Benji (Barts Humor Me)

Male, black, tattoos 126C-69747. Born 12/21/16. 76 pounds. Confident, friendly, outgoing: selected for the prison program. CAT TOLERABLE! Steady; meaning that he goes with the flow and not a lot bothers him. Easy going, can take change. A little more quiet than the other boys he arrived with. Kind of does his own thing.

12/7/19 – Benji is a graduate of Putnamville Correctional Facility Class # 35. Without repeating everything posted on his blog profile above, here is the recent update. Benji continues to do very well…..His previous adopter would enjoy taking Benji to pet stores just to walk him around for the stimulation, so this dog would be a very good meet & greet dog. He did exceptionally well working our meet & greet table during the PetPeople Benefit Dog Wash. He enjoyed himself. He is not afraid of lots of people. In the prison he enjoyed going to the lively chapel services. He would also do very well in doggie daycare, if the next adopter chooses. He is a big eater because of his size. 3 cups for breakfast and 3 cups for dinner!

He is quickly learning what is appropriate as a toy and what is not. He humorously stole a bilange shower sponge hanging in the bathroom, but quickly responded to “LEAVE IT”. He is very smart with a desire to please and a keen understanding once you gain his trust. Benji is still learning to share certain toys with his 4 foster siblings. He has no problem sharing things like the braided rope toys, the chewy bone toys, the dog beds, etc. But we put the bouncy balls up for now, as he became a little possessive and reactive to us trying to take them from him. And he was hogging them all to himself! We are retraining him “OFF” when it comes to the master bed, and he is learning. We keep the counters clear of food, although we have only caught him counter surfing once when we absentmindedly left another dog’s half-eaten bowl of food on top. He got down when he was squirted from a distance with a water bottle. He is still fed separately in his crate, a good idea with any new dog, especially since we have 5 big dogs residing here now! We also temporarily put away all “stuffies” to avoid him from getting possessive about them. Also because this is a dog that once had emergency surgery for eating a flimsy stuffie. We are confident that stuffies can be brought back into Benji’s future, but ONLY the most durable. And once they start to get torn they must be disposed. But for now, he is still transitioning into this foster home, and with 5 greyhounds, we decided to proactively remove all stuffies for now. (You can’t let him see where you hide these things as he is super smart and he remembers! He will be an opportunist and wait for you to leave the closet door ajar!)….He is exceptionally tall for a greyhound, so he needs a great dane crate during transition time. We believe that he can be left uncrated after he has proven to be trustworthy. It may be months, but his long legs would be best uncrated. He DOES need a crate during the transition though for when you are gone. He does best with the TV on while we are gone to mask outside noises…..Not every greyhound that we adopt out is required to have a fenced yard, although they can ALL benefit from one. But we believe almost-3 year old tall Benji needs one. When he gets so full of energy, he loves to go out in the yard, whether by himself or with his siblings all muzzled, and run race laps around and around! Zoom zoom. (Nothing more breathtaking than a greyhound running.) The Barts greyhounds have a reputation for being great dogs to adopt, and Benji is another one that the Barts can be proud of.

