Tag Archives: rescue

R.I.P. Benny Bear



Benny Bear



The Bear

Benjamin McBears


You’ve had seventeen great years. It’s more than we ever expected. Rob gave you a great life when he rescued you in ’97. But you gave us so much more…

When I first met you, you had already traveled the country! You lived in Michigan, Pensacola and Seattle, following Rob to each destination before settling in Minnesota. You often traveled on your daddy’s lap.

I like to think that you and I took to each other immediately. But truthfully, you were a people dog and would wag your tail when anyone came to the door. Your permanent puppy dog eyes melted everyone’s hearts.


Even then, you didn’t play with toys much. You “hid” bones in the hallway or inside Rob’s shoes. But you did have one “Bear” of your own {aka Busy Bee} that if we squeaked it, you thought we were hurting it! So you’d take “The Bear” between your paws and give it so many kisses. We washed that Bear so many times. Later, you’d tear the stuffing out each time Rob stuffed it back in.

You gave us hugs and kisses whenever we asked and you pawed us if you wanted more pets. You’d lie “in the trenches” on the bed. Not long after meeting you, you inspired me to rescue my own dog.

And while you and Sophie were never best buds, you’d never know it from these photos:

When we all moved in together to become one family, the two of you eventually came to depend on each other. I truly believe she helped keep you young. But you taught her so much, too…

Like how to beg from Grandma!


Your true love was the lake. On our yearly trip to Michigan, you could smell the water a mile away before we even arrived. You’d pace in the car and we’d open a window and say, “Ohhhhh… Where are we?!”


I truly believe you were happiest at the lake. In the morning, you’d wake up and race out to the dock and onto the pontoon as if to say, “Can we go now?! Can we go now?!” Sometimes you even sat in the driver’s seat. You were READY.


You just couldn’t wait to go fishing!

He also loves fishing...

And while we always said that you loved to fish, we know you probably just loved to bark at and chase that bobber. You’ve even fallen in a couple of times because of it!

When we were on shore, Rob would take the hook off the line and let you chase the bobber while swimming. You could spend hours just wading back and forth in the water.

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It was you who taught Sophie to love the lake, too! I don’t think she would have been a water dog if you hadn’t shown her the way.


You loved to sit under tables and sleep partway under the bed. You even liked being under the tree at Christmastime.


When I’d wake up in the morning, sometimes I’d see just your two back paws sticking out from under the bed. I liked to call you the “Wicked Bear of the West.” You didn’t mind. 😉 You didn’t even mind when I sang to you, “He’s a good Bear, he loves his Mama,” completely off key.

And, oh boy, did you love THE WHITE BOX. When white boxes came in the door, you didn’t even want to go outside to relieve yourself. You knew that a white box meant a chance at Daddy’s leftovers. And don’t even think about leaving leftover pizza on the counter. You’d lay on the floor in the kitchen and guard it all night.

Your sniffer was in top-top shape right up until the very end.

But you hated getting your photo taken. Getting a shot of you without you looking away was difficult. But once you and Sophie started receiving your Barkbox and I started photographing food for the blog, you photo bombed me all the time!

After taking a bite of my 90-second breakfast sandwich, Benny Bear appeared.

After taking a bite of my 90-second breakfast sandwich, Benny Bear appeared.

You even snuck some treats from a Dog Lover’s Box. I didn’t have the heart to stop you when you were trying so hard with those mittens of yours!

Dr. Seuss Benny

Gotta love those Dr. Seuss-like paws!

And, most recently, we found and rescued Sharmrock because he reminded us of you. There is a lot of resemblance there. Just look:

Benny, your memory will live on, but you will be missed. You were such a great part of our lives and there’s an emptiness there that is hard to swallow. I’m oh so glad that Rob rescued you on that fateful day that was meant to be your last. Rest in Peace, dear Benny. I’ll love you always and you’ll be forever in my heart.


Your Momma.

It Has Been a Week… and a New Addition!


It’s been an entire week since I last posted. That’s the longest stretch between posts since I’ve started this blog. It’s not that I have nothing about which to write. There are plenty of topics in the works. So where I have been?

I’ve continued to ride the post-op roller coaster. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. It’s been a bumpy ride. And as I’ve mentioned before, on the outside, I look fine. I can walk normally. But I’m not 100%. And that’s frustrating.

A lot has happened in the past week. I got sick. The stomach flu or food poisoning, who knows. I haven’t been sick like that in years. It was rough. And I felt guilty. Guilty for missing more work. Worried that everyone is thinking I’m taking advantage of their understanding and generosity of which I have been so grateful.

I just want to be normal again. I just want to feel normal. I want to have one good night of sleep. {New moms out there are screaming, “Wuss!” right now.} I want everything to be okay. Or just someone to tell me it will. Or someone to stand beside me and tell me I’ll be okay, even if it will take awhile.

So that’s how I’m feeling as I write this. But every roller coaster has its ups as well as downs and I’ve certainly had my share of ups and spontaneity in the last week as well. For one, we welcomed a new addition to our family:

Meet Shamrock

Meet Shamrock!

Yes, we’ve adopted another pooch! This is something we had not planned to do until after we said good-bye to our beloved Benny Bear. But, no worries, we haven’t! We are a family of five now!

How did this happen, you ask? Well, as I was riding my post-op roller coaster, one of the ways Rob tries to cheer me up is by emailing me pictures of pooches. They can be ones he’s found on the internet doing searches of a particular breed, dogs that are in need of adoption, dogs that look like our dogs… funny dog photos. You get the picture. We talk about which ones are cute and “awwwwwwwwwwwww” becomes the phrase of the day in correspondence. We’ve been doing this for years. But we’ve never, never spoken about actually adopting one.

Until last week. After Rob sent me a link of Shih Tzu search he’d done, I was surprised to find this listing in the search. {The link has now been removed from the searchable site, but it should still work.} Basically, this:


Cocker Spaniel/Shih Tzu Mix

New addition to CS Humane Society.  He is a 5 month old puppy that loves everyone.  He is ready for his forever home to teach him all about being a good boy. He is neutered, current on shots, microchipped and tested negative for heartworm. For more information, please call the pet line at ….

What? A Cocker Spaniel Shih Tzu? That’s a Sophie-Benny blend! And how a-dog-able he is! In our usual fashion, I sent the link over to Rob and he responded with an “awww…” But then, five minutes later, he came back with, “Okay. I really want this dog.”

“Are you serious?!” was my response. After convincing me that having another dog would make things easier on Sophie when 17-year-old Benny passes, he made the call. And by the following evening, his foster parents dropped him off at his forever home. (Aka chez Cummins!)

Of course, it was a concern of mine to bring a puppy into our household when I’m not 100% well yet. And I didn’t get much peace while I stayed home from work throwing up. It’s not easy to have a hyper pup bouncing all over you, innocently just wanting to play!

But… He is a bundle of love. And Sophie is slowly warming up to him. She’s becoming less apprehensive and playing with him a little more each day. When it comes to dogs, we are all about adoptions and rescues. While I don’t particularly see the Shih Tzu in him (except for, maybe, his short legs), I do believe that is how he was brought to us… that he popped up into that search for a reason. My husband doesn’t believe that kind of stuff. But why else would he have been drawn to a dog that looks so much like a miniature Benny Bear? 😉

Benny or Shamrock?
When in search of a pet, please consider adoption first!