The Golden Standard

Dear Bentley,

I’ll never forget the day you came home for the first time. You were in a kennel; Bogan warily circled around the boxy object in the middle of our tiny kitchen. When you were let out, Boggie and you wagged tails and each got a sniff of each other.

I was in high school. Abbie was in elementary school. It was her first time on a plane.

You (and Bogan) supplied me with endless memories of what it means to be in a pack. Whenever someone left–back off to college, heading to work, or just to put the recycling out–you would feel anxious. But, whenever Abbie or I came home, you would rejoice with tails waving like banners in the wind.

You were a part of my senior seminar, the one I was so scared to write. At one point, I felt like I couldn’t do it, but the paper (and presentation) turned out much better than I could have ever hoped for. You were in the opening of my paper, and I was re-living throwing the ball for you in Colorado. You were there, too in the end, when I came to my conclusion, the last few sentences of my final paper: “Mary Oliver and Rick Bass provide ample evidence that, whether we own pets or not, the domestic and wild animals in our lives, no matter how small or large, will always be there to lead us into the natural world around us.”

I am ever in awe of a dog’s love for exercise. You almost always wanted to go outside, sometimes too much for my liking. You loved going for walks. (I thought it was cute how you and Charlie’s tails would swing in sync with each other.)

When Bogan passed away, you were a little down for a while. But then we got Charlie Girl. You and she hit it off almost instantly. Though she wasn’t your familiar furry friend, you quickly bonded. Plus, she paid you back for all the times that you instigated play with Bogan when you were a puppy. (Puppy teeth are *sharp*.)

Though you were older than Charlie, you proved to be an amazing aunt! You reminded her that going “outside” was for going potty, and not an opportunity to play. She watched and learned more than we can ever know about how to be a dog.

We had you for 12 years. Years that saw both me and Abbie through college, my engagement to Rory, and through the onslaught of COVID-19.

The day you left us, I felt sad and tired. It didn’t really feel quite like Valentine’s Day this year. I am comforted, however, that you are no longer in pain. You will forever be in our hearts.

I hope you are playing with Bogan (and Liesel), eating your favorite people’s food, and chasing as many balls as you please. I hope you always have a soft cloud to rest your head on at night. We’re always thinking of you, here on Earth.

You were simply the golden standard for a Golden Retriever.

Meghan, Abbie, Mom, Dad & Charlie


  1. Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner says:

    I’m sorry for the loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meghan B. says:

      Thank you so much, Christina! Your words mean a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Meghan B. says:

      Thank you so much!


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