Can./Am. Ch. Big Benz Son of A Be

November 17, 1992 - November 13, 2004


It is with much sadness that I write to let everyone know that “Canadian/American Champion Big Benz Son of a Be” crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning at 11 a.m., peacefully, and in our arms.


Sunny was known and loved by anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him.  This magnificent Akita came into our lives at 15 months old, entrusted to us by Lynny and Dave Benzinger of Big Benz Akitas.  Not only are we grateful for their faith and trust in placing Sunny with us, but also for their loyal friendship since then.  Sunny's mother, Big Benz Glory Be, was one of the sweetest Akitas who ever set foot on this Earth, and she passed on her loving, affectionate temperament to Sunny, who, in turn, has passed these same qualities to four generations of Kireisa Akitas.  His daughter, Moka, crossed the bridge 18 months ago, but we have Sunny's grandsons, Panda & Zak, his granddaughter Chorus, his great granddaughters Splash and Leia and great grandson Cannon, and finally, his great-great granddaughter, our 10-month old baby, Mandy.  Every one of them has his affectionate, outgoing personality.


He was a wildman in his time, leaping up onto the judge's table in the show ring one time, and then breaking out of his crate on board a Delta Airlines flight from Toronto to Atlanta (ACA National Specialty 1996), jumping out of the cargo hold when the door was opened, and leading the airport police on a merry chase over the runways.  When he got tired, he jumped into the back of the police cruiser and was delivered to me, now roped into his crate, with nothing more than a scratch on his chin. We even got a free new VariKennel 700 crate from Delta for that adventure!


He loved everyone and everything.  He never tired of giving big, wet kisses, accompanied by a happy "A-R-R-O-O-O-O" and he especially loved all small things.  He would let birds eat out of his food bowl, and once came to alert me that a small bird had entrapped itself in a lawn chair, so that I could rescue it and set it free.  He especially loved puppies, and took his grandfathering role very seriously, gently playing with and cleaning the pups, and allowing them to clamber over him, nibbling on his feet and pulling his tail.  He never once growled or in any way disciplined his little charges.


He never met a person he didn't like, and reveled in being "on display" at dog shows and breed demonstrations. He even had his own fan club - people would come back year after year to see him at the shows and breed booths.  The size of his massive head and huge paws always amazed everyone; yet he was so gentle and loving.  With age, he slowed down some, but the tongue never did; even as he was crossing over, he was giving kisses.  He was our friend, our foundation stud, and the "King of Kireisa".  His passing leaves a void in our lives and in our hearts that will never be filled, and he will be mourned and missed by many. A true ambassador for the breed, he would have been 12 years old on Wednesday.


Godspeed, Sunny.  Till we meet again.


Lorraine & Gary Burch

November 13, 2004





 ~ Remembering Sunny ~


We are overwhelmed with the many messages of condolence we received on Sunny's passing, and thought we would share with you the sentiments of others who knew and loved him.


"... I smiled as you described his fan club, because I was certainly a member. I was glad to be able to see him a few months ago. Like you said, he was slower, but still a big loveable guy. He just had the happiest personality. If he passed away in your arms giving kisses, then he left a
happy dog."
R.J. Martin


"...I remember the first time we came to see you all in Mississauga. I can remember Sunny trying
to climb up on Glenn's lap! He's mentioned that so many times to people since. And the other
memory is when he was at the Sportsman show and was trying to lick four little faces at the
same time, and fell off the table !"
N. Ewing


"...We loved him too and feel the void that is left from his regal and oh-so-impressive presence.
Take comfort in his contributions to the breed as he was what all Akitas should be allowed to be. Gentle and loving, but strong and stoic."
W. & D. Marshall


"...The big red dog won me over the day I met him at Lynny and Dave's, as soon as that huge pink tongue came snaking out from between the wires of his run. His antics in the ring, and his bold friendliness to the judges, always brought me much joy." 
J. Cadeau  [We extend special "thank you" to Julia, for being instrumental in bringing Sunny into our lives - L & G]


"...I remember meeting him in Toronto years ago and was so in love with his gentle nature and
L. Bacco


"...He was a great Akita - we remember him from the time you brought him to your home and then over to our house to visit!! He had such as wonderful, playful personality - we will remember that, even seeing him with his gray muzzle, he always was a puppy at heart!!"
L. & R. Patterson


"I had the pleasure to meet Sunny and it truly is everyone's loss. I am so sorry for your pain now but if only every Akita could know the love he did, well it would be a happy world."
N. Lamm


"...Sunny was indeed a great Akita...but as Be passed on her personality and attributes to Sunny I have no doubt that his offspring will be the recipients of his great temperament and charm."
B. Chant


"...He was a gentle soul and a champ, and has left quite a legacy."
B. & C. Mawhinney


"...In reading your tribute to him...now I understand why Kinu is the way he is. He has the same mannerisms and qualities of Sunny. The active tongue, the A-R-R-O-O-O (first thing in the morning)...even the odd "W-H-O-O-O-O?" and gentleness towards smaller dogs, etc.
I know that Sunny walked across the Rainbow Bridge but he is very much alive and well in Kinu (as I'm sure he is in his other offspring.)"
H. Grange & C. Reyes


"...Genie inherited her father's loving personality, big voice and his "A-R-R-O-O-O-O". I always think of him when she gets playful. Only a true friend can leave footprints on your heart!"
R. & J. Gordon


"...When I first visited your kennel, Sunny made a lasting impression - a very impressive Akita."
A. Smith


"...I only saw him a few times but thought he was friendly, beautiful and just plain awesome!"
B. McCracken


"...he was a lovely dog... I will cherish the pictures that I have of him and the memories too."
R. Hare