“From the minute I put it on the couch, Tim claimed it” ❤️
Leech loved watching how Tim and Ben interacted, and thought they could bring a smile to other people’s faces, too. So, she made Tim and Ben their very own social media pages where she documented their life together. The duo soon had tens of thousands of people around the world watching them.
“From there, it kind of blossomed … the whole story of their friendship and all of their little adventures together,” Leech said.
Ben was 7 years old when Tim joined the family and, over time, the gentle giant began struggling with his mobility. Tim could tell that Ben wasn’t feeling well, so he started giving his brother space, but he would never stray too far away.
“I think Tim sensed some change in him,” Leech said. “Instead of his usual shenanigans of climbing up on Ben, Tim was more gentle and just felt content napping or sitting by him.”
On December 24, 2022, Ben suffered a stroke. The next morning, Ben’s condition deteriorated and, unfortunately, nothing else could be done to help him. At 13 and a half years old, Ben peacefully crossed the rainbow bridge with his loved ones by his side.
“My daughters, who’d all grown up with him, were there,” Leech said. “And Tim was there.”
Leech shared news of Ben’s passing on his and Tim’s social media pages, and their followers instantly felt heartbroken for Tim. One follower, a woman from Ohio named Beth, decided to send the little guy a gift.
“She sent this huge stuffed dog to him,” Leech said. “And from the minute I put it on the couch, Tim claimed it.”
To Leech’s surprise, just seconds after she placed the stuffed dog on the couch, Tim climbed onto its back like he used to do with Ben. He tucked himself into the dog’s plush folds and instantly fell asleep.
Leech decided to keep the stuffed dog on the couch and, eventually, started seeing a familiar image every day.
“It really felt like the old years of when we would come out into the living room, and there would be Tim on top of Ben on the couch,” Leech said. “It was almost the same exact positioning as how Tim used to lie on Ben, down to a certain crick.”
Leech was touched by the sight of Tim curled up on top of the dog just like he would be with Ben. She could tell that he missed his best friend, but it was clear the stuffed dog was helping Tim grieve.
“He’s definitely getting some kind of comfort from it,” Leech said.
Even though it’s emotional to see Tim curled up on the plush dog, Leech knows that Tim isn’t suffering. The little guy is getting by just fine and, in fact, doing better than she’d anticipated.
“He really surprised us all with how good he’s doing,” Leech said. “I think we’re having a harder time looking at him in our own grief with Ben.”
The stuffed dog now lives permanently on Leech’s couch, and every time she finds Tim asleep on its back, she imagines that he’s dreaming about the good old days with his best friend, Ben. They might not be together in the physical world anymore, but their connection lives on forever.
“There’s something kind of beautiful about it,” Leech said. “They really had something special.”