My Beloved Dog - Benny Bordeaux

A tribute to Benny Bordeaux

On the beach which is where he truly loved to be
On the beach which is where he truly loved to be
Rosco, me and Benny - happier times.
Rosco, me and Benny - happier times.
Benny when he arrived at hospital this week
Benny when he arrived at hospital this week
I spent ages with Benny in his cage in hospital on Wednesday
I spent ages with Benny in his cage in hospital on Wednesday
Benny lying peacefully in the hospital
Benny lying peacefully in the hospital
He looks so sad with his leg bandaged up
He looks so sad with his leg bandaged up
I must have run out of things to photograph but I couldn't help but feel that I might not have another chance.
I must have run out of things to photograph but I couldn't help but feel that I might not have another chance.
Benny and his Dad who held him and cuddled him
Benny and his Dad who held him and cuddled him
He was still interested in the everyday goings on at the vets.
He was still interested in the everyday goings on at the vets.

Benny Bordeaux died today

I'm writing this hubpage as a tribute to our beloved dog Benny who died this morning from a congenital heart condition.

Benny was a 6 year old Dogue de Bordeaux who was/is dearly loved by his family, me (I'm his mam, his Dad R, doggy brother Rosco and human brothers J and D.

I must say, I've never done anything like this before, I don't communicate via email, I don't have a blog, I don't even have a facebook account but for some reason I felt the need to tell the whole world about Benny - it must be like therapy or something!

I guess this won't be very interesting for most people but the fact that i'm writing it is already making me feel a bit better. I've come to the end of a long sad day and it feels right to gather my thoughts and record something to remind me of Benny (as if I need it).

Unfortunately this is as far as I got before having to mop up the tears and pause for a tea break. The fact is, Benny's a dog and I know in the grand scheme of things I should get a grip and try to get some perspective to my dog dying and I might just do that tomorrow or the next day but for today I'm going to allow myself to be emotional and share my feelings with you.

My Dad said 'S it's just not worth having a dog considering the heartbreak you suffer when it dies' Is he right? I would suspect not as my parents have never been without a dog despite saying they'd never do it again after losing a beloved family pet. Thankfully we're left with Rosco who is Benny's brother, not his real brother but a real brother in every other sense of the word. Rosco's a wonderful dog and we got him a year after Benny. I'm not sure how he'll cope on his own, he's a typical little brother, bossy around the house but a bit of a softy amongst other dogs which is where Benny would step in to protect him. When I walked Rosco this afternoon he didn't race around the field as is his normal activity but just sat by my side looking at me. More tears - oh dear I hope I can get through this without ruining my computer by crying onto the keyboard.

Ok I've composed myself now. Like I said before, this probably doesn't make for very interesting reading, Benny led a great life, we got him as a puppy and have loved him to bits every day since then. Going right back to when he was a puppy I remember we took him to the beach one day and he collapsed and seemed to pass out. I sort of knew something was wrong from that time and in 2006 we took him to the vets for an x ray on his hips which were also troublesome and the vet gave us some terrible news.

We were told that he was suffering from dilated Cardiomyopathy which is a disease of the heart. I was literally reeling with shock and everything I felt then I seem to be going through again now. We were told that he'd be dead within 6 weeks and given courses of medication to prolong his life. Of course we got a second opinion and found that he'd been diagnosed incorrectly and after consulting a fantastic vet called Mr Lowe at Ashleigh Vets in Knaresborough we found that one of Benny's heart valves wasn't working properly. He didn't have Cardiomyopathy and the prognosis was that he could lead a normal, drug free life.

Mr Lowe was right, Benny did lead a normal life but suffered the occasional episode and lost consciousness after extreme physical exertion but to all intents and purposes he was fine up until last Monday. I have to say after reading this back that we did not encourage Benny to overexert himself and in fact such episodes were limited. On the last occasion he chased a deer (which is what a Bordeaux is meant to do) and ran full pelt resulting in collapse.

