Bentley is Compelled to put Paw to Paper again


I’m afraid to say that I feel utterly compelled to put paw to paper once again; I heard someone saying I was old the other day. Old? Me? It wasn’t Roddy or Susan or any of the children, but a neighbour, and it really ruffled my neck hairs (which are admittedly very long and looking rather shaggy at the moment). I’m not old, I’m in my prime!

It’s that time of year again; the doors are often open and it’s warm enough to lie outside where I can gently snore in the sun, one eye half-open in case I might miss something; much better than running around chasing shadows like a demented puppy on wheels which is what my little French friend seems to do half the time. Evie has her routine though, and I have mine and we rub along just fine these days.


Take the mornings for instance. We both have breakfast whilst the children have theirs. Afterwards I then like to take myself quietly off into the sitting room where I’ll hop on the sofa and have another gentle lie-in for an hour or two whilst everyone gets themselves sorted out. Evie always joins Susan on the school-run, which confuses me as why would any dog with half a brain actually WANT to go in a car? Thank you very much but I’m very happy having a little extra slumber-time.

Apart from the lovely, wonderful spring-in-the-air feeling, everyone seems to be obsessed with numbers at the moment, which takes me back to what I was saying earlier. It is somewhat concerning that the family have started talking about me. Apparently I’m something called ‘middle-aged’. They sit round the table, do some strange calculation with numbers and then decide I’m about 60 – in human years, I hasten to add – which officially makes me the oldest member of the family living here! I’m not too sure what that really says about me and I’m not sure whether I should worry.

Of course, they still ‘support’ me. All the basic dog/human relationship stuff; food, water, treats, clean bed and so on, but they have started muttering some very strange things. For one thing, apparently if I was a human I wouldn’t be lying in the sun at my age because I’d be worrying about wrinkles and the damage it does to my skin?  That’s what Susan always says, anyway; I never see her lying in the sun, she always scurries for the shade when it gets hot and Dad always makes some joke about something called Botox, which sounds very much like a worming treatment to me but sends Susan into a paroxysm of annoyance.  But, come to think of it, she never seems to sit still at all, which I truly don’t understand. She’s a bit like Evie in that respect; small, always on the go and doing stuff that just seems to get in the way of a good snooze.

I like to lie in the sun for at least half of the day; I love to feel the warmth on my body and that feeling of utter luxury knowing that there is just nothing to do. Of course, I like being active too, but not too much – an hour a day is just perfect, not including the many miles I cover under the table looking for food that they drop. What’s with that, I ask myself – do they have holes in their mouths? I love my walks, naturally, and I run ahead of the family and even break into a gallop now and again and have what they all call affectionately a “loopy attack”; it’s fun to stretch my legs and pretend I’m chasing a sausage or something. There’s no point in expending too much energy though, I can’t see the sense in that.


The other thing with Mum and Dad that seems to crop up a lot when they mention my name is DIET. Apparently I’m rather chubby, and then they mention that word ‘age’ again, they often add an expression about something called ‘middle-aged spread’! I even overheard someone saying I looked like “a barrel on pins” and they all roared with laughter; what’s more it was someone in our family who said it, but I just didn’t quite catch who; I’m not too sure who to be annoyed with and I certainly didn’t find it in the least bit funny.


And now the other neighbours have got a puppy, something else that has become centre of attention. I say ‘IT’, for I rather feel like calling ‘it’ IT. The animal (it’s a strange variety with long legs and floppy ears and big round moist eyes) comes to our house rather frequently, even when they have dinner with us, and when we go there for supper I now have to take second place as they’re all over it like a herd of rabbits on a bed of free lettuce. Of course IT’s French so they talk to IT in French and then I can’t understand a blinking word anyone is saying. Thank goodness Evie is almost bilingual now. I’m going to have to have a word with Hetty and Gigi and get them to teach IT at least some English words. But in truth I can’t complain too much because I do still get to go over to their house for dinner whereas Evie went once and has never been taken back again. Worst still, when she did go she actually had to be taken home in disgrace; she chased the cat, it was really rather funny and I admit I had a smirk on my face.  I’ve never seen a cat move so fast in my life, she leapt straight over the island unit in the kitchen and then flew up the stairs, Evie in hot pursuit with a little paws making such a racket on the tiled floor. Apparently the cat was ‘in kitten’ or something, and wasn’t really as fat as I thought she was. It sounds like a good excuse, I think I’ll try that next time they mutter something about me being chubby again. Can I even be ‘in kitten’? Has to be worth a try, surely?

