The Great Benny Dog Search

Sometimes you just need a girls night out. And when you have a friend with a daughter that you and your daughter love equally, sometimes you need a girls overnight in Newport. At a fancy hotel. So you can relax and just decompress with your bestie and revel in some good old fashioned girl time!

This is exactly what we did last week. After the last year of remote learning and following all of the Covid guidelines, it felt good to celebrate our vaccinations with a trip! We had so much fun relaxing by the pool, riding bikes and eating out. My soul just needed the break.

Now that I felt recharged and zen, it was no surprise when Darcy came up to me at 10 PM the night we got home to tell me that her Benny Dog was missing. She couldn’t remember if she had packed him or accidentally left him in the room. She tore apart her bag and I looked through mine with no luck. At this point my husband and I started to panic.

You see Benny Dog isn’t just any old stuffed animal. When our Benny died people set up a memorial on the street and dropped off loads of flowers and stuffed animals. People who were complete strangers to us. The day before his services we decided that we’d have the kids each choose a stuffed animal or ‘Benny Bear’ to take home with them.

Darcy chose a chihuahua looking dog who became known as Benny Dog. There were stuffed bears there the size of her and surprisingly she chose this tiny, unassuming little dog. We have no idea where he came from or who gave him to our family, but Benny Dog became Darcy’s lovie. A complete stranger had given Darcy some comfort at the hardest moment in her life. Benny Dog has been to every sleep over, vacation and adventure we have had in the subsequent 7+ years.

I calmly called the hotel and was told to call back in the morning. So at 9 AM the next morning I called and was told to email housekeeping. I sent a pleading email, hoping someone would look for Benny Dog. I heard nothing. I really began to panic 48 hours after checkout. How could they not have found this little guy yet? My husband was ready to drive to the hotel and look. Darcy was eerily calm through all of this. I think because she knew I was not going to let this go until her Benny Dog was found.

I called and finally talked to housekeeping and was told they would call the linen company and check the room. They had nothing in lost and found. I just kept hoping that he would show up. Meanwhile, my bestie was chatting with a friend about our trip and let’s just say this lady has connections! All of a sudden the Great Benny Dog Search of 2021 commenced at said hotel! There were meetings with department heads and this little 8 inch pooch became a priority.

Within 3 hours I had a phonecall from housekeeping! A very thorough search of our room found him wedged/crammed between the nightstand and the wall. He probably would have lived the rest of his days there until they changed out the furniture had they not looked. I cried in relief that he was coming home via FedEx.

Once again, a complete stranger had saved us. I’ve never met the woman who put the Great Benny Dog Search into motion, but I am humbled by her understanding of our loss and her willingness to go right to the top to make sure that he was found. She saved my family from another huge loss and poor Benny Dog from years of being crammed between a wall and a nightstand. Thank you. ❤️

She Understood

There were many people that showed up and sat with us for months after our loss. They came with food and drink and presents for Darcy. There was so much honesty and connection through these visits. My work family was a big part of this.

When Benny died people were pretty amazing. We talk so much about the people that have disappointed us, but in truth there were so many that stepped up to help us too. We were lucky to be surrounded by love.

There were many people that showed up and sat with us for months after our loss. They came with food and drink and presents for Darcy. There was so much honesty and connection through these visits. My work family was a big part of this.

One of my co workers ‘C’ came by a few times to spend time with us. I remember sitting in my living room, or going out to dinner with her and her fiance. It was easy and a good distraction for us. She was one of those people who was able to hug me and cry and even though she didn’t have children of her own, she was able to empathize. That meant the world to me then.

Fast forward a few years and I was asked to write a letter about my boss and how he had supported us through our grief. Because of who he is and what he does for those around him, he won Core Net’s Service Provider of the Year. Parker and I were invited to the event and I was terrified to go.

This was 3 years after Benny had passed. I had since quit my job and had been working with Parker growing our antique automobile business. Fletcher the rainbow was 1 year old and we were surviving. I had been avoiding the reality that I had lived a whole other life for a long time. For 7 years I had built relationships with clients, contractors and vendors alike. This event would force me to face all that I had lost/given up professionally.

When we got there, I was nervous. I knew that we would be sitting at a table with some of my past clients and I knew that I would see others from the industry. I remember taking a deep breath and walking up the stairs, and there to my surprise was C. Now C had just had her first child about 6 months prior. I was so happy to see a familiar face and I ran to give her a big hug. And she started crying. And then I started crying. Because I knew in that moment that she understood.

Now as a mother, she understood my loss at a deeper level. I was sad for her because she realized the magnitude of love that comes with carrying and having a child. And I think for the first time she clearly realized what we lost. So we cried and hugged. We didn’t need to say anything because we both understood. And I felt seen. My loss felt acknowledged all over again.

I wish that I could say that the rest of the night was as great as that single moment, but it wasn’t. It was awkward as all hell. I was awkward. And I’m okay with that. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I accomplished something that I had been avoiding. And that single moment made the whole night worth it. Thank you C.