There was another customer in the store with an older Golden Retriever. I asked the owner if I could pet her dog, and she said “of course”. The dog was laying on the floor, very relaxed and, in typical Golden Retriever fashion, enjoying being petted. Her muzzle was completely white, even whiter then our Bentley’s ever was. The top of her head was getting light flecks of hair, as was her body. So many things about her brought back very detailed memories of Bentley. This girl had a smooth head with firm flesh, while Bentley had a boney head and I could feel a little bump on the top of his skull. This girl had those wonderfully soft Golden Retriever ears, just like Bentley’s, but with a little more fringy fur. This girl had super furry toes, like she was ready for a romp in the snow. Bentley had smooth feet, but I would trim the fur between his pads. This girl had light brown eyes, whereas Bentley had beautiful dark brown eyes that showed the compassion in his soul.
We completed our purchase and I thanked the owner for letting me pet her dog. Her dog was 13 years old so I told her that our Bentley lived to 17 and I hoped the two of them shared many more years together.
After leaving I smelled my hand. Of course it smelled like Golden Retriever. They have a unique smell – not a dirty dog smell, just the smell of their fur and oils. I could tell that it didn’t smell like Bentley, but even so, I found myself welling up with tears from all the wonderful memories of the years we shared with our fantastic boy. He’s been gone for a little over 2 years, but tonight reminded me of how much he is a part of me, and always will be, and how much I will always love him.