I have to quote my Dad again as he offered wise but maybe harsh words at the time 'S you just can't stop him being a dog and enjoying what a dog's meant to do. Let him run around at the beach and one day he'll drop down dead and you'll have to sling him over your shoulder and bring him home!' There are a few points worth mentioning here; firstly, you'll probably guess that my Dad is the most pragmatic, logical, sensible, black and white type of guy you could ever meet but that sort of attitude is easier said than done. Also, although I didn't want to spoil Benny's fun I didn't want to lose him at only 2 years old. Lastly - no-one could ever sling Benny over their shoulder and carry him anywhere - he weighed 16 stones!

So what did I do at that point? I bought the best organic dog food money could buy, subscribed to Dr Schulzes theory of organic/herbal medication and gave Benny water therapy treatment on his heart......................... I have to say, R thought I'd lost the plot!

The following 4 years were relatively trouble free. About a year ago Benny had some surgery on his gums due to a problem with his jaw alignment but other than that, no big deal. Then last Monday arrived.............

R took Benny and Rosco out for their evening walk and when they came back R said that Benny had had one of his episodes but this time hadn't recovered. Benny sat in his box looking forlorn and when I felt his heart it was pounding far too fast. At around midnight we called our vets who referred us to VetsNow at Middlesbrough. We drove him there where he was examined by a vet called Mr Stacey who was extremely kind and very professional. He was so concerned about Benny that he advised us to leave him there overnight. I had a really bad feeling about it but knew it was the right thing to do. R and I left the clinic during the early hours of the morning and as we stood in the deserted car park R hugged me as I sobbed my heart out.

As you can imagine, we didn't sleep at all that night and the next morning the emergency vet called to say that Benny was very sick and had been transferred by animal ambulance to our own vets. When we arrived at our vets they'd already located a heart specialist and within no time we were on our way to Moor View Vets in Backworth.

At this point I'd like to say how thankful I am that we were referred to Moor View Vets. I can only hope that if I'm ever sick I'm able to find a place where the staff are as friendly and caring and as knowledgeable and professional as the vets and nurses at Moor View. Sophie examined Benny initially and even went to the trouble of talking directly to Mr Lowe who we'd consulted 4 years ago. I immediately felt confident that they had Benny's best interests at heart. After that Jonathan looked after Benny on a day to day basis and he is honestly the nicest vet I've ever come across! What a fantastic example of a person who is perfectly suited to his profession and is in it for the right reason - to treat sick animals. We also saw Antonio who is a specialist in that area and he was also brilliant. His examination of Benny was thorough and he explained the situation in terms which were easy to understand.

I spent some time with Benny during his hospital stay and that's where most of the attached photos came from (thank heaven for the iphone I got for Christmas). I know you're going to think this is sad but I took tons of photos of Benny in the hospital, I took video clips of him and even recorded his snoring. These are all the actions of a crazy person I know...........

Over the next few days Antonio adjusted Benny's medication and although the prognosis was grave he allowed us to take Benny home considering that his appetite had improved and his heart rate was more regular due to the medication. I was absolutely elated and I knew that we were getting our hopes up to think that he might get through this. We weren't to walk him over the next few days or allow him to do anything that might excite him too much.

Last night, (oh no more tears). Last night Benny lay in front of the fire with his brother while D and I built a Lego sky-scraper. I kept checking up on him but he seemed quite content snoring his head off in chorus with Rosco. R came home from work at around 2am and we stayed up with him a while longer.

We finally went to bed and I'm almost ashamed to say that as we lay in bed I confided in R that I felt overwhelmed with responsibility - why did I feel like that? I'm a woman with a partner, 2 kids, 2 dogs and a full time job - loads of responsibilities. I guess I was scared that Benny might need someone while we were all out at work - I don't know.

I got up bright and early this morning as D had to go to Rugby, (more tears) I gave Benny his medication and some dog treats and left with my usual parting comment 'Won't be long boys'

After rugby we went straight to my Mams for lunch and R called to say he'd meet me there. I actually asked if he'd walked Rosco and if Rosco was ok which seems weird now, I mean I didn't ask if Benny was ok.

