[Paws on the News] Benji – the 6th family member

Benji at 2 months old

Introducing our little fella, 6th member of the family, Benji.

Our 13-year-old dear mutt, Nick had passed back in November of last year leaving our German shepherd Sparky boy quite distraught and the house quite void of doggie action. Ever since 5-month-old Sparky had come home nearly 11 years ago, he had always had Nick around, taking care of him, if you will, so he was really moping around. We decided  then that we’d take home a new member so that he wouldn’t sulk around the yard alone during the day when everyone’s away.

Benji at 4 months

8-month old Benji is an Alaskan Malamute and he’s named after my favorite dog movie series starting back in the 1970s. My all-time memorable one, released in 1987 called “Benji: The Hunted” was on the lost Benji in the wild taking care of 3 cougar cubs who had lost their mother to a poacher. A very touching story that inspired our new fella’s name, even though he’s now probably 5 times the size of the original mixed-breed little Benji.

10-yr-old Sparky

Benji boy is a very active little guy, who refuses to keep his paws and wagging tail still. You could see how much he’s changed in the merely 6 months we’ve had him. He eats practically everything…and I mean every…thing…kibbles, veggies, rau muong (Vietnamese morning glory), shoes, grass, soil..you name it. Malamutes are known for taking at least 2 years to fully mature so we’re still expecting him to grow a bit more. He loves to wrestle with poor old Sparky, who, despite his interest in having Benji around, can only take the ear-biting hassle for so long before he quickly retreats to his doggie house. Technically a dog year is 7 human years, so Sparky to Benji is much akin to a 70-year-old trying to take care of a 5-year-old.

Benji at 8 months

In the past month or two, Benji boy has learned to be a bit more ‘modest’ in his manners and what not, sitting, shaking paws, lying down and rolling on cue, and has been very ‘polite’ in asking Sparky to play with him, by slowly crouching up nearby, butt to the sky, nose to the ground, and giving out only one or two barks, instead of bombarding on the sausage boy’s stomach. On a side note, we are no longer worried about Benji being gender-confused, as my father comedically puts it. Up until two weeks ago, Benji was still going to the bathroom ‘lady-style’…..but in the past few days, he has been getting one leg slightly up there…so no, our Benji boy is not gay ^^. The poor fellah though is not really liking the heat of the summer, hitting tops of 36 C yesterday, he’s bred from the likes of Alaska so you could see why. We’ve been keeping him hydrated along with Sparky, tucked well under good shade. Love from Benji and Sparky, more pics in lomo-style!

Background info: Many have asked whether Benji is a Siberian Husky, and what the differences are. This is what I know, apart from deriving from 2 different geographical regions noted through their names, Pure-bred Alaskan Malamutes only have brown eyes, whereas Siberian Huskies can have brown, blue, grey or even alternating eye colors. Malamutes are a bit more built as they’re bred for long-distance sleds pulling heavy loads whereas Huskies are normally more slim-fit as they’re bred for speed, sled-racing and pulling smaller loads quickly ^^