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BENTLEY AKA "B"

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It's Movie Time!
Watch Bentley's first starring role in this video clip:
Pupdate as of September 6, 2011:
Dear Fans of Bentley: It's hard to believe, but our very special little boy has now been in our program for just over a year. We have now come to the firm decision to keep him with us permanently. As you've read below, little Bentley suffered a great deal of trauma in his past. He may never completely overcome it. Although he's made great strides and has come a long way from the very fearful dog he was at first, there are still times when life is difficult for him. There are still times when he scares easily from a noise he should recognize and not worry over. Sometimes, he remembers the pain of this past, but not nearly as much as before and we are thankful for that. Nevertheless, we feel it is in his best interest to stay in our care as he's now so comfortable and happy. He's especially attached to his beagle brother, Matthew. To uproot him at this point would be to his detriment. We hope you understand our reasoning. Here at Big On Beagles, the beagles come first and must always come first. Bentley is happy. We don't want to risk that happiness now. 
PUPdate as of March 9, 2011:
It's been a while since my last pupdate. My apologies but I've been as busy as a beagle at a squirrel convention!
Our beloved Bentley is doing wonderfully! He can now walk by a stranger on the sidewalk without cringing in fear. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is for B. Every day, he improves in his confidence and that means something more important than anything - he's learning how to be happy. There is nothing quite as rewarding to me than bringing such happiness to such a deserving dog.
Bentley still has a long way to go and no doubt he may never be completely normal. There are things that can set him right back in a blink of an eye. Those times are the hardest to bear. But his happy times far outweigh his sad moments and for that, we're so grateful.
We're giving Bentley all the time he needs to heal his heart and soul. We are also more than happy to hear from you if you have an interest in our B. Please understand that we are going to be ever so careful with his placement and we simply cannot put a timeline on when he'll be ready to leave the nest. We just have to wait and see what he tells us. 
July 22, 2010 - Below is my article on Bentley which will appear in the next issue of "Dogs,Dogs,Dogs!" for my column, "Marna's Dog Tales". It says it all...
  MARNA’S DOG TALES
To Be Published in the Aug/Sept Issue of “Dogs,Dogs,Dogs!”  
“Home – is where I want to be but I guess I’m already there”[Verse from “This Must be the Place” by Talking Heads]  
Home isn’t really a place. I think we all know that to be true, but there are moments in our lives when it becomes crystal clear.  This is one of those moments. 
I moved recently and that’s no small feat. In fact, I’m still surrounded by boxes and bewildered beagles but we’re sorting things out one happy flip of a tail at a time. That’s because home is where the heart is, and I made sure to unpack mine before anything else. Of course, my beagles had no trouble finding theirs since dogs typically wear their hearts on their fur-clad sleeves. Given all the love flowing through this exciting new abode, I’m proud to report we haven’t skipped a collective heartbeat! The transition has been as smooth as a beagle’s ear, even if we still don’t know where Ruby’s stuffed bunny is.
  
