This is Benji, known affectionately as Mr Buttons.
Benji came to GAP in November 2019 and almost immediately became one of our favourites. Benji was odd, or as we like to call it, unique. He would lick his food like it was ice cream melting on a hot day, rather than eat it. He also liked to drag his bed out in the dirt.
Aside from these 'odd' quirks, the GAP team had an inkling that there was something not right with Benji, and after a visit to a specialist, their fears were confirmed. It turns out that Benji has an extra vertebra in his spine between his last lumbar vertebrae and his sacrum (the bone that attaches the spine and pelvis). This condition is not always associated with clinical signs, but dogs who have it can show an 8-fold increase in their risk for a spinal injury and neurological problems.
Worryingly, vets said that Benji could lose function of his hind-legs at any point and there was no way to know when, or if this will happen.
We knew it was crucial to understand Benji's limits and figure out the best environment for him to ensure we provide him with the best chance at life. We spent months studying his behaviour and optimising his surroundings to support his extraordinary needs.
Needless to say, we fell in love with our Benji, and he became a part of the GAP team. He brought so much happiness to our workdays, and all we wanted was to be able to give him the happiness he deserved, in a fur-ever home.
We are excited to report that after almost 1 year with GAP, this month Benji made his big journey to meet his new foster family. He now has a canine sister and a new lease on life, to say that he is loving it would be an understatement!
There were tears of joy (and sadness because we will miss him) when his new foster carers picked up Benji. From all accounts, Benji has settled in well, and we will enthusiastically follow his progress throughout his journey.
Benji will remain in GAP's little known "forever foster program", our organisation is determined to give any greyhound a pet life, this program means he gets the best of both worlds, he has the opportunity to live as a pet, but we will continue to provide support to Benji and his carers whenever it is needed.
It's dogs like Benji that let us know we are doing a great thing here at GAP, and its foster carers like his that are making a genuine difference for greyhounds in need, to them we say thank you!
If you're open to becoming a foster carer, you can find out more here.