TERRE HAUTE —
Ben would do anything for love.
In fact, the 41⁄2 year-old, 70-pound dog ran away from his new, adoptive home in Youngstown Meadows; traversed 10 miles across busy streets, railroad tracks and lonely fields; braved the cold and his own hunger; and somehow, some way, in about 24 hours, found his way back to the Terre Haute Humane Shelter.
And there, he rejoined the love of his life, his soul-mate and the mother of his children, Jade, a 1-year-old German Shepherd mix.
But this love story doesn’t end there.
When Courtney and Jason Lawler, the couple that had adopted Ben, realized the two former strays would not be happy without eachother, they adopted both.
The story of Ben’s trek to find his girl “is amazing,” Courtney Lawler said Friday. The Lawlers knew Ben and Jade were close, and even stayed in the same pen at the shelter.
But initially, the Lawlers decided one pet was enough, for many reasons.
They have a 3-year-old rambunctious son, and Jade seemed “a little more skittish than Ben,” Courtney Lawler said. THHS staff believe Jade was a stray her whole life, until she was taken to the shelter. Jade is not used to being around people.
For a long time, Ben and Jade were strays who lived near Fruitridge Avenue and Fort Harrison Road; different people on the north end, including staff at Benjamin’s Family Dining, made sure they were fed, said Debbie Floyd, president of the Humane Society board.
“Anyone who travels the north end would have seen them,” said Floyd, who works in that area and also fed them.
When Jade got pregnant last summer, “We trapped them and took them to the shelter,” she said.
Ben and Jade remained together at the shelter for several months. “They were a bonded pair,” said Charles Brown, shelter manager.
When Jade had six puppies, THHS adoption counselor Kali Skinner took the mother and puppies home to take care of them for eight weeks, and eventually found homes for all six puppies. Jade was timid, but a “very caring mother,” Skinner said.
Jade and Ben were then re-united at the shelter, until the Lawlers adopted Ben. While Ben had plenty of food, and a warm, loving home …
“When a man loves a woman, can’t keep his mind on nothing else. He’ll trade the world, for the good thing he’s found,” or so goes the Percy Sledge song.
The Lawlers had Ben for about three weeks. On Dec. 28, while Jason Lawler was taking out the trash and talking on his cell, Ben saw opportunity, shot out the door and ran. And ran. And he didn’t look back.
No one’s sure where exactly the path of love took Ben as he made his way to the shelter at 1811 S. Fruitridge, but he got there by last Saturday night.
While he wanted desperately to be with his mate, he did not want to get caught, either. Shelter workers tried four hours on Sunday to get him — even using Jade as bait. “He knew it was a trap,” Skinner said.
Jade was inside a fence, and Ben was out. She must have been warning him, because he would not go inside. He did, however, “kiss her through the fence,” said Skinner, one of several who worked feverishly to capture the street-savvy Ben.
The shelter workers renewed their efforts on Monday, New Year’s Eve, and finally used a dart gun to tranquilize and slow him down, although he put up a long, hard fight once again and it took another several hours before they captured him.
“The story, the emotion and the energy it took to track this fellow and get him back to the shelter was amazing to witness,” wrote Sue Berta, a shelter volunteer, who helped recapture Ben, a carmel-colored German Shepherd and husky mix.
Ben and Jade were “visibly happy to see eachother, barking and wagging their tales,” Brown said.
On Thursday, the Lawlers took the re-united couple home; they had adopted Jade. Ben likes to hide under a bed, while Jade lies on a mat beside him. Both are shy animals uncomfortable around strangers, and the Lawlers hope to receive assistance from a shelter volunteer trained to work with such animals. “It will take a lot of time and patience in working with them,” Courtney Lawler said.
She described Ben as “content and happy because he has Jade,” while Jade “still has a lot of puppy to her.”
Floyd is grateful to the Lawlers for taking both dogs.
Ben and Jade “want to be together. There hasn’t been a lot of human love in their lives,” Floyd said. “They found love with eachother and that what’s make them happy … Hopefully, they will live their lives happily ever after.”
Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Ben would do anything for love.
Ready to rock: ISTEP+ testing begins today in Indiana
The student body of Woodrow Wilson Middle School issued a collective battle cry on Monday as it began a week of standardized testing.
‘A common spirit that binds us’
Disaster can hit at any time, whether from a tornado or fire that leaves a family homeless.
Man arrested on multiple burglary charges
A Montezuma man has been arrested in connection with residential burglaries in Parke and Vigo counties and on suspicion of illegal sale of firearms.
$1.4 million revamp of Third Street in works
Plans to spruce up Third Street through downtown are taking shape.
