Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day Three: Learning Daily Obligations

Today started off with a quick, wet nose snuggling next to my neck (that would be Bentley's nose, not hubby's.) Throughout the morning, our little companion closely followed our movements throughout the house. After hubby went to work, there were a couple of times that I brushed Bentley's coat, while teaching him the command, "Brush." Soon, I am sure that he will come to receive the delightful back scratching of the brush. It will take patience and time, but who can resist the scratching of the out of the way places?

"Load Up" is still a new command that will take repetitive practice, so we gave it a shot today. A quick, short walk before attempting entering the car prepared him for a boost into the towel cushioned seat. I could tell that he was scared, nervous and unsure of the outcome of the car trip. Soothing, sweet, encouraging words accompanied soft, reassuring fingers touching his soft fur. Shivering a bit and looking at me with pleading eyes couldn't persuade me to unloop his leash from the handle.

We arrived at my husband's work and another hurdle was refused. Bentley refused to walk into the building; fright caused him to flatten. Scooping him up and cooing sounds of reassurance relaxed him. All the "girls" of the office are true animal lovers and understand that time is necessary when greeting an anxious pet. It only took a few minutes on my lap to ease Bentley's anxiety. Soon he was greeting the "girls" and enjoying their warm greetings. We all relaxed and he enjoyed the added attention.

Soon the door opened, which turned Bentley's tail into a wagging machine. In walked his "daddy" and it was clear that seeing him lit up Bentley's world. Arriving from a friend's funeral was a sad man, who couldn't help but be delighted with the obvious adoration of Bentley.

After the smile-producing journey to town, we loaded up and headed home. The ride home wasn't as frightening, so Bentley relaxed and slept. Good sign that he will learn that car trips are to be enjoyed and not feared. We are overwriting scary with good travel experiences.

Once home, we had dinner to prepare and mashed potatoes were on the menu. I was used to having curiosity under my feet as I cooked. He watched my peeling, cutting and plopping potato pieces into the kettle. Leaving the kettle on the stove to do its thing, I retired to the living room. Caught up on my email, while the potatoes cooked and Bentley snacked (or so I thought.) When I decided that enough time had passed to produced cooked potatoes, I went to the kitchen, where I discovered what Bentley had been busy doing. Lined up on the floor, forming a nice little potato parade were three undamaged potatoes marching from the potato bin towards the living room. I guess Bentley decided that maybe we were hungrier than I planned for and we needed more potatoes in the pot. Laughing from my heart I replaced the potatoes to a higher location and gave Bentley an appreciative pat on his head.

After all, potatoes were Cubby's favorite vegetable. He would stand on his hind legs and watch as potatoes were peeled and cut, knowing that he would receive a few chunks of raw potatoes. So when Bentley found the potato bin and participated in the process, it gave me a new memory that softened the loss of Cubby.


  1. My goodness, I laughed at the "potato parade". For some reason, I just flashed back to Judy Garland's "Easter Parade" and immediately pictured those spuds wearing fancy bonnets - ok, yeah, it's been a long day leading to a little goofiness. :)

    Bentley will learn that what was once scary will become comforting, especially with his people there to love and guide him. I think the potatoes were Bentley's way of saying, "You are my person, and I love you". And maybe Cubby's way of saying, "I'm fine now, and it's okay for you to love again. I will always be here to watch over you and hubby and Bentley". Animals tell us plenty if we are willing to listen.

  2. Thanks for the response, Sugar. Yeah, I could just see the spuds all dressed up with their eyes wide open marching along.

    Today he's discovered the plasic gallons of water that we buy for the Grandlove. We now have a gallon of water without a top (this was originally unopened.) He's a little sneaky guy, but I am used to that.

    Noises spook him and he runs to me for reassurance, which is nice to be needed.

    We should have an interesting day tomorrow, since we are taking a long road trip. He will get to sit on a lap, since there are two of us. We already have the perfect pillow and towel, since this is the way Cubby traveled. We'll see.