Benny has what he thinks is the best job ever. He and Charlie and Kevin have a small company that trains rescue dogs to be service dogs. Yes it’s heartbreaking the shape some of these dogs come to them in, or when one is too far gone to be this rigorously trained (then they find a find a no kill home for the animal). But the joy of connecting a dog with an owner is incredible.
Benny is mostly responsible for matching up the dog to the owner, and helping them learn how to work together. It can be an intensely personal experience as he is always attached to the dogs and becomes pretty attached to the human. He gets Christmas cards and photo updates all the time.
Only there is this pitbull mix they’ve now had with them fully trained for two months. He is a wonderful dog, kind, and so smart, but also a little stubborn - only no one wants a dog that has even a little bit of pitbull in them. Charlie thinks they might have to farm him out, but Benny begs for two more weeks, as they a few more appointments set up.
One day this giant of a guy comes in, in a impressive tailored suit. He explains that he isn’t there for himself but for his brother. They’ve looked at service dogs before, but his brother has never found a match that suited him.
Charlie asked the purpose of the dog. The guy explains there were a car accident and Dean has mobility issues. Charlie walks him through the dogs and the guy doesn’t seem impressed.
Benny asks, “Why hasn’t he connected with a dog before?”
“Apparently service dogs are too helpful.”
Benny could hear the snarky air quotes being used.
“Tell your brother to come in, we’ve got the perfect dog.”
3 days later, the tall guy was back, with a guy wheeling along in a black wheelchair covered in skulls and band stickers. They were clearly bickering but in a happy brotherly way.
When he got closer he could see the man was gorgeous, he held out his hand, “Benny. I’m the guy to make sure that you and your dog can work together.”
“Don’t need a dog.”
“Maybe the dog needs you.” Benny replied.
“That was all sorts of lame.”
“Dean.” the other guy hissed, but Benny just laughed.
“Come on, meet Hagrid.” Benny lead Dean into the back training room where the pitbull was waiting. Benny signaled and the dog came over and sat at his feet. There was also some boxer in him, which meant that sitting he was at Dean’s shoulder.
“Try giving him an order.” Benny suggested.
Dean shrugged, “Get me those mittens on the table.” Hagrid looked at Dean, looked at the wheels under him, at the table and huffed. Sat down.
Dean grinned and rolled himself over, picking up the mittens. He saw a newspaper on a bookshelf, slightly higher than he could easily reach. “How about that?” He asked pointing.
Hagrid went over and put his paws on the shelves and grabbed the paper, bringing it over.
“Okay yeah, this dog is mine.” Dean pet Hagrid and Hagrid ignored his training and licked Dean’s face.
Benny laughed at the joy on the face of mutt and man. “I’ll be working with you two over the next couple weeks, get you adjusted to each other, help you set up your house for the dog.”
“Guess I should give you my number then.” Dean smiled.The smile grew bigger as the dog leaned into him.
“Guess you should.” Yup, Benny loved his job.