True Beauty …..

Ben is a gentle, good-natured, friendly sort of dog who loves going out and about making new friends and catching up with old ones.  We are used to people who are perhaps nervous of dogs crossing the road to avoid him, but we’re equally used to friendly folk descending upon him and with many oohs and aahhhs making a great fuss of him.  But last week was a little different.

Once he was up on his paws again after his operations, I took him out with me for short walks around and about.  He still had stitches in his eyes, and his face was partly shaved so he was definitely not looking his handsome best.  But still .. I didn’t expect the totally audible comments of “Uurgh, how disgusting” and “Look at that dog it’s gross…” etc etc that he received from one or two people (not his local friends).    And whilst he didn’t understand the words, he certainly picked up on the tone of voice, and his tail lost its cheerful curl and began to droop sadly.  So I took him home again and he hasn’t been anywhere he might meet visitors for a while – though now his stitches are out and his eyes are nearly back to normal I think perhaps its time for him to venture a little further afield again.    And in the meantime I stitched this ….


For no matter how odd Ben’s face looked after his operation, he was still the same loving, gentle dog inside, and as I’m sure we all know, the same is true for humans too.  I hope you like it and the pattern will be in the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.


  1. Oh Ben I send you the biggest hug I can. Now you just growl – ONLY under your breath mind you so know one hears you, and just ignore the horrible people. YOU are very beautiful Ben, and you wag your tail ignoring the nasty people and look proud
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  2. Sarah Smith says:

    Dogs have an amazing amount of compassion and unconditional love, that I am sure the tones of voice really were felt deep by Ben, Daisy, and I am sure, by you, as well. It makes me sad to think that some people do not realize that dogs have feelings that are, often, easily hurt just as people do. Hopefully, those comments won’t dampen his mood for too long!! I, also, love the new pattern! It rings so true about every aspect of life!

  3. Linda B says:

    I’m so sorry! Poor Ben! What he must have been thinking! Sending lots of love and big hugs his way…

  4. How sad for Ben!!! Hope he will be cheerful soon!!! Love your needlework!!!

  5. What a good idea. How aweful how those people reacted. In the end you see inspiration for embroidery can come from the strangest sources…

  6. Poor Ben – but you are right they are still lovely no matter how they look. We used to have a Boxer that suffered with seasonal alopecia and would sometimes hear people making comments that suggested he must be being maltreated to look like that – very hurtful to us and our dog – especially as with all our dogs he was spoilt rotten.

  7. Gosh, I never would have expected people to be like that. Very hurtful! And Ben would certainly have picked up on it. We send him extra love from us and Snowy and Baa. xxx

  8. Dear Helen,
    How sad for you and Ben but, sadly, there are some people who are very shallow and can’t see beauty unless it’s the obvious sort. They’re the losers, though. Always remember that there are lots of us out there who think Ben’s a very handsome, loveable Newfie whatever he looks like. Please give Ben a special big hug from me.
    The August issue of B&S looks absolutely fabulous already and I can’t wait for it to come out – as usual!

  9. Poor Ben. Please, give him a big Texas sized hug and scratch him behind his ears. When someone hurts our fur babies, they hurt us. We lost our little chihuahua, Tippie. She had been sick for a good while. She was in Renal failure. If we hadn’t taken as good a care of her as we did, she’d have gone sooner. I can still feel her get on the bed, but she’s been gone for over two months.

    • So sorry for your loss Deborah – whether they’re large or small, losing our furry friends leaves a hole in our hearts x

  10. That makes me so sad. What is the matter with people! That IS awful. So sorry, Ben. It’s their loss! “Gentle Ben”

  11. Regena Fickes says:

    No matter the signs of surgery on sweet Ben’s face, I am sure he was more beautiful than those who were so rude! How sad that their souls are so twisted that they allow outward appearances to affect them so negatively. I often feel concerned for their future selves if they or someone they love do not measure up to their idea of beauty. Give Ben a huge hug for me and tell him I don ‘t care
    how he looks, he is a truly beautiful soul.
    I love the hoop art.

  12. Sadly , it never fails to amaze me how rude people can be.
    Your poor Ben and poor you.
    I hope you all venture out again soon.
    Love your latest stitching.
    Enjoy your day.

  13. Thank you so much everyone for all your kind comments and support for Ben. I have passed on all your hugs, and also choccie dog treats for them both! xxx

  14. I am so sorry that you and Ben had to face such mean comments. A lot of people just don’t think before they say anything! I have Sphynx cats which are the hairless cats and I get comments all the time on how ugly they are. They are the most beautiful cats to me. They are warm and their skin feels like suede. It is something watching them move because you can see how muscular they are. Give Ben a big hug and another to Daisy so she won’t feel left out:)

  15. If they are that vocal about their negative opinions about an animal, I shudder to imagine how they handle human beings that do not appear on a fashion magazine……. I am a cat person (one is a diabetic and due to a mouth infection has no teeth), but you can still hug, pat or scratch (your choice 🙂 all of the above?) your pooches from me.

  16. When I opened your post this morning my heart stopped a split second. We have been at fair this week surrounded by kids and animals, everyone that love animals & kids. If people whom have never had the opportunity, joy, care, or gift of compassion for an animal friend they will never experience the undying devotion, kindness, and loyalty that animal gives us in return. , the “job”, love, they feel with pride they were put on this earth to give to their humans. They were naive, unknowing, with no sensitivity, we must feel somewhat sorry for them for that. Luckily our animals seem to understand and I’m sure Ben with all of his intelligence and love from you finally understood. Head up Ben, we love you!

  17. Once again, thank you so much for your kind comments and support, so many lovely caring readers out there – tail wags to you all from Ben xx

  18. Beverly says:

    I sometimes like animals better than people.

  19. Pam MacLennan says:

    Oh Handsome Ben some people can be plain strange and nasty. Although I said you were a sight last week I meant it in the nicest possible way. The people who made those comments are obviously not animal people and have no idea how being owned by an affectionate pet (dog or cat) can make our lives so complete. Pleased you are well on the road to recovery and just remember all of us out here in blog land love and care for you and Daisy – oops and Helen of course lol.
    Love the new patterns Helen, looking forward to the magazine coming out.

  20. oh ben, I have been so busy that I missed your operation and your news. i am sorry that some folks were making mean comments. I think you are special and deserve the best. sadly, My lovie, Patience a Neo-Mastiff is failing and I have to make a decision about her life. My son is on his way from Utah because he loves her and wants to say goodbye in a proper way… Our dogs are family…Please keep us and Patience in your positive thoughts and prayers…

    • Oh Brenda, I am so sorry, it is so sad that our furry companions don’t enjoy the same lifespans as ourselves. I am sure Patience is very much loved, and you will make the very best decision for her. We are all thinking of you here xxx

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