11/30/19- Benji (Barts Humor Me) – male, black, tattoos 126C-69747. Born 12/21/16, 78 pounds, a tall greyhound! Benji is CAT TOLERABLE! Benji arrived from Sunburst in April 2019. He graduated with honors from Putnamville Correctional Facility Class # 35. He was known for being calm compared to most young greyhounds his age! He was the easy one. Never causing any trouble in prison. Except he was treated to human food occasionally by an offender-handler who was discovered via the surveillance cameras and sternly corrected. (Benji’s eyes are hard to resist!) He has since then been trained quite well not to beg at the table during dinner. So Benji was adopted upon graduation. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, he was not a good match for the home. He returned recently and is available again. Benji was sent to foster with the Louden family, since they knew him best, for evaluation. Mary and Jeff had visited Benji in the prison every week during the Dog Meetings with the handlers.
Just like his first night in the prison, Benji whined up a storm at bedtime. But that was only on night one. He also jumped onto the bed, a habit he is being broken of now. So for the early part of his transition he is still crated at bedtime, and he makes no complaints. Benji gets along well with the 4 resident greyhounds. (Of course we knew that, he has always enjoyed the companionship of other dogs.) He has proven that he can be trusted in the house without his muzzle on.       He is being fed separately in a closed crate during this transition time, as he demonstrated some possessiveness around food in his previous house. He eats 2.5 cups for breakfast, and 2.5 cups for dinner. He gets one Kirkland brand dog biscuit before his last turn out, a tradition the Loudens picked up from the kennels so that the greyhounds have something in their bellies at bedtime. This was also a tradition we started at the prison with the prison fosters. We have had no problems with food obsessions or arguments.
Benji is an inquisitive dog, after all he is not even 3 years old. We hope he finds his forever home before his 3rd birthday on December 21. When he first came home, his access was limited to the family room, Foster Mom’s office off the kitchen, and the kitchen. The bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry room, second office were closed off. We did not want to find out that he was not housebroken, nor did we want him getting into the wrong things. The counters were cleared of any food, and cupboards / pantries were tightly shut. Benji learned on day one where the treats were kept! So we did not trust him. Like most young dogs in a new environment, he will self-serve if given the chance! (He was warned that this would be a parole violation but he seemed to ignore the meaningless threats! LOL)
Benji is a curious dog, typical of a new greyhound in a new environment. Therefore he was allowed to investigate by sniffing everything to his heart’s content, all while under supervision of course. He proved to be easily redirected when he found something inappropriate that he wanted to claim for his own. His offender-handlers had taught him the command “LEAVE IT” and his past adopters had spent time training him also. He knows some entertaining tricks, as Benji is a smart greyhound! The biggest challenge to date is teaching “OFF” when he sneaks off to the master bed. But even this challenge is dwindling as Benji has a strong desire to please.
During initial transition, his next adopters must take great care that he does not slither his way out the front door when you enter or exit. He is very sly if he wants to be, and if he is focused on getting outside at that time. If his foster parents were not very greyhound savvy he would have been a loose dog at least twice! We think this is because Benji LOVES the outside!
Benji LOVES to go on walks! (What greyhound doesn’t?) But he also loves to run and romp in the fenced yard. He runs zoomies around and around. He LOVES to play ball. Fetch, chase, you name it. During the initial transition time to his new foster home therefore, we temporarily put away the balls while the hounds are outside playing together to pro-actively avoid toy arguments among the siblings. (His foster folks do this with every new foster, not just Benji.) Benji had a trip to the emergency vet while at his first home also after he consumed a stuffy that later would not pass through his system. So he is now only allowed the most durable toys, which is a good practice for any greyhound until you know their chewing habits. Mostly he understands what to chew on. A few times he was easily redirected to the appropriate toy. While left alone at home Benji is still crated for now. Someday after he gets adopted and settles in and learns his new boundaries, just like most greyhounds, we believe he can be left uncrated. But he will need a crate during transition time. Since Benji is very tall for a greyhound, the crate size listed in our Adoption Manual is the absolute smallest size for him. He would do far better in a Great Dane crate, for longer term, or even an ex-pen once he gets over the very early transition of “where am I?” Or perhaps his adopters would want to just start off with a Great Dane crate. That is what Benji currently sleeps in at his foster home for overnight. During the day, if foster folks are gone, he is in a regular greyhound crate with a slim bed. Benji is a greyhound that would thrive in a ‘good’ doggie day care we think also!
This greyhound loves affection, but he is not an “in your face” constantly-at-your-side dog. He is well mannered. He is true to the temperament of the Barts greyhounds – very desirable. And he tested cat tolerable, so what is not to like? He is very smart, and like his racing name Barts Humor Me, Benji will humor you with his eyes, personality, sleek black shiny coat, and even some fancy tricks that his last adopter taught him. Benji can spin in a circle if you say “Circle”.  He shakes with his right paw. Benji will also shake with his left paw if you say “Other paw”.  If you hold your palm out and say “touch” he will touch it with his nose!  No wonder his offender-handlers gave into the temptation to offer him human food!

We are confident that Benji is ready to find his new Home For The Holidays.

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