Last year, I used my holiday column to pay tribute to my dog, Stella. The darn dog actually received fan mail after that, and has insisted that I do a shout-out to her canine colleagues each year around this time. So, to keep Stella happy, here goes.
I would like to tell you the story of Big Ben, Ralph and the “Furry Angels of Newtown.”
In November, we were all shocked to read about “Ben,” the giant mastiff dog that was abandoned near Franklin, N.Y. Ben had been dumped off by the side of the road with just his water bowl. Like a good doggie, he sat down by his bowl and waited for his owner to come back and get him.
The owners never came back.
Big Ben didn’t wander or stray from his spot. He simply lay down in the tall grass, cradled his bowl and waited to go home.
Ben ended up that night at the Delaware Valley Humane Society in Sidney. His family has never been found.
I went down to visit him a week ago. “Big Ben” is a giant of a dog. He climbed up the front of me and literally embraced me during my visit. He does have a little slobbering problem (in fact, so do I now and then) and I needed a shower after I left. This is a big dog with a big personality.
The owner who abandoned this gentle giant will have to answer to God someday for this evil act (I mean, lets face it ... God has to be a dog owner, right? Remember, God spelled backwards is, well, you get it).
My friend Mike had a dog. Ralph was his name. I’d known Ralph for almost a decade. The two were inseparable in walks in the woods and adventures near and far. While Mike was off fighting fires in Alaska or working late at night at his job as a local educator, Ralph could always be found waiting by the side of the door for “Dad” to come home.