Actually there are quite a few things that I am better at than Evie; for one when we go for a walk, they always praise me because I walk so nicely on the lead. I never pull and I trot along to heel like the perfect companion; of course, that’s down to my old life as a champion show-dog. Evie, though, tugs and tows like a mad cow and no one wants to lead her!

Everyone is trying to train Evie at the moment; they are teaching her to sit, teaching her to stay, teaching her to come and she gets endless treats every time she does something well; the very best part of all of this though is that I get given a treat too! And I don’t even have to do anything; perhaps there is some justice in this world after all!


The past few days there’s been someone I’ve never met before working at the house, he’s doing some tiling in the guest bathroom and Evie has taken a complete dislike to him; I have no idea why. With the warm weather the doors are open as I said and every time he steps outside for some fresh air, Evie sets off in a cacophonic barking frenzy, her hackles all upright and she gets herself in such a state. The tiler just laughed; I heard Roddy chatting to him when he first arrived and he explained that Evie was French; the tiler, who is also French of course, just laughed. He spoke to Evie in French, so I have no idea what the problem is as obviously she understood him quite happily, but she still insists on disturbing my peace everytime she sees him. Roddy explained that I was different and that I was really an Australian surfer who preferred to just lie in the sun and ‘wax my board’ – whatever that means. He always says that about me, but I’ve still no idea really what he’s talking about; I left Australia when I was just 6 months old and I don’t remember anything about my life there except that it was gloriously hot and they had a lot more sausages than they do here; but everyone always seems to make a big deal out of the fact that I’m from Sydney and a real Australian, so I guess it must mean something of some significance.


Anyway, that’s my little moan over for the day, I do love chatting with you and thank you for listening. The sun has just come back out and all this writing and thinking has left me feeling quite exhausted, so I think I’ll just go outside and have a little snooze – au revoir et à bientôt!  You see, I am learning some French!!!

Animal Tales Badge Final




56 thoughts on “Bentley is Compelled to put Paw to Paper again

    1. Hi Rita, so glad to have made your morning coffee enjoyable, I love imagining how the dogs are feeling, it’s always such fun! Enjoy the end of the week, Susan x

  1. You’re doing it just right, Bentley, keeping them all in order. Even Evie will learn one of these, er, years.
    I did laugh a lot at your description of what happened at the neighbor’s house. Poor cat.

    1. Hi Emm, I still laugh now every time I think of the poor cat, she was so bad to chase it, but it was so funny, I don’t think I have ever seen a cat move so fast in my life! Bentley is a true gentleman who keeps us all in order! I’ll pass on your message to him, thank you. Susan x

  2. Ah Bentley, you have a dog’s life!! My Louie loves to find a sunny spot in the grass and enjoy a warm nap too. In Texas though, the days get roaring hot quickly, so after a bit, he prefers to come inside and take advantage of the cool. He lays on the sofa and watches the world go by through a big window—in between naps, of course! Twice a week, he goes to play with all his friends at what I call doggy daycare. He’s been going for eight years and he still looks forward to it each week! He has old pals he’s played with for years and of course, young newcomers too. You older fellows just have to endure those silly pups, right? Ah, but you can teach them all the dog rules too! Thanks for keeping in touch with us Bentley. Stay warm and try to be patient with Evie—- she’s learning!

    1. Hi Christi, it’s tough being the “old guy” around here, but I think I am coping rather well, I even rather like Evie, she’s quite good fun. I rather like the sound of having friends to go and play with, friends who would understand my middle aged needs! I am happy enjoying the sunshine during the day and the fire, which is still being lit inside in the evenings, I can’t complain, life is pretty good! Bentley x

  3. Hi again! I forgot add, Louie is almost 80 in people years! Still lives to run and play, chase squirrels but he adores a good, long nap now days more than ever!

    1. Hi Christi, Louie sounds adorable and as if he loves just the same things as Bentley. Squirrels are about the only thing Bentley genuinely hates, but we don’t get any here so he is safe! Susan x

  4. Ah, Bentley, not to worry. At 60, in layman’s terms you’re still a hottie, even if a bit on the portly side. Older just means you’ve been around the block a few times, and hopefully you’re a wiser guy with a lot of experience under your belt, if you get my drift. 😊

    1. Hi, yes, I love you – someone who agrees that I am not old at all, I am but a mere spring chicken in an older persons clothing, I still have so much character and am a great fun guy, I just like to have my sleep in the sun, is it really too much to ask for!!! Bentley x

  5. Oh, I enjoyed this so much. I love animals beyond explanation. Did he have to go in a quarantine when ya’ll arrived? One day, after the world settles down, my dream is to travel to France, possibly Normandy. Thank you for this wonderful story.

