In May 2002, we were fortunate enough to be able to adopt an approximately 1-2 year old Black and Tan named Ben. He was severely underweight and had recently undergone treatment for heartworm. This disease resulted in an enlarged heart, and Ben was not expected to survive. But after much needed love and a steady diet, he spent the next 8 years in Minnesota running, sleeping, eating, and generally being the best dog any person could ever hope to call family. He loved to travel and accompanied us to places like Mackinac Island, Mount Rushmore, and even Frankenmuth, Michigan. Everywhere we traveled, people loved Ben. Regardless of the time spent with him, it took no more than seconds to make a lasting impression.

Later in his life Ben became an animal ambassador for the Humane Society, visiting nursing homes and bringing joy to dog lovers who could no longer own pets. He was especially fond of attending Vail Place, a drop-in day center where people with mental illness spent time getting more than their share of puppy love. Ben was so popular there that he actually made the cover of their 25th anniversary newsletter, a feat that will probably never be duplicated.

Unfortunately Benís enlarged heart brought an end to our time together on August 2nd, 2010. Spending just a short 8 years with him, we realized just how great of an impact animals can make on our life. While we both feel that our time spent together was far too short, neither of us would change a moment.

Mark and Ellen Jauman

9 August 2010