This weekend a former foster dog of ours came back to spend three days with us, and we were delighted to have him. Larry and I were delighted, and Bentley, our big Chocolate Lab, was part of the time. Bentley romped and played with him, obviously glad to see him, but the problems started when Roscoe found one of Bentley’s rawhide bones. Bentley whined and complained about the bone, following Roscoe around and whining. He’d come to me and whine, asking me in Bentley language to take his bone away from the interloper. He hadn’t even wanted it until Roscoe found it. And Roscoe walked around the house with it in his mouth, parading it in front of Bentley. He looked as if he were smoking a cigar.
“Bentley reminds me of a spoiled only-child,” Larry said, “one that’s accustomed to having his way and his things all the time.”
All weekend they romped and played in the yard, sometimes in the house, and they were the best of friends-until Roscoe wanted Bentley’s favorite toy or tried out his bed. Then the problems started. Larry and I were referees.
“It’s almost like having the grandchildren here,” I told Larry Friday night.
Sunday the smell of chicken roasting in the oven kept them occupied. They stayed around the kitchen, occasionally going to the oven and peeping through the glass window to check on progress or maybe to get their noses closer to the enticing smells. They didn’t care about bones or toys when the smell of chicken filled the house. The smell interfered with their concentration.
After lunch, they went outside to play. They frolicked with the cats and chased the ones that would run from them. Most of our cats are too old to bother with them, unless the dogs get too rowdy. Then our fourteen-year-old cat will straighten them out with a claw or two.
When the patriarch speaks, the dogs understand his language very well. He may weigh a mere twelve pounds, but eighty-pound Bentley knows who’s boss.
After playing for an hour or so, Bentley wanted to come back inside. Roscoe stayed in the yard with Larry. I guess Bentley saw his chance and took advantage of it. When we looked for him, he was in his bed with his blue dog (his favorite toy) and pieces of three rawhide bones. I suppose he thought he could best protect his property from that position. He probably would have barricaded the door if he had known how.
Roscoe’s visit is about over now. Bentley will mope for a few days and look for him. He’ll hide his bones for a while, but he’ll soon forget.
“It was fun to have Roscoe back for a visit,” Larry said. I agree.
We enjoy our animals, especially Bentley and Blues the cat. People who hate animals or ignore them don’t know what they’re missing. Lots of people who have animals don’t realize their potential for a relationship either. Bentley loves us no matter what we do. He is always glad to see us when we’ve been gone. His whole body welcomes us when we return. When I think of our relationship with Bentley, I have no trouble understanding why medical experts say pets are good for us. My blood pressure is very healthy.