    1. Hi Deborah, No he has never had to go into quarantine, he went from Sydney to the USA and then he moved to France with us, where again no quarantine was required, just endless paperwork. I sincerely hope you get to follow your dream and travel to France, Normandy is delightful and beautiful and come a little further south and visit us in the Charente Maritime too! Susan x

    1. Hi Ali, and I am so looking forward to meeting you, I have heard much about you, I am a true gentleman. I love meeting all of our guests and will make you feel very at home without bothering you too much! Bentley x

  6. Ah that cheered my day!! We have a Bentley in our family (I expect I’ve already told you this!) but he’s a little Bijon Poo and now as old (sorry Bentleys!) as your Bentley. He still goes berserk when anyone arrives until his tummy is rubbed, then he goes and curls up in a corner and watches the world go by. But he’s been very good at accepting our little Grandson when he arrived 2 years ago, although gets a bit fed up if his toys are pinched out of his bed!! Have a lovely rest of the week – from a very windy Wiltshire!

    1. Hi Marian, your Bentley sounds gorgeous. Bentley makes a Hugh noise if anyone knocks at the door or rings the bell, he is terribly protective. He doesn’t like any toys though, he leaves those to Evie and has no interest in anything like that at all! He is good with children and puts up with a huge amount, which let’s face it most dogs do when they have to mix with children, I admire them for their patience! Windy here too, but lovely and sunny and really nice if you can find a sheltered spot. Susan x

  7. Love this!!! I can so relate.. we have 2 four legged babies at our house. They love a soft blanket to snuggle on, barking at the cats across the street and they manage to follow the sun spots shining through the window at different times of the day. What joy our pets bring to our lives. Thanks for the wonderful story.

    1. Hi Carla, Oh I can so relate to them following the sun spots, ours do the same and Evie loves nothing more than a good cat chase! Our pets indeed do bring us so much pleasure, I cannot imagine a house without them, they are very much a part of the family, I have to admit I talk to ours, they know so many of my secrets, I’m rather glad they can’t really talk, but they listen so well! Susan x

  8. Merci pour ce récit amusant qui m’ a fait beaucoup rire et qui m’ a rappelé des souvenirs avec ma chienne ( j’ imaginais alors ce qu’ elle pouvait penser ! )/ Thank you for this funny story which make me laughing and have reminded me memories of my dog ( ( I was trying to imagine what she was thinking at that time! ). C’ est un vrai plaisir de vous lire et j’ attends avec impatience le récit de vos prochaines aventures en Charente-Maritime !/ It’s a great pleasure to hear from you and i look forward to read your next adventures made in Charente-Matime with Bentley “the new Charlie Brown” et Evie ” the Flying Lady”! Philippe de LYON ( Rhône )

    1. Ahh, the new Charlie Brown and the Flying Lady, I love it, they join the Famous Five! Thank you for your wonderful comments as always, so very much appreciated. Merci Mille fois, Susan x

  9. Lovely hearing things from your point of view Bentley, we used to have a dalmatian who had a very similar outlook on life, he preferred to snooze and watch things from afar rather than risk over-exerting himself! We now have two bunnies who frequently seem to make their way into the house, despite the girls denying that they help them with the great escape from their hutch at all!

    1. Hi Lily, oh your Dalmatian sounds so like Bentley! As for the rabbits, it’s funny how girls seem to deny all knowledge of all sorts of things to do with family pets! As a child, I had two Guinea pigs and one of my favourite tricks was to put one of them under my t-shirt and sneak it into the dining room, it would then remain under my shirt for the whole of our family Sunday lunch, no one was ever any the wiser! Susan x

  10. Ah, Bentley! So wonderful to hear from you again. We should clearly be pals, my dear boy. It would help you to hang around me as I am older than you and so you would always feel young in my presence. As for the extra pounds and a few wrinkles, well, I no doubt have you beat there, too. Can’t speak French very well, either. And that look you are giving in that second to the last photo? Oh, I have given that look to so many people these days…co-workers, commuters on the road (accompanied by a raised ‘paw’ on occasion, I am almost, but not quite, ashamed to say). So we clearly feel the same way about some things. Hope you have a lovely snooze in the sun! Only wish I could join you.

