Benjamin “Benji” Pacis

Written By: Patria Baradi  Pacis

[1] [2] [3]                                        BENJAMIN “ BENJI” PACIS  (04/28/95-05/20/08)

                                                   My Beloved German Shepherd


                                                 Patria Baradi Pacis


It seems only yesterday that I spoke to the editor of the Montauk Pioneer, ,David Lion Rattiner, to

enquire how I could get my German Shephered “Benji” on the front cover. I knew Benji was special.

He loved to pose for the camer. He loved putting on the sweaters I knitted for him or hooded,

sweatshirts  that I bought from the Montauk Community Church’s Rummage Sale.


After several failed attempts to get a picture of Benji on the cover, Dave was kind enough to give me

some  pointers through phone calls and e-mails:

“Take Benjij to the Montauk Point Lighthouse and make sure your digital camera is set on high

resolution,  otherwise the pictures will not come out clear.”

“Turn the camera vertically and give enough room for the Montauk Pioneer title at the top.”


The very next day, my husband Cam and I drove to the Montauk Point Lighthouse as instructed.  Benji

and  I had a “photo shoot.”  I bought several outfits for Benji but since the Fourth of July was coming

soon,  I put my red, white, and blue scarf on him and his yellow, rim sunglasses. He posed in front of

the  Lighthouse, in back of the Lighthouse and at the parking lot across the street with the Lighthouse

as the background.  He just posed and posed until I had more than fifty shots to choose from.


Several weeks went by, no “Benji” on the cover. Each Friday, my husband and I waited anxiously to

see if our baby made the cover page.  Days later, Dave sent me an e-mail stating that Benji made the

cover of the July 7, 06’ issue.  I was busy typing away when my husband walked in carrying a stack

of  Pioneers.  I looked at the cover and saw Benji’s  huge  face splattered on  the whole page.  I put out

a  scream so loud that I am sure that everyone in town heard me.  I was really happy that our Benji

finally  made the cover.  Needless to say, I thanked Dave and sent an e-mail worldwide to all the Benji

fans who  knew him from my writings of Benji stories.


The next couple of days, on his daily walks, cars would pull up over and ask if Benji was the dog on the

Pioneer cover and Cam and I would proudly say: “YES!”   Benji was an instant Star and the rest is



One of the many tricks Benji performed is “Patty Cake, Patty Cake.”  Benji would sit and bring his

front paws up and we would play the game.  “Patty cake, Patty cake, Benji’s pal, make me a cake

for me and my guy, hold it, roll it, put it in a pan, bake me a cake as soon as you can.” Then we would

“high five” or “high ten” each other.


Another trick of Benji’s was playing soccer with a small, yellow, beach ball with a happy face printed

on it. I would kick the ball, then Benji would do the same until it hit the hallway wall.  Benji also

loved his tennis balls.  One Christmas, I came home with a pail, full of balls and dropped them all

at one time.  He was as happy as a child in a candy store.  If Cam and I were not up to playing, Benji

would entertain himself.  He would pick up his ball from his basket full of toys, then he would throw

it up in the air with his jaws and try to catch it in mid-air.


Benji also loved to play “hide and seek.”  Cam would run and hide.  I would yell: “Ollie, Ollie,

Oxen, ready or not, here he comes.” Then Benji would know to look for Cam.


Whenever a fire truck would pass by our home with its siren on full blast, Benji would start howling

as if he were singing.


So many precious moments with Benji.  Each day was a blessing, ever since we found him as a