R arrived at my Mam's and the really stupid thing was that I didn't pick up that anything was wrong. I actually asked R to rinse my wellies under the tap outside which he did. I watched him from the kitchen door until he came back inside. R gripped me really tight and I knew something was wrong. I noticed all of a sudden that his eyes were red and he said 'S, Benny's dead' (ok now I'm really crying). I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed until my parents came into the kitchen. My mam with a box of tissues and a hug and my Dad with some practical advice on pet bereavement......

R told me everything he knew I'd want to know and it turned out that he'd got up to walk Rosco and found Benny lying in his box, on his homemade crochet blanket (which was kindly donated by Laura who knows how it feels to lose a beloved dog). He was in the same position as always with his paw tucked under his body. He looked like he'd gone to sleep but never woken up. Rosco way lying beside him.

A while later we contacted forgetmenot pet crematorium who agreed to come and collect Benny. We drove the short journey home with D and my parents and I felt sick at the thought of seeing my wonderful, beautiful dog dead in his box. R had moved Benny still in his box into the kitchen and covered him with a towel. I cried and stroked him and kissed him on the brow then the guy from Forgetmenot arrived to take him away. D (who's only 11) took Benny's collar from his neck which I thought was brave and very touching as he said he didn't want me to be any more upset. My Mam and me took Rosco outside and when we got to the end of the street we turned and watched my Dad help carry Benny in his box to the Forgetmenot van.

It's been a really crap day and poor R couldn't get the day off work so I'm sitting here waiting for him so we can talk about it and console each other. I know things will be back to normal soon and I'm a pretty practical person with a positive attitude (must take after my Dad) but at this moment in time I feel very sad. I also had the added trauma of phoning J who is away at boarding school and had to tell him that his dog had died. Thankfully he called me back to say that he was surrounded by friends. I also received a very touching text from K and F from work and I know that K has been there before and knows how if feels to lose a dog and I appreciated the kind words.

I'm glad I committed my feelings to paper although I'm not sure if anyone will read it, it has helped simply to write it. If anyone else reads this they might feel better to know that there are others who feel as passionately about their pets.

A few things worth mentioning:


Benny Bordeaux - 02/02/2004 - 07/02/2010


Comments 26 comments

balvarez143 profile image

balvarez143 7 years ago from New York City

This is a very touching story. I know what it is like to lose a beloved pet. It doesn't get any easier but have comfort in knowing that you had each other. Take care and always remember he had a great life.

Rick1789 profile image

Rick1789 7 years ago from County Durham Author

Wow my first ever comment and thanks to balvarez143 for the kind words of support - very much appreciated.

6 years ago

I know it's been over two months but I'm sure you still have your dog in your heart and hopefully the grief has lessened. Benny looks like he was very sweet. My dog passed away 4 1/2 months ago and we were only 6 years apart in age so he was very much like a younger brother to me. I'm sure your Benny appreciated all the love and care you gave to him. It's fortunate that you could be with him until the end.

kirsty 6 years ago

I just found your page and am sitting here in tears, i yesterday found out that our beloved Roxie has dilated cariomyopathy. she is only 2 and a half. There has never been a problem detected with her heart until now. I am absolutely devastated. She stayed at the vets overnight because she had a lot of fluid in her abdomen, the diuretics are getting that under control....i don`t know if she will live for days, weeks, months or a year or so......i`m not dealing with it very well :(

My heart goes out to you

kate taggart 6 years ago

I have just read about your dogue de bordeaux Benny and im so sorry for your loss and know exactly how you feel.

We lost our dogue de bordeaux on March the 14th mothers day 5 weeks ago. Hooch was my little man and we all miss him so much he was nearly 6years old. He died after being attacked by a black labroder and suffered a twisted gut from the shock and stress he collapsed and died 12 hours later.Our four year old little girl misses him so much and we feel our family has been ripped apart.I just wish i hadn't taken him to the park that day he would still be here and that i struggle with on a daily basis. My daughter wants to go to heaven cause she wants to be with him and its so hard to explain.

