BEN... yep, he’s gorgeous, and I suspect we’re going to be inundated!  And Ben, about two years old, doesn’t just come with dashing good looks, but with an extraordinary story to tell - one which very nearly ended in tragedy.

Ben’s owners handed  him in to vets  in Ireland in June.  They said Ben had been in a fight with another dog and wanted him put down.  And that could have been the end of it, except the vets, bless them, tthought Ben was lovely and could see no sign of aggression. So they told the owners they would put him to sleep then contacted local rescue Dunboye Dogs, who told us about Ben. That was three weeks ago and despite having plenty of opportunity, Ben has not shown the slightest hint of aggression towards other dogs, male or female.

Ben arrived with us from Ireland last Thursday and is just gorgeous - a big golden retriever/colllie x, we think. He’s very affectionate,  very people-orientated, walks well on a lead, sticks close off-lead and comes when he’s called.  He  ignores cows (don’t know about sheep yet). He is also house-trained and settles very well in the home.  He is an active boy, though, and will suit a country lifestyle with lots going on and someone around for most of the day because he really likes to be with his humans.

Goodness knows why the owners really handed him in.  We’ll monitor him for a bit yet, just in case anything materialises as he finds his paws, but this dog shows no signs whatever of ever having been in a scrap with another dog - there’s no dominant body language around males, and no nervousness, either.

We’ve hidden Ben in a foster home in the wilds of Cornwall to minimise the risk of dognapping (he really is THAT lovely!) so you’ll have to travel to meet him. And he won’t be accepting visitors just yet as he has just ripped his neutering stithces, landing us with a £200 vets’ bill within three days of arriving.  He will need a week or so to recuperate from that.

Ben is neutered (twice...!),  fully vaccinated, wormed and treated with Frontline to prevent fleas and ticks.

UPDATE 19/7/09

Ben’s “re-do” is now healing well and he is coping with wearing a lampshade. Still no sign of any aggression, but he DOES bark when strangers come to the door and he doesn’t stop until they’ve gone, so this will need some work.

UPDATE 9/8/09

There’s been a bit of a blip with Ben - he met Lenny, the local farm collie (entire and not a complete stranger to fighting) when out on a walk and there was a scrap.  Foster dad Chris was not quite close enough to see exactly what happened, but it seems Lenny was lurking in a hede. But even if Ben didn’t start it, he definitely responded.  No real damage done,  but Ben is not quite the total softy that we thought.  He certainly acquitted himself well enough to make the collie nervous of him.  Lenny now hides under a car grumbling whenever Ben passes.

Despite this, we are not unduly concerned. Ben has been fine with other dogs off-lead - and of course he has only recently been neutered. We are sure that in the right home and with continued socialisation/training, he will be just fine.  And, as you can see from the new pix, he IS gorgeous!  The bounce, btw, is what he does when you produce a lead!

If you are interested in this beautiful boy,  please  email asap.

There is a minimum adoption fee of  £125 for Ben, which includes the £65 it costs to transport  him from Ireland. 

(added 11/7/09)

Ben (left) with his foster sister Meg