    1. Hi, it certainly sounds as if we should be friends, sadly we can’t really even be penpals or Facebook friends as this computer stuff is such hard work, takes me hours and hours to fathom out how to do anything at all! But you’ve made me feel a little better about myself, I am have a little padding around the middle and I may be getting a little grey around the muzzle but I am still in my prime with plenty to say about things, I just don’t suffer fools gladly! We’ll snooze together in spirit! Have a lovely weekend x

  11. Hello, Bentley. Henry the Golden Retriever here. From my vantage point at age 13, you seem like a young whippersnapper (and a very handsome one at that)! Although I snooze between adventures and have a bit of arthritis in one knee, I do love my daily walks in the nearby forest, playing in the garden, fetching balls and sticks, chasing coyotes, and my weekend adventures in and on local rivers with my family. That family includes Bob, a 10-year-old long-haired dachshund who sounds a lot like Evie; Scott and Leslie (who often speaks to me in Franglais and gives me commands in Frussian), and their kids and partners/spouses (all of whom live much too far away). Bob and I love children and have been adopted by the neighborhood kids who don’t have a dog. You are very lucky to have kids who live with you! Please write again soon…it is so much fun to read about your life! Happily, Henry P.S. It is 84 degrees F (28.89 degrees C) here right now, so we are on our way to the Willamette River for a cooling swim and fetching tennis balls in the water! Do you and Evie like to swim in your pool?

    1. Hi Henry, you are an inspiration! But it sounds as if you have a really loving family too and dosen’t that just make all the difference. Our neighbour’s children also semi adopt me, because I am so well behaved! Bob does sound rather like Evie, so I feel your pain, although in truth, I wouldn’t want to live without Evie now, she does make me laugh and is a great companion. It sounds as if it is warming up much quicker with you than with us, 20C is the best we have managed so far this year, alas I hate water and I hate swimming! I’ll avoid it at all costs and I rather suspect Evie is much the same, I think it must be a Jack Russell thing!!! Have a lovely weekend with your wonderful family. X

  12. Lovely post. Bentley and Evie’s ramblings never fail to amuse. I think we require a weekly dose though. Perhaps now Bentley has found the keyboard he can post more often ?

    1. Thanks Phil, they never fail to amuse in real life too! Alas, poor Bentley has taken a day to recover having found the keyboard, it’s hard with furry paws trying to hit the right letters and auto correct has a way of changing everything entirely so that’s no help at all! Have a lovely weekend, Susan x

  13. Bentley – as always – you’ve made my day! You are such a clever chap – and dashingly photogenic. Your darling little French sister is adorbs as well………looks like you are bringing her up brilliantly! Well done and thank you!!

    1. Hi, I’m doing my very best with Evie, it’s not easy you know, she’s very demanding and she has a new party trick, rolling in anything and everything smelly she can find, I joined in with her but got in so much trouble I can’t be bothered to do it any more, plus it meant I had to have a bath and I hate those even more! I tell you there’s never a dull moment around here! Bentley x

  14. I wouldn’t worry what people say Bentley, you look like a fine specimen of a dog to me and it’s worth putting up with Evie if it means getting treats for in exchange for looking good.

    My little dog could take some lessons from you, he stops more than he walks when we are out and about, the daft dog!


    1. Hi Debbie, thanks for taking the time to comment and great to have you following along. Bentley has a pretty good life I think more than he realises! Where would we be without our dogs, I adore ours! Susan x

    1. Hi Fiona, thank you for taking the time to comment I really appreciate it. I think the dogs have a pretty good life, but then I just adore our dogs, they are very much a part of the family! Susan x

  15. How wonderful to hear from you again Bentley and I am sorry you are a bit confused about things – maybe it’s your age LOL. Seriously though, you look fabulous and I reckon you have got your life well and truly sorted out with all those gentle walks, under table tit bits and snoozes in the sunshine. Thank you so much for adding this update to #AnimalTales and please don’t leave it so long to the time you put paw to paper!

    1. Hi Rosie, I agree it has been far too long but it was a real pleasure to add Bentley’s story to Animal Tales once again. Since he wrote that story he has now had his spring haircut and is looking very young and dapper! Susan x

  16. Bentlley you are adorable! My late pup Munchen complained about the same things because often times we spoke about her age and her diet. She lived a wonderful life as you seem to be doing! Love your post and look forward to more.

    1. Hi, thank you so much, he is a much loved dog on a permanent diet that results in him seemingly gaining weight rather than losing it! But how we love our pets as you obviously loved Munchen. I am sure he will write more!!! Susan x

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