Welcome to Bentley's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Bentley
12/17/17: Hi Bentley, I'm sorry I hadn't written before today, but to be honestly truthful, setting up this site for you has not been the easiest thing for me to do. I guess, in a way, it's facing the reality that you're not physically here with me. Funny thing, is I thought I was prepared for this. I know I kept saying to myself that it wouldn't be much longer. You had such a hard time walking. I felt so bad for you (and I guess, us). I would walk you down to the river, and you would have such a hard time, but I could see in your eyes that you wanted to go, so I made sure we went. Eventually, I could only walk short walks with you, and you would be so tired I wasn't sure you would make it back inside! But you always did. You were a strong dog, both mentally AND physically. I was always so worried that you would come to the point where you couldn't walk anymore and then I would have to make the hardest of choice.

But that never happened. The night of your passing, I had actually just ran out to get you some fresh dog bones, some chicken broth and some Pepto Bismol for your tummy aches. When I came back home, you started a labored breathing and gave me "The Look". I remember my mom telling me "You'll know when it's time, he'll give you the look", and she was right.

I drove to the vet confused and not sure what to do. I drove slowly because I didn't really want to go. When I got you inside, you laid down on the floor just inside the main door. I had to pick you up and carry you into the examining room. Was that a sign that you didn't want to go? I'll never know. I still wasn't sure. Then the vet said you were filling up with fluid, we did an x-ray and then realized you were full of cancer. I broke down, realizing that I wasn't going to be able to take you back home. To be truthful, everything was a blur from there on. I remember you falling to a final sleep in my arms, me kissing you and crying. I'll never forget the awful feeling that was.

Nope, as much as I thought I may have been, I was not prepared, at all.

This weekend, I called the vet to find out where your ashes were. You were actually back at the hospital but they hadn't called me yet to tell me! I immediately went and picked you up. You know me, Mr. B, I always did whatever it was that you needed. I never wanted you to go without or get the best of what I can give, and I certainly wasn't going to have you staying at the vet's all by yourself!

I'm glad you're home with me now. I light a candle next to your ashes nightly. I can't promise that will always happen, but just because I don't light it doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you.

So many people have written to you on this site. I really does feel good, knowing that you are in such a beautiful place and that you have a lake and a pool to cool off in and that you have so many friends to play with. I hope you are pain free and finally enjoying life again, running through the fields and swimming in the water.

Bentley, you were truly my best friend. You were the smartest dog I ever met and we really did a lot of awesome things together. We connected in every way. I swear you could read my mind. You were so smart that even when you went deaf, you still remembered the hand signals I taught you as a pup.I have SO many picture of you. I promise I'll put more on here and that I'll keep your residence up and visit you often. I will always miss you and think of you often.

Funny thing happened this morning when I stepped out on the back deck and I saw SO MANY different animal foot prints in the snow. Hundreds of little prints. All sorts of different ones. Big ones, small ones. Some looked like cat prints, but some were big prints like dog prints, and then some were small hoof prints. Not horse hoof prints, but like much smaller. Some bird prints, some squirrel prints and some unexplained prints. Were you outside with your new friends last night and leave me a present to know you were there? We don't have THAT many animals here and this was truly incredible. Makes me feel as though you're just as busy in spirit as you were here in the physical world. Others may not agree, but I truly believe in spirit and I know that you are near. I feel that our bond was so strong, that it reaches far beyond the physical world.

I will write again soon, I promise. Enjoy the time with your new friends! Love you! Dad.

12/19/17: So I called the crematory today because they spelled your name wrong on your name plate that goes on your box of ashes. I can't blame them though. Funny thing is, I often wondered if there should be an E in your name. Bentley or Bently. I eventually had to look it up on Google to make sure. They actually did a great job on the entire process of your cremation. The box for your ashes is beautiful, with a place for your picture. They wrapped you so nicely in doggie paw print tissue paper. I looked the company up online. I didn't realize that they have an entire service, viewing area, cemetery, everything for planning final services for pets, just like humans. I guess that certainly goes to show how precious we know our furry friends are! OK, I have to go for now, but I'll write again soon! Love you buddy, Dad.

12/23/17:
Hi Mr. "B". I hope that today you are running around with your new friends over the bridge. I hope that you are happier, free of pain, suffering, arthritis, and cancer. I hope that you know how much I love you and how very much I miss you my friend. Thought I was doing better, but what I've been actually doing is keeping busy so I think less. I think of you all day, every day. I light a candle for you nightly in hopes that you can see the bright light which leads you home, even if just for a brief moment.
How I long to hold you, hug you and give you rubby dubby's just like you like them. Someday my friend......Someday soon I hope.........All my Love; Dad.

