Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles is a rescue dog that my daughter adopted from a shelter in Denton, TX. He is the coolest dog I have ever known and I have known some really cool dogs. We think he is a combination of Dachshund and Beagle, judging from his body size, shape, color and personality traits. He can be feisty, but is also the sweetest creature on God’s green earth. All who meet him are smitten in short order. His best friend is also a rescue dog named Charlie, a Black Lab, who was adopted by my daughter’s best friend. Now that the girls have graduated from college, they all live together in a one-bedroom apartment in Austin, TX where the girls are working hard on jobs, scripts, buying furniture from Goodwill to paint and sell at festivals, etc. I have even been baking ginger bread cookies, which the girls decorate and sell at these festivals. The dogs are in heaven as long as they are all together. The picture I have attached is one showing Bo and Charlie doing what they like the most, which is sleeping together on the sofa.

I can’t write this note without mentioning Benji, our Mega Yorkie (20 lbs!!), who we were privileged to live with for most of his 18 years. In all seriousness, he was the smartest dog I have ever, ever known. Once, when my daughter was about ten years old, I was in her room reading bedtime stories to her before she said her prayers. Benji was on the bed chewing one of his little stuffed toys, which he always did at bedtime. I was playing tug of war with him and started singing “Hound Dog”. As soon as I sang, “You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine”, Benji jumped off the bed, ran out of the room, and came back a few minutes later with a stuffed toy bunny in his mouth. He jumped on the bed and dropped it in front of me, as he barked at me as if to say, “Here is your stupid bunny!”

Mark, I’ve heard you speak of your belief that dogs pick the time when they are ready to leave us, and that is truly what Benji did. It was July of 2005, and my Son had just been in town for a visit. Benji was really his dog, even though we all loved him dearly. Our daughter was in from summer school visiting that weekend as well. Just after our son left, Benji went to the back door and barked to be let out. When I found him a few minutes later, he was under water in the hot tub next to the pool. He always loved the pool (2nd to the beach where he loved to surf!) and would often jump in on a hot day to cool off. As strong a swimmer as he had always been, at his advanced age, he couldn’t find the step to jump out this last time. Or maybe he decided not to. He was suffering from canine dementia and was starting to have frequent accidents in the house, which mortified him. Once, when  he was much younger, he covered a very rare “mess” with a towel, hoping to keep us from discovering it.  We actually had a family discussion with the children that weekend to inform them that Benji’s vet of most of his 18 years had recently discussed with us how we needed to get prepared to have him put to sleep at some point, since his health was really starting to decline.

Lil’s Precious Benji Boy was his official name according to his AKC papers. Mr. Bojangles came with some papers from the shelter, but certainly nothing related to the AKC. They both have enriched the lives of my family in their own special way, and I am a better man for having known both of them.

Brian from TX