Kimberly Robinson
Eric Greene who with his wife Naomi, and son Daniel love to take their dog Ben to Hiawatha park where Ben loves children and fetching the ball.

Pet of the Week: Ben is a protective big brother

Eric and Naomi Greene got their dog Ben, a Samoyed mix, from a no kill shelter in Woodinville. "He was a transfer from a kill shelter in Portland," Eric said, "They found him as a stray, in 2007." They don't know his exact age but "he was just adorable and we found him through PetFinder.com."

They feed him Origin from Next to Nature in the Junction and he loves cheese for snacks.

Ben loves to fetch, really for anyone who will throw a ball, especially kids.

The family has a cat, named Yeti, "also white, long haired cat from shelter as well. Ben looks like a polar bear and Yeti looks like an abominable snow cat. There's a lot of white hair all over our house."

Ben has a habit worth noting that makes him a little like a protective big brother. "Every night, always when I put Daniel to bed, he will curl up right next to his bed. He's been doing it since Daniel was a baby and what's remarkable is I used to take him for a walk at night. My wife is a nurse and now she works nights so I couldn't take him out at night, since it was just me and Daniel. Ben used to hang out with me but now every night he goes up and stays right in Daniel's room. Even when I call him into my room he won't do it. He just stays there, keeping watch over Daniel."

Ben had a close call at one point. "My wife's family lives in Lynden, Washington and they have a farm that has some acreage. He will bark at the cows and horses, but he did take after a bull once. We thought that would probably be the end of Ben. But it's a good thing we practiced his recall words and he came back."

Ben is pretty well trained and knows the basics of sit, lie down, shake hands and of course the all important recall words. "He took a six week course at Seattle Dogworks on Capitol Hill and he got it."

Ben is not a social dog, canine wise, preferring the company of kids.

Eric summed Ben up as a "Really easy going mellow, spirit. He's my best friend. He's not high maintenance, aside from the brushing, but I love doing it. He's very patient. He's kind of my rock. In stressful times he's always there. I feel like I've learned a lot from my dog. Especially getting him before having a kid. It's much as they say it's kind of practice before having a kid. He is because he's taught me patience. He's a good loyal friend."

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