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Monday, April 29, 2013

Abby and Bentley Together Again

Emma and Abby

Bentley Such great expressions!

I knew there would come a time that this would happen however I had hoped that there would be a greater time distance between their deaths and I find my mind wandering back to a time when they were young and playful.

  I remembered the morning that I carefully laid out my work clothes prior to a shower and let the two of them out to play while I took peace in the knowledge that I finally would be able to enjoy a nice hot shower.

            “Good Boy! Good Girl!  I said to them.  Go play now, mom will get you in a few minutes!”

Bentley and Abby happily ran off chasing each other around the yard and I closed the door quickly to hop into the shower.

Ah, I thought, it’s nice they are older now and can be on their own outside for a few minutes. 
It was that same feeling I had when both my boys started school full time!

The shower's water was warm and took away any aches from the horrid mattress that kinked my back in the middle of the night.  But alas, work was calling me and I knew  the pleasure to my aching back that the warm shower gave had to end.

Reaching out from the shower, I grabbed a towel, dried off and proceeded to grab my clothes for work. Pants, socks, undies, shirt, sweater, and? And? And ….MY BRA!  WHERE IS IT?

 Just then as if in a really bad dream I saw Bentley and Abby running around the front yard, and as I put my glasses on to see what made them so gleeful there in Bentley’s mouth hung my bra! And in another split second of a bad dream, another vision appeared and it was the neighbor who walks his dog every morning at 7:30 AM and yes he was fast approaching my front yard. 

To late to do anything about it. I can only hope Bentley will drop the bra and run to the fence to bark at him as the neighbor approached which he did! Good ole Bentley, reliable on bad behavior!  And in another split second I saw my sweet baby girl Abby running to the fence as well, only from her mouth hung my bra! 

People ask how do you not see an article of clothing in a dog’s mouth when you let them out to play?  To that I say, they have never owned a Newfoundland!  Steeler (Abby and Bentley's son) will stand right in front of me with two socks in his mouth and if he had not taught me that this trick was his way of getting a morning biscuit I would not know he had two socks in there!

 Needless to say, my work shirt turned into a tee shirt and the sweater into a bulky sweatshirt because you see I am not your ordinary gal. No sir, shopping for clothes is as big of a nuisance to me as cleaning an overflowing toilet is for others.  Thus the reason I only own one bra at a time!

God only knows what the topic of conversation was at the dinner table in my neighbor’s house that night!

As Peter and I drove home from Bloomsburg after working the CART booth at the street fair we reminisced about how one tracked Bentley’s mind was.  He knew of all the places he could escape from the yard and checked them for flaws daily. He especially checked all gates the morning after my son had a party!

   One time during the Christmas season Bentley had escaped and he wandered the neighborhood sending Peter and I driving road to road searching for him.  Suddenly we saw a man standing in the snow wearing only his white terrycloth bathrobe and slippers in this 30 degree weather.  As we got closer we saw that this gentleman had a hold of a rope which was around Bentley’s neck! Along with the rope, Bentley was sporting a long line of Christmas lights seemingly still attached to the man’s bushes! Oh boy, big trouble!   The gentleman looked cold and not very happy as we pulled up.  After seeing his face, Peter and I glanced at each other wondering who would be the person to confront and apologize to this gentleman.  I shook my head no.  Peter looked at me again, and again I shook my head no, after all it was not I who left the gate open!    With great apology he met the man standing in the frozen snow in his bathrobe, wishing he had in his hand a cup of hot chocolate or coffee to offer this neighbor that we had never met until that moment.  I could see Peter nodding his head, his hands outstretched to take Bentley from this man in an apologetic manner.  Bentley jumped  into car, and was not apologetic but very happy he had run free. I think I actually heard him say, “That was fun mom can we do it again?
  After talking briefly with the homeowner, the gentleman’s mood lightened, and all was right with the world again.  Of course we did offer to replace the Christmas lights as well. 

.Again, reminiscing,   I am reminded of the way that I had met a newer neighbor who had only been in the neighborhood for about 6 months. She had heard that we had the occasional bear run through the streets especially during mating season when the mother would kick the kids out of the den.   This new neighbor and her small child were out on their lawn on a beautiful day.  The child was playing while the mother was gardening.  Bentley ran up behind the mother, the child pointed at Bentley and said, B E A R, to his mom.   Mom heard the panting and felt the hot breath on the nape of her neck and put a finger against closed lips to her son as if to say shhh. Suddenly Bentley’s long wet tongue grabbed a hold of her ear and neck and kept going until she was kissed all over!  Yes, sadly, this is how I meet my neighbors!

My girl Abby was not quite as an adventurous as Bentley. She did not look for every nook and cranny to escape,she preferred to stay home. However after her babies were born and her daughter Emma had grown up a bit, she, Bentley, and Emma had gotten  loose and found their way on a back street that became busy once the work force let out.

I frantically went out in search of them and could not find them in all the normal spots so of course panic set in.  I continued to run home to check  my phone messages as the dogs had their name and my phone number in black marker written right on their collars so anyone who found them would be able to call me. 

On the third trip home thankfully there was a message from a lady who said she had my dogs. Of course Emma was still young  and had never been loose in the neighborhood so  my heart sank at the thought that she may not be with them.  I called the number the lady left me and she said she was nearby and had the dogs with her in her truck. Another sense of urgency came upon me as I thought of them in the back of a pickup truck. Would they try to jump out?   I rushed to grab some leashes for surely I knew that Bentley would need to be on a lead immediately upon return, whereas Abby and Emma would just come back to me whether or not they had a leash on.
Standing at the end of my driveway I suddenly saw a small Toyota pickup truck round the corner and in the cab of the truck sat 3 very large Newfounlands! I could not even see the driver!

  The lady in the Toyota pickup truck told me at first she thought they were bears out in the road. Then she saw some tails go up and she knew they weren't bears! Worried by the upcoming work hour traffic, she pulled her truck over and opened her door.  Bentley and Abby quickly jumped into the cab as they loved car rides.  Emma was a bit shy so she would not  get into the cab at first. The lady told me she really had to coax Emma to get in, but she would not leave her behind.   If you have never seen three Newfs in the cab of a Toyota pickup truck it is a must see!  Had I not been wracked with nervousness surely I would have taken a picture!

There are many stories of the adventures of Bentley and Abby or just Bentley alone, thankfully all ended well and I had learned lesson after lesson about trying to keep them safe should they escape the yard.    The gates that were left open which was the cause of many of their outings  slowed down once my kids moved out and took their parties with them!

Bentley however, even in a secured yard, found a way out once he realized that in the cold weather the pool he normally swam in during the summer months had a cover over it, so all he need do is climb up the ramp, walk across the cover, and jump! 

Neither Abby nor Bentley ever gave us a dull moment. Bentley was always happy go lucky with anyone he came in contact with and Abby never shunned a greeting by a stranger either.

Their life was long, longer than the breed's expected 8 to 10 years. It was happy and loving and though this family cried like crazy at their passing and passing so closely together, we know that they are making someone very antsy in heaven with their antics as they await us and their own children to be with them. 

Rest in peace you beautiful Angels, you taught me much!

Bentley~ Dec. 2000  ~ April, 25, 2013

Abby    ~ March 2001   ~ April 17, 2013  

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