New principal picked for Hoosier Prairie
Hoosier Prairie Elementary has a new principal, Jennifer Russell, effective today.
Possible bookkeeping 'abnormalities' under scrutiny at TH airport
State authorities are investigating possible “bookkeeping abnormalities” at the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.
UPDATE: Putnam deputy indicted
A Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy who also serves as a Greencastle city councilman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of deprivation of civil rights in his police duties, and he has been placed on administrative leave as a deputy.
Canvasing families: Mothers confront life with diabetic children
Four Wabash Valley mothers who sat around a circular table Thursday night couldn’t hold back tears as they talked about their children’s battles with a lifelong disease and their hopes for helping other affected families.
MAX JONES: Newspapers can be fun, too; check out Readers’ Choice
Smart and savvy newspaper readers (that’s all of you, of course) know full well that their daily consumption of news and information isn’t an exclusively high-brow pursuit.
Changed wording to SJR-9 delays debate on right to hunt, fish
A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn’t the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off of this November’s ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt and fish.
You’re home now: A veteran’s Midwest move that almost wasn’t
To say that Michael Curry was stressed is an understatement.
A service member who has been in the U.S. Army for more than 21 years, he had just arrived in Vigo County with his family — wife, four teen-age children, mother-in-law and two dogs — when he learned the home loan he had obtained in Texas was denied.
Valley lawmakers assess legislative session’s trials, tribulations
As state legislators head into the final week of the state legislative session, five of them from the Wabash Valley met with citizens Saturday at the Vigo County Public Library in downtown Terre Haute and engaged in conversation about the “ups and downs” of the recent session.
Families often unaware of helpful groups for kids with disabilities
One Saturday morning event in Terre Haute aimed to raise awareness about the resources available to people with disabilities.
Spotting pot, gun in home nets 2 arrests.
Two adults were arrested and two children removed from a Vigo County home on Friday after drugs and a handgun with altered serial numbers were discovered in the home, authorities said.
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Focus on poverty, inequality
The issues of poverty and inequality will be at the forefront of the 13th annual Terre Haute Human Rights Day on March 18 at Indiana State University.
VIDEO: Tasting their way to a cure
People appeared to be in high spirits Friday inside the historic Indiana Theatre as they gathered for an evening of wine, food and conversation while supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.
Same-sex marriage: 4 couples sue state over ban
Four gay couples from southern Indiana sued the state Friday, seeking to force Indiana to recognize same-sex marriages from out of state and issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Time to check smoke alarms
Three years after a house fire on South Nine Street in Terre Haute resulted in the death of three people, a Terre Haute grandmother still wonders if the outcome of that fire would have been different if smoke detectors in the home had been working.
Indiana State Board extends president’s contract
Indiana State University has signed up Dan Bradley, the school’s president, for an additional three years of service.
New animal shelter gets welcome boost
The aging Terre Haute Humane Society shelter is not a place for the faint of heart.
Vigo County high school team in FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional
Drivers of remote-controlled robots will match skills, similar to those used in basketball and soccer, to score in the FIRST Robotics’ Crossroads Regional on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Benefit planned for daycare fire victim
Veronica Gray never met 19-month-old Emma Lloyd, but when she learned about the child’s tragic death in a Sullivan day care fire, she had to do something.
Winter’s costs add up for Vigo
While still within county and city budgets, the snowstorms of January and February were more costly than a year ago.
Mayor Bennett threatens veto of consultant funding
Mayor Duke Bennett is threatening to veto a measure before the Terre Haute City Council that would transfer money into the council’s budget allowing the body to again hire a financial consultant.
Semitrailer fire slows eastbound traffic on Interstate 70
Traffic on Interstate 70 was slowed Thursday afternoon by a semitrailer fire just east of Terre Haute.
Tests show Skittles had no unusual chemicals
The Indiana State Health Department has given Skittles a clean bill of health.
No problems reported in early 10-digit phone dialing
Just be grateful you (probably) aren’t using a rotary telephone these days.
Cloverdale woman sentenced to 10 years in molestation/neglect case
A Cloverdale woman received a 10-year prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to child molesting and neglect of a defendant in Vigo Superior Court 3.
College students spend alternative spring break helping in Vigo County
Pruning in the orchard and preparing plants for the garden has been part of the experience for a group of Minnesota students who are spending this week as an alternative spring break at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
MARK BENNETT: How you approach the day will influence if you are a ‘morning person’
I can still see the stacks of coins, 40 cents in each, arranged on the dining room table.
- More News Headlines
- Ready to rock: ISTEP+ testing begins today in Indiana