DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A baby beagle who started his life here in the Triangle is nicknamed the North Pole Puppy. His new family just drove more than 4,000 miles to adopt him.
There’s nothing quite like a puppy to brighten a rough day, or in the case of 2020, a rough year.
The Hodgkinsons, who live in Durham, needed a distraction from the daily routine, and decided to foster a puppy named Bennie.
The pup had already been adopted from Triangle Beagle Rescue, and needed a place to stay while waiting for his new family.
‘”We did this as a nice escape from COVID life,” explained Jennifer Hodgkinson.
The family has fostered dogs for the rescue organization before, but this situation was unique.
“At first I was hearing he was being adopted by a family in the North Pole,” Hodgkinson said.
Bennie’s adopters actually live in North Pole, Alaska, where snow is plentiful, but beagles are, apparently, uncommon.
Matt and Abby Hatfield moved to Alaska with their beagle, now 10, several years ago. The couple wanted another beagle, but could not find one nearby.
When the pandemic canceled their vacation plans — a trip to the United Kingdome to see Elton John’s last tour — the Hatfields decided to take a different kind of trip and visit family in North Carolina.
It seemed the perfect opportunity to bring home a beagle puppy from Triangle Beagle Rescue.
They named the pup “Bennie” after the Elton John song, “Bennie and the Jets,” but getting to Bennie wasn’t exactly easy.
The more than 4,000-mile trip, from Alaska to Durham brought everything from breakdowns to blizzards.
Meanwhile, Bennie enjoyed all the experiences of a North Carolina fall, and 11-year-old Emeri Hodgkinson got plenty of experience caring for a puppy.
“It was time consuming,” she admitted, though definitely fun.
When the Hatfield’s long journey finally ended in a flurry of tail wags and smiles and treats, seeing Bennie go felt bittersweet.
“It was sad to say goodbye,” said Hodgkinson. “It was really sad, but it was cute to see how excited they were and to see the kayaks on their truck and to know that he is in for a life of really fun adventure.”
The two families plan to keep in touch and share plenty of photos of Bennie’s adventures in North Pole.