For over 30 years, Benny’s been a daily inspiration for so many. He’s the person I started volunteering with beginning in October 2001, and got me on the path so many others are on … a deep commitment to helping Dachshunds live the life of a loved and valued member of a pack. His own path started with his “Precious Punky“.
Benny is the original inspiration for this website. So, everyone who is helped from this site, can pass along their thanks to Benny.
The online shop here is named Benny’s Barktique. The term was coined in 2005 by a graphic artist and fellow Dachshund owner who also volunteered with Benny. Besides obviously being quite catchy, it was intended to honor Benny Archuleta as someone who has made such a difference in the lives of so many Dachshunds and their humans. Not only is Benny referenced in the book Dachshunds for Dummies, he has a great testimonial on the original link as well as here.
Since he first got involved in Dachshund rescue in the mid-1990s, Benny has directly helped hundreds of Dachshunds and he’s helped many many others find homes through the website he operated for years, under the name Dachshund Rescue Web Page. Over the years, and even with his now limited finances, Benny has donated to many Dachshund-related groups and individuals in need. He created and oversaw a Yahoo group for many years, which was frequented by thousands of Dachshund owners. For years and years, Benny’s website(s) were at the top of the search engine listings.
Benny has been active in the “earlier days” of animal rescue, creating many “firsts”. He helped generate awareness among the general public about fostering, and yes, over the years many have referred to him as a saint (that term is used in the link), as they continue to do to this day. He has always been willing and inspired other groups to accept not only full-bred Dachshunds but also Dachshund-mixes. Sometimes those Dachshunds had the easiest time being placed in a loving home.
In Jacksonville, Florida, where he has lived for decades, Benny was the very first who helped initiate Animal Care and Control in working with rescue groups. Prior to Benny’s involvement, many Dachshunds (and any other animal at the ACC) that had issues and needed time and money for treatment and healing more than likely would otherwise have been euthanized with no chance for a loving home. My Prince is one of those.
He is known, worldwide, for the poem “The Rescuer’s Final Reward“ (written 20 August 2000) which is often referenced in conjunction with the poem “The Rainbow Bridge“. You may also recognize the “Reunion at Rainbow Bridge” written by Benny on 27 February 2001. Although to this day, many do not realize it was Benny who wrote either of these, even though they are both widely used by animal lovers worldwide. That understated way of being, not calling attention to himself, and keeping the focus on the animals is “typical Benny”.
In mid-2004, a number of us put together a proposal for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Look for the full document posted here soon. It included many letters from a number of people who had adopted from Benny. What you’ll see is the love reflected in the creation of the document in addition to what everyone had to say about Benny. The multi-media document is 50+ pages, printed on recycled paper with actual photos hand-laid on specific pages. Here’s an excerpt from the Extreme Makeover application. It references an experience I share to this day regarding Benny and have used as an example when suggesting the same idea to groups:
What’s important to keep in mind is how many people, not just dogs, who have been helped by Benny helping those who can’t help themselves.
There’s one story we’d like to share here. In 2003, Benny got a call from a family in Jacksonville that owned a dachshund, which was in need of extensive medical care. And sadly, although the family didn’t want to give up their dog, they could not afford the medical bills. The family contacted Dachshund Rescue so their dog would get the care he needed. Benny took the dog into the organization as an owner turn-in, took care of the dog’s medical needs, and then adopted the dog back to his original family. That was because they couldn’t afford the medical bills but could afford the adoption fee. This satisfied the legal requirement of the organization’s by-laws, while helping out a family who clearly wanted the best for their loyal companion. And Benny’s the type of guy to find a way to make this happen.
In the past number of years, Benny’s focus has been on providing a home for senior Dachshunds at the Retirement Home for Senior Wieners which he has created with his own personal monies. He was featured in the Winter 2012 issue of Doxie Digest (no longer published) sharing his love and insights regarding “Seniors”. In spite of being “outsourced” from the job he held for decades which supported his far-reaching efforts and encountering some significant health issues, Benny continues to be as equally committed to his vision. This is even at the expense of his own short and long-term financial status. As is typical for him, Benny has continued to reach out to educate the public about the joys and responsibilities of owning a senior dog.
If you are inspired by Benny and his passion for Dachshunds, shop for items which support what Benny does for seniors and/or”gift” the seniors he helps by signing up to make a monthly “gift” (see below) to Benny. If you’d like to contribute to those who recognize the impact Benny has had on Dachshund rescue in general, shop and/or donate to other groups as well.
Please note: This invitation to help support what Benny does is SOLELY and completely of my own initiation. It’s my way of honoring and supporting the lives that Benny has saved and/or made better. While Benny has always had a special relationship with seniors since the internet is now so easily accessible to everyone, Benny has focused his time on helping the senior Dachshunds, and neither of his two URLs are active anymore as there was no longer a need for what he offered for so many years. Prior to the IRS changing its paperwork rules for organizations earning less than a specific small amount of money, Benny made the decision to let go of 501(c)(3) status, in order to avoid the cost of keeping up the yearly filings. As a result, ALL purchases and/or any monthly “gifts” to Benny are just that …. a gift versus a donation and does not include the ability to write-off any element of your contribution to support his efforts. It’s always been his ardent desire that those who are inspired by and believe in his vision won’t mind the inability to get a tax deduction, and instead focus on the life-saving benefit to those in his care as well as those who he continues to help.