Bentley came into our lives when oldest son, Scott, and family moved to North Alabama for a job promotion.  They are living with us while they house hunt.

Bentley was a member of a two-pack family until Molly, a beautiful black lab, passed a few years ago.  He lived a structured life.  A large dog bone every morning and his daily feeding right after Mia Grace (granddaughter) came home from school.

Enter our doggies, Baxter, Bailey, and Sarah.  With just a couple of hiccups, the four doggies integrated well and are happy as a new pack.

Bentley finishes his meal in about 30 seconds.  He loves every morsel.  Our doggies sniff their food and then decide if they will eat or not.  I find this very frustrating.  Somehow, our doggies know that Bentley is getting “something” different.  Bailey made a dash for Bentley’s food one day.  Food went everywhere and clearly yet forcefully, Bentley gently told Bailey to back off.  Bailey backed off.

We feed twice a day in the morning and afternoon.  Bentley gets so excited about his feedings.  He is so happy.  It is a ritual of jumping, barking, and pure, genuine excitement.  He reminds me of myself when Richard makes pork belly.  After the first bite, I slap the table in sheer enjoyment.

Bentley has taught our dogs to eat.  We have all empty bowls with “nothing but shine” remaining.  I am not longer frustrated.

Sarah has adopted some of Bentley’s habits.  She stays closer to us as we prepare food.  She is more talkative doing an up and down head shake as she watches us.  She grins a goofy Basset Hound grin raising her mouth a little bit.

As I have watched this pack develop and come together, I reflect on the many work groups, teams, and organizations I have been a part of.  Often, it took one person to make or break the group.  Often, it took one person with courage to question a decision or way forward.  Often, it took one person with empathy to feel when someone needed help.

Richard and I have met many “one person” on this cancer journey.  As I reflected last month on this journey and the new path it is taking, I remain grateful for those “one persons” who showed up.




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