A Beautiful Blessing From Bentley's Pet Stuff

A Beautiful Blessing From Bentley’s Pet Stuff

Last week our country observed the seventeenth anniversary of the horrific September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I had intentionally stayed away from social media that day because I am adamant that I never want to profit in any way from the murder of 2,996 innocent people, even if it is from an increase in clicks and engagement because I posted something. That is how seriously I take that solemn and important day. However, I cannot help but share the beautiful “thank you” gift that we received from Bentley’s Pet Stuff because of my husband’s work in the fire service. 

Late that afternoon I realized that I had forgotten to purchase food for Jackson and Tinkerbell, and I ran out to our local Bentley’s Pet Stuff. Because I am a regular customer there, I knew both of the women working and we chatted for a while after I had paid for the food. Somehow the topic came up that my husband is a professional full-time firefighter, and they surprised me by telling me that they were going to refund my purchase. The owner of Bentley’s Pet Stuff had sent out an email that morning that they would be covering up to $100 of any purchases made by police officers or firefighters that day as a way of saying thank you for their service.

I was shocked and nearly started to cry right then and there in the store, completely overwhelmed with gratitude at this gesture. They told me to grab some treats and more food, then refunded my cash purchase. I held back the tears and said thank you about a dozen times before one of them said, “Don’t thank us, we are saying thank you to you and your husband for what he does for the community!” After I left, I made it all the way to the car, put my items in the back, and then started to cry for real, big hot tears of gratitude flowing down my face.

I know I don’t write about my husband much, and the reason for that is that he is very private, and this is a blog about dogs, not my life as a fire-wife. There are blogs out there written by other fire wives about being married to a firefighter, because it’s definitely not your normal 9-5 job.

Firefighters are a unique personality type and each call puts them right in the middle of the worst day of someone else’s life. They see things that other humans cannot fathom, and every day is entirely different from the last with zero ability to predict what might happen on any given shift.

Most of them honor a very long tradition of never bringing the job home to their spouse, so I rarely hear about any calls. They handle life and stress quite differently, and over time I have learned that the best thing I can do in terms of moral support and understanding is to simply be there without pressing for information. I know very little what his day is like except for the times he does fire inspections at the no-kill shelter near his firehouse and he sends me a photo of a dog that he is tempted to add to our canine family. 

Tinkerbell Loves to Snuggle with Daddy
Tinkerbell Loves to Snuggle with Daddy

Jackson and Tinkerbell can always get a smile out of him no matter how hard of a shift he has had. They will hear his truck pull up, the garage door open and their ears perk up. I say, “Daddy’s home! Go find Daddy!” and they run to the inside garage door, big otter tails wagging like crazy to greet their beloved Daddy.

Our non-snuggle pup Jackson is drawn to his daddy and will do his “awkward snuggling” routine with him because they share a dog-human bond of not enjoying people hanging on them or showering them with kisses and over the top attention like Tinkerbell and I both enjoy. And Tinkerbell’s lack of personal space, endless puppy kisses and insistence on climbing on top of his chest like a 65 pound baby can blast through any bad mood because she has him wrapped around her dew claw.

As I sat down to write this blog, I realized that this gift of food and treats from Bentley’s Pet Stuff was more than simply a financial gift. It was a way to nourish and fuel the dogs who do such a good job of loving their firefighter daddy in a pure, unselfish way in which their lack of words is a bonus instead of a detriment. Thank you, Bentley’s Pet Stuff, for supporting your first responders and the dogs who love them. 

Jax napping with his Dad
Jax napping with his Dad

If you read this blog, please consider donating to a reputable fire service related organization like the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance: https://www.ifsa.org/