By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER, Joyful Musings
It’s time to muse joyfully on Bennie the dog. Bennie took some time out of his schedule to sit down and talk with us here at InDepthNH. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.
InDepthNH: Bennie, this is your first summer as a really big boy, you’re almost two years old. How is it going?
Bennie: Well, my family still says I’m “a lot;” if I’m off leash, I tend to bask in the freedom and I run like the wind. And I really do like to hug EVERYONE. I’m a friendly guy. I’m working on sitting and calming down. But that’s about as much fun as getting a tick. I value my energy, my curiosity of life. I like to peruse the ground, bushes, people. There’s just so much to digest.
InDepthNH: What is a typical day like for you?
Bennie: It depends. Sometimes I go to school at a place called “Tuckered Out” in Barrington. I hang out with my friends, we play. We lift our legs a lot and just, well, do what we are conditioned to do: sniff, defecate, jump, engage in canine frivolity. It’s great. When my parents come to pick me up, I’m like a bullet upon departure from my classroom and then I pass out in the car. My school lives up to its name, after hours of simply exuding my energy, I really am tuckered out.
InDepthNH: What’s your biggest challenge these days?
Bennie: Well, as I mentioned, I’m “a lot of dog” so there are challenges just to keep me in line. For example, I consider myself a lap dog and, well, I have grown considerably. I think I’m about sixty pounds but I do like to get up front and cuddle with whoever is driving. And, unfortunately, both my parents drive stick shifts. It can get pretty cumbersome. I’m pushing for an automatic next purchases, far more comfortable for me. But, I digress. My challenge is just knowing who I am, what I am, and what works for me. I’m really doing some introspective work and attempting to align myself with familiar expectations while remaining true to myself.
InDepthNH: Your family often speaks on your behalf in a really high voice. They often put words in your mouth, determining what you would say. How does that work for you?
Bennie: Honestly, it doesn’t. My family assumes I curse, assumes I have a really high voice when, in fact, as I’m a big boy now, my voice is deep, I am far more serious than they let on. I’m working on my Ph.D at Tuckered Out, my thesis is surrounding the impact of being a southern dog transferred to New England, what are the effects of the geography around “rescues.” I work daily with my classmates as we run and play; in fact, all of that energy is research and development.
InDepthNH: It’s hot this weekend. What will you do to cool down?
Bennie: I find it exceedingly necessary to hydrate; I’m a fan of toilet bowl refreshment and, of course, my bowl of lukewarm water that is left out 24/7.
InDepth/Joyful Musings will continue this conversation with Bennie next week. Enjoy Joyful Musers, remain true to yourselves, stay cool and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.