More Than a Canine Companion – Benson is Myles’ Bestie

By Judy Layne

There’s no doubt that kids and their pets share a special bond unlike any other. Learning and growing together, it’s a bond to be cherished. Just like the bond between Benson and Myles.

Benson was found wandering stray by Animal Control and was brought to safety at the SPCA Kings Shelter on June 28, 2022. Approximately 5 years old, Benson was in rough shape. He was missing some fur and had dry skin on his back. A dog’s fur coat is usually a mirror reflection of their health and the shelter veterinary team discovered that Benson suffered from food allergies. They knew however, that with the right diet, he could feel fabulous. And with the right family, Benson would blossom.

Finding the perfect family for Benson was challenging. He was older and had some food allergies and skin issues. Due to Benson’s size (70 lbs), the right family would be one with older children and no other pets. Because Benson was high-energy and very intelligent, he needed a home with a large fenced yard, lots of exercise and mental stimulation.

Maegan and her family were dealing with a challenge of their own. Maegan shared “Our rescue dog Sasha, a beautiful King Shepherd, passed away a few years ago. Our son Myles grew up with Sasha from his birth to when he was 3 years old. Myles missed her terribly when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Soon after Sasha’s passing, Myles developed a fear of dogs when a large one jumped on him while barking loudly and caused him to fall. He wasn’t hurt but grew quite scared of strange dogs approaching him. He would ask to cross the street if he saw large dogs approaching.”

In August, Maegen and Myles were on the SPCA website when they saw Benson’s face. Maegan said “Myles was instantly drawn to him, perhaps because Benson was similar to our Sasha in terms of his size and coloring along with a mischievous glint in his eyes. Myles warmed up to the idea of meeting Benson.”

“When we went to the shelter, we learned that Benson had an adoption pending,” recalled Maegan. “That adoption fell through (maybe it was fate?) so we came back again to meet him. Our meet-and-greet was great. Benson was a big friendly goofy boy and didn’t jump up on us. He sat nicely at our feet and was a calm snuggly big fellow. We decided that Benson was a great fit for our family and took him to his fur-ever home.”

Myles and Benson worked to develop trust between them and it didn’t take long for them to become best friends. Maegan’s husband Aaron shared “Benson sleeping next to Myles’ bed each night and acting as a protector certainly helped, as well as knowing Benson would not jump, nip or push Myles. Their shared love of soccer bonded the pair together as well! Our large fenced yard is a great place for the two of them to play soccer and fetch. (we go through a lot of soccer balls!). Benson plays with glee and excitement and appears to smile the whole time. They both love all things snow and will play outside no matter the weather. One of Benson’s favorite parts of the day is greeting Myles when he gets off the school bus.”

Myles and Benson are definitely learning and growing together. Maegan explained “Myles has been working with Benson on his leash manners, but due to his large size, this is still a work in progress. Benson had an initial fear of water, especially waves, but with their bond Myles was able to coach Benson into the water. Myles is still a bit leery of strange dogs, but with Benson’s help, we have seen his confidence grow.”

Maegan said “Benson does what we call his nightly rounds – he sleeps next to Myles until about midnight and then does some laps, checking the doors and laying down by our feet. This brings a sense of security to Myles and me as my husband is frequently away for his job. Benson loves his dog beds – yes, he has several and prefers memory foam! He also loves his toys and so far, avoids all slippers, stuffies and random socks that 9-year old boys seem to leave everywhere. Benson loves to sit at our feet at all times- I’m sure he’d be a lap dog if he could fit!”

“As we grew together in confidence and trust, we began to travel with Benson to our cottage and have taken many road trips,” stated Aaron. He’s great in the SUV and likes exploring new places. He absolutely loves people and gives them a full-body tail wag for every person that passes (or comes to our door). Everyone knows he’s waiting for a pat on the head. Benson had a wonderful first vet appointment and was excited to see one of the SPCA staff who had cared for him.

Maegan concluded “Benson is a great companion, always wanting to be by our side and always happy to see us. He has brought great joy to our home. There’s just something about a bond with a rescue dog, a mutual understanding that our lives are better together. It’s interesting that Benson’s ‘Gotcha Day’ was my husband Aaron’s birthday. We couldn’t have asked for a better gift for Myles and for our family.”

Judy Layne

Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Linc. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.