—but thank you Maria. Saint Francis has a sister.
    Good dog, Lenore!!

  4. Ben is so lucky to have laid to rest on this path , Lenore you did what Labs do best , you stopped to help. I have to say Maria , you are braver than some to extend a hand to this poor guy. What a Great Day for everyone on the path today ! Jon has told us of you for quite some time , but you are starting to let us all know you as well… That’s something special I think and I look forward to learning more. I am starting to understand Jon’s writings when he writes of you , I think he’s right… I think you are special too ! My Grandma’s always told me when I was young “When you give of yourself a kindness ,it is returned triple fold”….I think this one is at the top of the list. Thank you for taking a break & having a walk with the dogs.

  5. LOVELY! It makes you realize how many times in a day that you are somehow guided to make a difference to someone. Being open to the opportunity makes you a player in the game of life.

  6. Beautiful picture of Lenore. Beautiful story and well told. I am glad you and Lenore were able to help Ben find his way home. Poor guy must have had some adventures while he was away from home.

  7. Well done Lenore and Maria! I just read Jon’s book to a preschool class yesterday and I was pleased at what great fun the kids had trying to guess what Lenore’s job was…now I will have to add…finder of the lost! This story will warm my heart for the rest of the day…a very happy ending!

  8. I just love happy endings! Maria, this sounds exactly what I would have done. I can not leave anything that needs help. I even stopped traffic for a goose that got hit by a car in the middle of a very busy street! Or a mother goose with her baby’s following, I stopped traffic on both sides of a two lane road which they were crossing at the bottom of a very large hill and here comes a cement truck clipping down pretty fast. He too slowed down and was laughing at me holding my hand up for him to stop! Must have been the red high heals and a business suit!!!!

    Keep up the great work in all phases of your life. What you reap so you will sow!(or something like that…lol)
    Have a great day,

  9. Oh my gosh this is a happy story! Lenore is one great dog! You are brave to go up to that dog–I would have done the same thing though…sometimes you know you just have to try. I bet this family is thankful that Ben is home and i hope he recovers after all he has been through. Way to go Lenore and Maria! This story made my day!

  10. I read this story first from Jon’s blog, and now from you. Even at a second reading, it brings a smile to my face. As many have already said, this story reminds us to be present, to pay attention to the little cues along life’s path. We never know where these cues might lead us. I can imagine the feeling the owner must have had when they saw their seemingly lost dog. Thanks to Lenore and you:)

  11. Well done Lenore and Maria :-) What a wonderful thing that you did for Ben and his owners – how special to have saved a life:-) A lovely happy ending :-)

  12. Just getting to this, Maria. My face is streaked with tears. How wonderful to hear a good ending to this. Just gotta LOVE that Lenore…and you, too, for letting your compassion take over.

  13. Blessings on you, Maria – for following your heart and Lenore’s guidance to save this dog’s life. How grateful your neighbors must be to you & Lenore. It has warmed my heart to read this account and to think about this lucky dog – and his special saviors!

  14. @Barbara–yeay! thanks for planting such wonderful seeds in the children’s heads. It’s a wonderful lesson to learn that we all have a “job”–something in this life we are meant to do (not just punch a clock and pay bills). We all have something to give.
    @Maria—yeay! Thanks for listening to Lenore! Thanks for doing the right thing to save Ben.
    @Lenore–Rock on, Love Dog!

  15. What a team you two make! Lovely story that made me well up when Ben heard his human call his name. Thanks for listening to Lenore. So very special she is!

  16. Such a wonderful story, its nice to here of happy endings. Good girl Lenore and good girl Maria! You both deserve a cookie! haha :)

  17. Such a great story! I wonder if Ben managed to get himself to your path and rest there based on the scents of your dogs along the path. It’s such a gift to save the beloved dog of a neighbor, rewarding to oneself as well as to the dog and neighbor! I live in the city and I have gotten many dogs home over the years who escaped their yards or slipped their collars somehow. It’s always so gratifying when they and the owners have that relieved happy reunion!

    Lenore’s curiosity and connection with the land is different than the other dogs it seems — she finds what’s hidden. Unfortunately that included Jon’s brave mouse from the other day — but it reflects her talents at keeping track of what’s happening on the land at the farm. Perhaps that’s the retriever in her. Special girl!

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