Meet Ben

Say hi to Ben, he is our new child.

On the outside, Ben's a handsome, if skinny, two-year old Beagle. Inside, he has emotional scars the size of the Grand Canyon.

Ben came to us via petfinder.com and the excellent work that The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) of Glen Ellyn does. We want to thank Ann and Tom for being the best foster parents in the world.

We don't know what someone did to him, when, or where. We know he was saved from a kill shelter in Southern Illinois. His foster mom provided the possible reason that he may have been beaten into submission during hunting training then rejected. If this is true,we wish the hunter goes hunting with Dick Chaney and gets accidentally shot in a very painful place.

Today was our first meeting with Ben, and time just ran away from us because we spent over an hour (!) with him sitting on our lap while we massaged and petted him, and talked up a storm with his foster mom Ann.

We thought he would be too timid because of his emotional scars, but we both felt he is unique and perfect. We called his foster mom about an hour later and told her we were ready to take him to his forever home. Soon after he took his first mommy lap car ride -- where he was interested but suspicious and drooled a little -- and visit to Petco -- where, I might add, he was the darling of every staff member.

Sadly, he doesn't seem to like snacks. Yet.

He just napped on the sofa for a few minutes at a time, between me and his dad, earlier this afternoon. Right now he is sleeping, fitfully, I must say, on his leopard and brown fur two-sided blankie, on the floor next to me and the bed. He often opens his eyes to check that I'm still here. I say hellooo, and he resettles. Once he mini-wiggled his tail.

He has nightmares. He twitches. He squints. He kicks with his legs. Kind of like he's trying to run away from something awful. He doesn't have to run anymore, not unless he wants to fetch a ball or come get cuddles!

We hope that he'll come out of his really thick shell. We finally got him to drink some water with our water-dipped fingers dabbed on his lips. He started licking our fingers. The finger licking is a pretty earth-shattering show of love and trust...we couldn't be happier.

We hope he soon turns into his true Beagle self: funny, cuddly, lively, and inquisitive. We also hope he goes pee and poo. We took him for a longish walk in the nearby grassy park as soon as we came home from Petco, but no sale.

He has adopted me as his mamma, and looks to me to understand what's going on and if it's ok to do as his daddy asks him to ^_^ how cute is that?

Will update more, and probably more than anyone wants to know, on this totally cool and joy-filled journey ahead of our furry forever baby. I've started a PicasaWeb album just for him.