My name is Benny H. and I’m going to do my best to write a biweekly column that shares my unique view of the world, my philosophy of life and how I navigate my struggles. And I’m hoping that it will be of value to you, because it will be a different way of looking at things. You see, I’m almost certain that you and I don't share the same approach, perspective or learning curve, because unlike you, I’m a dog.

Please stop reading now if you have no interest in what this particular individual of the genus Canis lupus familiaris thinks. But for you others — perhaps you’re interested in my take on various subjects. Why not? My being a dog does not compromise my standing as an old soul, a kind and gentle boy, and a survivor.

To continue with my introduction, I’m a 5-year old, mixed-breed, 68-pound rescue dog. Rumor has it that I have some cattle dog, some Australian shepherd, and a whole lotta mutt rolled into one! I was found abandoned on the border of West Virginia and Ohio as a tiny puppy along with my seven furry siblings. Our litter was hidden in the bushes, right near where our mama was shot. She was a mistreated, skittish stray who was doing the best she could for all of us, but was too terrified of humans to stay. Can you blame her? It still breaks my heart to know that, but the happy ending is that all of us pups ended up in safe, loving homes, thanks to the other type of humans … the kind ones.

So now you might understand why I think so deeply about things. I have seen the worst of humankind, and I’ve seen the best. And from those experiences comes my belief that things can be very, very bad, and then in an instant, they can change for the better. A miracle can occur, most often when you least expect it. Never in a million dog years could I have imagined that I would be rescued, fed, cared for, and sent in a van north to New York. For goodness sakes, I didn't even know what a van was! And New York?

Anyway, after I arrived there, I was cleaned up again, put into a cage, and adopted out to someone who lived in Connecticut. Connecticut, I tell you, a whole other state! I was so scared, but my new mom helped me to achieve good health, taught me about love and about living inside in a house. She also introduced me to the rest of the family there — consisting of a German shepherd and some cats. Wow — cats. That's another story for another day!

Anyway, we lived there happily for a few years, until my human decided to seek a kinder, gentler place to live and thus we picked up and moved to Maine. And so here I am, writing this column! Ain't life grand! Or at least, I try to get my fears out of the way and let it be! There is so much that I don’t know — but I do know that there is lots of magic out there. I have seen and experienced it firsthand.

Well, I've shared quite a bit with you already, but there is one more thing you must know. I acknowledge that I am “from away," and from what I understand, I may never be considered a true Mainer. That said, I also know that Mainers are kind folk who seem to appreciate my big, brown eyes, my spotted coat and my gentle ways.

And of course, I am hoping you will love my column and taking walks of thought with me. With that in mind, please come back and visit next time, when I give you my perspective on what the holidays mean to me.