But here’s the trouble. How do you explain HOME to a dog that’s never been there? 
I had it all planned out. We wouldn’t take any more hapless howlers into BIG ON BEAGLES (BOB) Rescue until after my move. Best laid plans of mice and men…and dog rescuers. After receiving a call about Bentley, better known as B, that sensible plan of mine was sent packing. I don’t know which was worse to hear – B’s story or the emotional scars that story caused. Whichever the case, it was enough to set aside the moving boxes for a while to meet this boy. 
How strange but true it is that B is considered one of the lucky ones pawing his way out of this sad tale. The place he’s come from could never be mistaken for home.  B is probably no more than 2 or 3 years old. Beagles are notorious for staying young at any age, but your average 2 year old is usually hard to spot with the naked eye. Jet propelled by an energy-fuelled tail, the young and reckless beagle is a deliriously happy blur defying gravity at every turn. Not B. It was all the animal caregiver could do to peel him off the back of his cage. It was all I could do to get him to lift his head long enough for me to look into those haunted eyes.  
Some say dogs can forget. I hope it’s true for B. 
He must have belonged to somebody once upon a time, but we can only go as far back as Wayne National Forest in Ohio. For an avid hiker and his dog, it would be a place of adventure. For B, it was more like being on the set of the movie “Deliverance”. B was found wandering alone in the middle of this endless forest with no survival skills whatsoever. He would have died in those woods if not for being live-trapped by some animal hoarders/puppy millers passing themselves off as a rescue group. Had they been a real rescue, it might have been a good thing but B was being captured – not saved. He had just become the latest prisoner amongst at least 100 other 4-legged in-mates at the mercy of this delusional bunch. But there was no mercy.  
It’s not easy conveying such a disturbing tale to you, but this is B’s story and in order for us to understand him, we must understand what he’s been through.  At the time of B’s rescue, 92 near starving dogs were freed from this place of horrors in rural Ohio. Sadly, it was too late for some. These unfortunate souls were found dead in their cages. The understanding is their tormenters would shoot at them if they barked too much. Those lucky not to take a bullet, had little choice but to bear witness to these atrocities. I ask you, can any dog forget something like that? 
It’s been close to 10 months since B was rescued. We have the good folks at Tomorrow’s Hope Canine Rescue & Adoption based in Portsmouth, Ohio for bringing him this far. Every day, every moment since then has been a struggle in survival for B and the other dogs saved along with him. The emotional wounds run so deep.  Over the last 10 months, his rescuers have taught B many things – his housebreaking, crate-training, but most important, they taught him how to play during his brighter moments. He hasn’t exactly mastered true beagledom, mind you, but he’s well on his way. His absolute favourite activity is stealing things right from under your nose. It doesn’t matter how big the object either. Carting things away twice his size, between clenched teeth, inch by inch, while you look on and laugh is the fun part. Fortunately, he has no interest in eating his stolen treasures if clearly inedible and gladly gives them back – at least until his next heist. These are the good times for B, intermingled with the bad times – the times when he remembers.  
This summer, B made a trip across the border when Tomorrow’s Hope contacted Toronto Animal Services – South Region (“TAS-South”). His rescuers have little luck finding lasting and loving homes out of rural Ohio with so many unwanted pets in rescue. So, they crossed their paws that B would find his fairytale new beginning here, far away from the place that still lurks in his heart.
Our friends at TAS-South had high hopes for him too until they saw for themselves how close the past still was for B. Both staff and volunteers did their best to coax him away from those memories but with minimal success. He needed a peaceful place to sort through it all. He also needed a couple spoiled rotten beagles to show him a thing or two about being a beagle.
So that’s how B came to be with me. He unpacked his emotional baggage just before Canada Day weekend. The content of that baggage is everywhere and nowhere, depending on the moment we’re in. We’re cherishing the times it disappears. Like when we escaped to Howling Heights that long weekend. Our little farm east of Toronto is beagle paradise. It’s paradise for me too, just watching our once homeless beagles chase each other around the barn without a care in the world. When B decided to follow the pack, it took my breath away. Until the screen door slammed and we were back to sorting through that baggage he brought along with him.
In this issue, the focus is traveling with your dog. Our little rescued B has something to say about that too. He’s on a journey and the road he’s traveling on is bumpy in parts, but he’s determined to reach his destination one day and unload the baggage weighing down his heart once and for all. Where’s he headed? There’s no place like this place. Ask anybody. No matter how far we may travel in our lives, we always make our way back there eventually and it’s always closer than we think. What would we do without it? What would we do without that wonderful place called HOME? 
    
Bentley, aka B, is an approximately 2 to 3 year old beagle gradually making his way home to you with a little help from BIG ON BEAGLES RESCUE (B.O.B) (www.bigonbeagles.ca). We dedicate this article to TOMORROW’S HOPE CANINE RESCUE & ADOPTION, www.tomorrowshopecaninerescue.petfinder.com for saving our B first, and for TORONTO ANIMAL SERVICES – SOUTH REGION for giving him a second chance here. Without these fellow rescuers, B never would have learned the best part about traveling is coming home…even if it is for the first time. On behalf of B, thank you all.
June 1, 2010 - Below is the urgent email message we received from our friends at Toronto Animal Services:
 
"If you have space can you take in this dog? He was live trapped in a forest in Ohio by a dog hoarder...came here as he will never get adopted in usa....He is nice.....really quiet.....walks okay on leash but cant go off leash as he is afraid of loud noises..."
Thanks to Clyde and Rosie's Mommy & Daddy, we had the space. We picked up Bentley from the shelter the very next day. The moment I saw him, I knew they were right. He needed the extra comfort and care that only a private rescue like ours can give. Bentley or rather "B" (that's what his rescuers in Ohio used to call him) was terrified in the shelter. Every noise, every movement, sent him further back in his cage. He couldn't be any more connected to the back of his cage than he was when we met. I had to walk away so the animal caregiver he knows and trusts could get him out of the cage on his leash. Every step needed her gentle encouragement. But once he got outdoors, I could see a glimpse of the young 2 to 3 yr old beagle he is meant to be! He just needs time to gain his confidence.
We're learning more as we go about B's experience in Ohio. It wasn't good. This hoarder would apparently shoot at the dogs while caged if they were barking too much. Some of these dogs did not survive. B was one of the lucky ones if you can call living through that lucky. We need to help him forget his troubled past. Please send him pawsitive vibes as he comes out of his shell with a little help from Clyde, Rosie and Nori - Jen & Aron's 4-legged trio...well, if you count all the legs, they add up to 12...16 if you count their foster beagle baby boy, "B"!   (  ;