Benjamin Button, that is my nickname for Dahlia, my Catahoula mix who I adopted last year, at 8 years old. Dahlia’s story is recounted in my book and some of my blogs. She constantly amazes me with her continuous improvement in both trusting humans and learning how to be a real dog.
When I adopted Dahlia I expected her to live no more than a year, she could barely walk and was afraid of everything and every one. She hated going for walks and would often refuse to leave my buildings property and when she did leave the property, she would lay down and refuse to get back up. She was so nervous and unsure a mere glance in her direction would have her coward and urinate on the spot.
So why do I call this girl my Benjamin Button of dogs? Because as every day passes, Dahlia literally gets younger. These not so long ago memories seem like a lifetime ago. Dahlia is now 9-1/2 and I swear she’s going to live at least another 5 years.
Not only does Dahlia enjoy long walks, she loves to run and play with other dogs. The dog who used to watch Flipflop play fetch endlessly now plays fetch herself, and loves to have a toy or ball to carry around. Each day Dahlia does more and more that makes her behaviour pass as a young dog, rather than a senior with 8 years of an abusive pass.
Last week on a walk with my neighbour, she was watching Dahlia prance around, something that always makes us happy. She said to me, “I wonder what was going through her head two years ago when she was laying in a ditch thinking her life was over.”
“I can’t,” I responded, “I can’t even think of this girl being left to die with so much life left in her.” And Dahlia has SO much life left in her, she is literally the Benjamin Button of dogs, as every day I see this senior get younger before my very eyes.