How Dogs Can Make Our Lives Rich, Part ll

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

Will Rogers

Bentley was a Christmas gift for Bonnie. He came with a red ribbon and a bow, instead of a Jaguar. Kids and I did a lot of secret talks and we got him on Christmas Eve. His first night was in Jason’s house, not to tip Bonnie. On Christmas Day, a dog showed on our doorsteps. The dog’s appearance overwhelmed Bonnie. I’m convinced in a good way. As for Jason, they are still best of friends, although after this one sleepover, his carpet had to be detailed.

Four years have passed since then. Many walks and many kibbles ago. Bent grew up ever since. He became a very social and a friendly dog. After my minor surgery, he was my healing dog. When Bonnie was working, we shared time together, often a bagel or an apple. He was our paper retriever and our mail retriever.

Sometimes he was too friendly. Very obedient, but not all the time.

But after the move to Chapel Hill, he became more unruly. We have a lot of distractions here: deer, rabbits, squirrels and he wants to socialize with everybody. Didn’t listen (this runs in my family), easy to distract and barked a lot. He had enough flaws, and we had enough time to do something about it. Local trainer was running obedience school and Bonnie enrolled all of us. We were one of six dogs/owners teams.

It took six weeks of classes, a lot of kibble, and other treats, and plenty of commitment on part of my wife. She was the chief trainer, and I was just a helper. We were doing all the obedience elements, from name recognition to running to owner across the room on command. Bent was behaving like a child with Attention Deficit Disorder. No hope for us. I was asking Barbara, our trainer, what is her graduation rate was. I didn’t think we were going to make the cut.

Then the last class came. We went through the series of tests and competitions. We couldn’t believe our eyes. Bent won two out of three of them! The last one was how long could he look at the owner’s eyes without turning his head away. Bonnie’s eyes were tearing, but our ADD dog held on for the longest time. I couldn’t sit still. We graduated! With honors.

Now his official name is Mr Bentley Jr PhD.


  • Congratulations to Bentley and family. Going from a California to North Carolina with big weather changes and lots of new wildlife is a challenge!


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