Rest in peace Benny and Hoochx

E Letford 6 years ago

I too have lost my dogue it completely shatters your heart. She was put to sleep on the 11th March 2010, ezzie wasn't even 3 years old when we lost her, she too suffered from heart problems like benny, I remember the first time she passed out. The panic I felt was huge. She was also deaf and became blind in one eye due to a blood pressure surge that burst the vessels in the retina.

She was the most amazing dog I have ever known, so loving and affectionate aswell as incredibly intelligent. I miss her everyday, and even tho we still have our other ddb the loss is still hard to bear.

It all happened very suddenly, one day she started losing weight and her stomach bloated it had started to fill with fluid, blood tests and a scan showed her liver was failing and her body was starting to shut down. She was put to sleep that friday morning, the vet said she wouldn't make it through the weekend...

In my opinion she was my shooting star, it only lasts a short while but whilst it is here it lights up the sky.

in loving memory to all our sleeping dogues who will forever snor and dribble in our hearts.

pljd 6 years ago

wow i hold tears back right now as i read your story, I lost my 2.5 yr old bordeuex BUSTER on tuesday(27th july 2010) to what the vet said was congenital. I too am in a true sense of grievence and still in shock. Thank you for sharing your story I would not have the strengtgh to do the same.

Rick1789 profile image

Rick1789 6 years ago from County Durham Author

Well it has been almost 6 months since we lost Benny and I still get a lump in my throat when I think about him. I've got a photo of him on my desk at work and not a single day goes by when I don't think about him. We scattered his ashes at the top of the beach banks near where we live. He loved to be there and that's where I like to think of him - happy and enjoying his life. I'd like to thank everyone for their kind comments and I'd also like to say that it does get better over time and soon your heart won't feel quite so heavy. xxxxxx

Deano 6 years ago

Ive got Missy, my 14month old DDB sleeping a my feet while i read this and i find it hard to think what my wife and i will do when the fatefull day of saying goodbye wil come. My parents had the most adorable Rotwieler 'Ellie' and it was a sad day for all when she died but Missy is my first ever pet and considering i didn't even want a dog (I was pushed into it by my wife) i dont know what i would do without her now. It brought a lump to my throat reading your post and i too am not an emotioanl person but to put the pictures of Benny to the story was too much. He was a handsome Dogue and its easy to see that he was also very loving as is Missy. I truly feel for your loss but i am sure Rosco helps to numb the pain. RIP Benny.

George 6 years ago

I lost my Big Boy DDB Diggery to DCM aged 5 years 7 months, he was truly amazing and will never be forgotten, I hope one day heart problems no longer exist in this breed.

Rick1789 profile image

Rick1789 6 years ago from County Durham Author

Dear George, i'ts so sad to hear about your poor dog. I know you won't ever forget him but you will feel a little bit better day by day.

George 6 years ago

Thank you for your kind words. Diggery died last Saturday, we didn't know he had DCM, but we thought something was wrong with him, we thought it might be worms so tried worming him, as he had lost abit of weight, but was still exercising fine, then on Saturday somebody knocked at the door and he collapsed, me and my brother ran to him, because we heard him as he was so big he knocked the table over when he fell, he was still alive but panicking a little and drifting away from consciousness, me and my brother said our good byes and kissed him, we knew what was happening because I lost his mother to a heart tumour and at the time I was sure it was the same damn thing, he never felt any pain as he would definitely have let us know if he was in pain as he was such a big softy! a few minutes after his collapse he passed away, I couldn't believe it, my big strong healthy Dogue De Bordeaux who looked so cute like a big puppy had gone. But on the positive sides our dogues didn't have to suffer too much as I think it is kind in one way that they go suddenly and don't feel too ill, so they can enjoy their life right till the end. I know Diggy and Benny will be up there having a great time, I am in the process of starting to collect all the photos I took of Diggy, If you tell me your email, I could send you some pics of him. Thanks and all my love to dear beautiful Benny who reminds me so much of Beautiful Diggs x x x