12/25/17: Merry Christmas Bentley. I added you too today's candle light ceremony. I wanted to do something special for you today. This Christmas, I think I finally realized what the true meaning of Christmas is about. After losing you on 12/08, Aunt Madeline on 12/10 and now mom being in the hospital for Christmas, it has become quite evident to me, that we must hold close to us the ones we love as we never know how long they will be with us and what the next day will bring. You were part of teaching me that Bentley. You see, you taught be the real meaning of love and to appreciate each day that we have with one another. Thank you for that. I thank God that he sent you to me and that we had the time together that we did. I think of you daily and know that I will see you again. God Bless you my precious baby. Daddy loves you more that you know.......

1/1/2018: Hello again Mr. B and happy New Year my friend. I kept busy this weekend but think of you often, sometimes thinking that you are right next to me at certain times. I walk by your ashes daily and always stop and say hello and usually light a candle for you. I have also set up a space for Alex and Kittie. You didn't know them, but they are my past furry companions. Kittie was great cat, a street scrapper if you messed with him and he was very set in his ways. He was great with me and others for the most part but it would depend on his mood on if he wanted to deal with anyone else. He had a way of just making himself at home no matter how many times we moved. He would cross that busy street and always make it back home safely that night. A great friend and companion who knew how to fend for himself. I got him because my upstairs neighbor at the time took him in even though she couldn't afford to even feed him properly. I begged her to let me have the cat because we bonded well and he needed proper care. She finally gave in and let me have him. I waited so long to name him and just kept calling him kitty, hence how he got his final name.
Alex was a German Shepard that I adopted way back when I lived in Springfield. He was a great boy, cute as a button like you. He was a nipper though and he almost got me in a bit of trouble a couple of times. He unfortunately also passed of cancer at the very early age of 5. Another devastating blow that left me not wanting another dog (or should I be more correct and say I didn't want another heart ache). But after about 6 months my Dad called me out of the blue and told me that he and mom had a dog for me. I was adamant that I didn't want another dog but Dad told me "This will be the best dog you ever had"! He seemed so sure of this and I questioned in my mind, "How does he know"? I talked with mom and dad a few more times and they convinced me to go and pick out a dog from the litter. I remember like it was yesterday. There were three dogs. You and two others. I took each one out one at a time and spent a little time with each. You were ALL so beautiful, but my one test was to have each of you sit on my command, even though you were only three months old. I didn't expect much to be honest, but YOU were the only one that immediately sat for me and then you looked at me as if to ask, "Was that good? Is that what you wanted me to do"?
I knew at that instant that you were the one. I took you that night. Might I say, my parents hit the nail on the head. You were the best boy I EVER could have asked for. You surpassed my expectations of a dog, a friend, a companion and family member on an almost daily basis. I can't express the joy that you gave me, and I only hope that I was able to give you at least some, if not all of that joy back to you. I remember driving back home from the vet on our final journey together and calling mom to let her know how appreciative I was that they gave me such a beautiful gift. A gift that I still cherish to this very day, and always will, even though the gift is now in spirit rather than the physical. The Joy of our companionship is a once in a lifetime gift that has given me fond memories of life experiences that I never would have had, had it not been for you.
Funny, I didn't know what I was going to write when I started this, but it seems that the words just come and I just type. I guess that's what you call "True Feelings" from the heart.....The best feelings of all.
All my love Bentley. Happy New Year once again and I hope you're having fun on the other side of the bridge. In time, I will join you and we can spend our time together with all of our friends and loved ones. Until then, play on my dear friend.......play on. Love, Dad.
03/18/2018: Hello there my precious Bentley. I'll first start with an apology for not visiting for a while. It isn't that I don't think of you. Quite the contrary, I think of you daily. But to be truthful, coming here is not an easy thing for me to do. It brings the reality that you are no longer here with me to the forefront. The brutal honesty hits me like a lead ball, and it's just not fun.
Just like all that have gone before us, we do not need to suffer emotionally on a daily basis to remember the ones who are most dear to our hearts. The memories are there every day, for they will never be gone. The love still shines a beacon daily with memories of far better days of unity, fun and a bit of laughter.
I'm sure that you must have run into Sharon by now. I imagine you were there to meet her upon her arrival. She LOVED you like her own and though, just as I do, that you were the BEST dog she had ever laid eyes on. She called you "Her Rock". And I knew how much she loved you, which was why I never separated you two, even after I moved. During the week you stayed with Sharon and on the weekends you would come home with Dad. How much love could a you ask for?! I hope you two can spend days together playing fetch and romping through fields and streams.
Spring is coming, and I can't help but think of you whenever I look outside on the back deck. Thinking of the memories of you playing outside. I miss you more than you know. Soon I will change your season to Spring. That way you can enjoy the fresh new season with me.
Remember Bentley, as busy as I am, I never for a moment forget about my best friend and companion that I truly miss. I know I say this all the time, but one day you and I will be together again! I so look forward to that special day! All my love always....Dad (hugs and kisses).

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