George 6 years ago

Sorry spelling mistake I meant *** Beautiful Benny ***

Andrr 3 years ago

I'm so sorry for your loss. I too just lost my dogue this morning I just don't know what's happened to him? Stroke? Blood clot, Tuma he was like a puppy then gone :(

jodi evans 3 years ago

im so sorry for ur loss my dog de boardex died yesterday of heart problems and evrything u have wrote about benny is exactly what my kyzer had.. they are such beautiful dogs.. mine was only 2 didn't even live hes life best moments ever and my dad told me not to get him so glad i didn't even tho the heatake now xx

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Amber cardiff 3 years ago

Such a sad sad story.

I've found myself on this page today because our own ddb was today diagnosed with dcm. To say we're heartbroken is an understatement. She is 7 and a half years old so we have done better than many i know but she will leave a big hole in our lives.

Reading some of the tales on here has got me thinking whether or not to end things peacefully sooner rather than later rather than have to see her suffer or collapse in front of us etc.

I'd be interested to hear others thoughts who have been through this already?

Rick1789 profile image

Rick1789 3 years ago from County Durham Author

So sad to hear about your sick dog. We lost our other dog Rosco this year and we're still terribly upset. He also died due to heart problems and was also only 6. The only difference was that this time we made the decision to have him put to sleep which was completely awful but I have to say that we did the right thing - it was the kindest thing to do. We went to the vets together and spent some time with him to say goodbye and then R said he would stay while Rosco was put to sleep but I couldn't let him do it on his own so we stayed together. I cried so loudly the whole waiting room heard me and when I left I saw that the receptionists and some of the customers were also crying. The thing is, people like us love dogs and like any friend you stick with them no matter what. We're not ready for another dog and might not be for a long time. Only yesterday I got home from work and as I opened the door I had an overwhelming feeling that Rosco was waiting for me. I hope you find the strength to do what's best for your lovely dog. I'll be hoping for you x

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Amber cardiff 3 years ago

Hi Rick

Thank you for your thoughts and comments and deepest commiserations for the loss of Rosco.

Its been 7 days since my post which was the day our girl was first diagnosed with DCM, an awful 7 days. Amber refused to eat at all and deteriorated so so fast as the week went on. Attempts at chicken, sausages, rice pudding, chocolate etc all failed and as the week went on you could see in her eyes that she was just sooo tired. On Thursday I drove to a local park so she could have a walk without over doing it for her. She couldn't go far so we just sat in the field and watched the day go past. When I got her home she was shattered and slept. Still we couldn't get her to eat and therefore could not get any medication down her. We could hear the fluid build up in her sloshing around and despite losing a couple of stone and her ribs and spine starting to pretrude she now had a bloated stomach due to the fluid.

On Friday morning (the 13th!) our decision was quite easy and yet so hard. Enough was enough, I read somewhere that the last thing a loving owner can do for his dog is to make that hardest decision and it was time.

We had the vet come to us to lessen the stress on her frail body and bless her when they arrived she ran to them to welcome them in to her home with her tail wagging away!

Tonight I picked up her ashes from the local crem and shed yet more tears.

An awful awful decision to make and yet the right one totally. Never ever to be forgotten she really was the most gentlest and beautiful dogs I've ever had the pleasure to come across and was loved by all who met her.

RIP amber x

Rick1789 profile image

Rick1789 3 years ago from County Durham Author

I certainly have a lump in my throat reading your post about Amber. I bet she's with Benny and Rosco in doggy heaven. So sad for you.

Steph (Rick1789)

tonyfergo 3 years ago

I'm reading all these posts absolutely devastated that such beautiful strong yet gentle giant of a dog suffer so commonly from heart failure. Its such a shame and I myself own a 5 year old dogue 'Rooney' who has himself collapsed twice in the past 3 months! Today was the 2nd time whilst out on a gentle walk and I can only say that I was so glad that he came around again so that I could get him to the vets where we found out the likelihood is he has heart failure and he will eventually succumb to it. I feel terrible at the moment, he was my first dog and our children have grown up with him, the thought of him not their when I come in from work or to cosy up to on the sofa is horrendous. Not to mention how my wife and children will suffer and my parents who love him as much as we do. I just hope the illness doesn't take him too soon and that when he does go, he goes at home in his bed with his family. Because although he is just a dog, im sure you all can relate to the bond and emotions you feel for your dog and the memories they leave you with will last a life time, god bless the DDB x

Rick1789 profile image

Rick1789 3 years ago from County Durham Author

I feel so sad reading your post. I know just how you feel. Rosco was diagnosed with heart failure probably around 18 months before he actually died even though the vet said he'd be gone within the month. I have a better understanding since we lost Benny and Rosco that dogs live in 'the now' and don't sit around feeling sorry for themselves like we would. If we thought we were poorly we'd stay in bed and worry but dogs just carry on and it's this that keeps them alive. We still don't have another dog and although it has been almost a year since Rosco died I still have the odd tear. I posted a slideshow of him on YouTube 'Dogue de Bordeaux RIP Rosco'. I'll say a pray for Rooney.

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MitzieR 2 years ago

I too came across your page and comments through a search on how to deal with the death of a dog. My beautiful Dogue called Humphrey died suddenly this morning on the way out for his morning walk. He just fell over and had a mild seizure and within a minute he was dead. He was going to be 9 years old on the 9th April and I was looking forward to celebrating his birthday with him and some friends. He never had any health problems and this came as a complete shock and I am devastated.

I completely understand all of the posts above ... and the Dogue isn't just a dog they are a truly special breed. I have had Humphrey since he was 7 weeks and he never gave me any troubles.... except for maybe having a fixation with good italian or spanish designer shoes. (in his puppyhood that is)

He was a very smart dog and he was always beautifully behaved. He was gentle, protective, loyal, playful, extremely devoted and loving. He loved socializing and hated being on his own. We buried him today wrapped in his favourite blanket as well as one of my own favourite blankets and I hope he is in peace. Thank you Humphrey for your friendship and love. I will never forget you. Love XXXX S

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Amber cardiff 2 years ago

MitzieR, I really feel for you right now as I'm all to aware how painful it is for you at the moment. I guess you can take comfort from the fact that he reached such a good douge age and did not suffer. Instead he went doing his most favourite thing. It's been 5 months since we lost our girl now and we vowed not to put ourselves back through the pain and anguish the loss causes but I have to admit we failed on that score. After several months of the house feeling like there was something missing we caved in an now have another cheeky little dogue running around and destroying whatever she can (I really forgot how hard puppies were). It does help and makes us smile at the similarities between Amber and Stella. It has helped the healing process although she will never be replaced. Right now though for you I can just imagine/remember the day you've had and wish you well for the future. A fantastic breed that really gets into your heart

MitzieR 2 years ago

Thank you Amber for your kind words..... it helps hearing from somebody who understands. I wish you all the best with your new girl......I hope she lives to a ripe old age like my Humphrey!

Em 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story about Benny and Rosco. We just lost our 5 year old dogue last night, just shy of his 6th birthday. We suspect he had a heart attack while he slept. We had no idea what was happening and there was nothing we could do. We are just glad we were with him. We wish we had many more loving years together. It is wonderful to hear that there is so much love for everyone's dogues across the globe.

ChrisA 2 years ago

I am so sorry for everyones losses I cried a lot reading thru the blog and replies. My boy Rikus is 7.5 years old and had bloat torsion surgery a few months ago but now his stomach is large and distended but soft so i am thinking fluid he is also having breathing issues we took him in last week and they couldn't find anything except tummy and irregular heart so need more tests we are taking him in again today but I fear the worst =(. We lost our girl Moira a year and a half ago and were crushed DBB's are so amazing and enrich our lives. They are indeed shooting superstars.

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