Grooming By Debbie
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It is with a heavy heart that I share it you the loss of our Bentley. He was diagnosed with end stage lung cancer on Tuesday March 27 and laid his weary head to rest on Thursday March 29, 2018.

I say “our” Bentley because he was a member of our family for over 10 years. Not only our “grooming” family, but my family. His owners allowed us to care for him while they travelled and we all consider this his second home. He was part of the pack.

He loved to bark - too much so at times, but that was his way of expressing himself. He had a blast chasing and grabbing my broom or vacuum cleaner. It was a game that replaced many a broom! He had the noisiest pig that was his favourite toy and he loved the treat drawer. He adored my grandchildren who could do anything from putting light-up New Years glasses on his face to sitting quietly sharing their ice cream with him.

I am so Blessed and grateful to his family for allowing me and my family, to share in the life of this precious soul. God just got a beautiful gift. Always remembered. Always loved. Forever missed.

Love... Debbie

An introduction from Jocelyn Assaad, Sir Bentley's owner.

I would like to introduce you to Sir Bentley the 16th who is a 3 ½ year old Miniature Schnauzer. Bentley arrived from the breeder in Niagara Falls after loosing my first Miniature Schnauzer named Max, who left us when he was nine.

Bentley was a cute puppy, as they all are, although we did have our troubles. He was a very dominant male and he did not like to be bothered. As the weeks went on, Bentley got a little more aggressive and was very insecure with us and his surroundings. I was starting to rethink about this cute little puppy and whether or not this was the right home for him. However, after rigorous convincing from my children, I decided to do everything I could to make Bentley a well behaved puppy.

Bentley and I went to several puppy schools. I became discouraged after my first lesson when the instructor told me to take Bentley and leave after 10 minutes. However, my daughter told me that I just needed to find someone that had a little bit of patience. So we decided to try the training sessions with Pet Smart*. This went much better and after 8 weeks, Bentley and I became graduates. These sessions definitely kick- started our training journey and allowed me to lay down some ground rules.

The main problem with Bentley at the time was the barking and growling when strangers came over to the house. However, now that we had graduated from puppy training, I was looking for a more specific form of training. This is what led me to Bark Busters*. They were very helpful since they were able to come and work with me in the comfort of my own home. Bark Busters* allowed me to build on what Bentley and I had already learned, while teaching me how to become more assertive.

I still had one more road to travel with Bentley. I needed to get into his head and try to understand what he was all about. You see, I believed that there was more to this special puppy than I was seeing. I sourced out a "Dog Whisperer" on a recommendation from a friend. She came to my house and was able to help me communicate with Bentley. This gave me an insight as to who Bentley was and allowed us both to figure out how to talk to each other. To my total amazement, one of the items I discovered is that my beautiful Schnauzer thought he was a Bouvier de Flanders. No wonder he had a personality that seemed much larger than his size.

After many different forms of training, I was finally able to connect with Bentley and we both learned our place within the relationship. Finally, we were on the right track. Over the next few months, we grew together as a couple and Bentley changed right in front of my eyes into a loving, trusting friend. In the end, I truly understood the benefits of all my efforts.

I had another hurdle to cross with Bentley's dominant nature. You can imagine how hard it was to find someone willing to groom him. I had tried multiple places, however no one really took the time and patience needed to allow Bentley to feel comfortable with them. I am very thankful to have found Debbie, and I know that she played a large role in teaching Bentley that he can trust people. She always knew how to make Bentley feel at home and never gave up on him. Now, I hear that Bentley doesn't even make a sound with Debbie, which makes me happy to know that I finally have a place where I do not have to worry about his behavior.

I doubt that there are very few families that would have had the patience and drive needed to shape Bentley into the adorable pet he is today. Even though it was a meticulous process, I have now ended up with the most amazing companion. With my children moved out of the house and starting their own families, Bentley has truly become my third child. He came into my life at a time when I needed him the most. I had recently lost my other dog Max to cancer and soon after had to endure some overwhelming health problems of my own. Bentley was at my side day and night always giving me the love I needed but more importantly, I felt he believed I was going to beat this and get well. After all we have been through, I am convinced that God gave Bentley to our family for a reason…. so we could save each other.

Sir Bentley and Debbie

I decided to introduce Jocelyn and Bentley to you as my very first "Superstars", because I truly feel their relationship is what all of us, as dog owners, believe in. Jocelyn was told Bentley wasn't worth the trouble and in spite of that, she persevered and look at the outcome!! She has an amazing friend and companion who trusts and loves her and has faith in her as well. They have beaten the odds together and I feel blessed to have been invited to participate in their relationship.

I remember the first time Bentley came for grooming. It took three of us to hold and console the dog and three muzzles to boot. I could tell he was terrified and gave a lot of thought as to how I could best help this dog. There was something about his eyes that drew me in and made me believe we could be friends. By the third groom, I no longer had to use muzzles for anything except his ears and nails but used a lot of small treats as a reward system. It took almost a year before I could pluck the hair from his ears without him turning and now he will lift each of his paws for me to do his nails and even stretches his back legs out when I am going down them with clippers. I no longer use a muzzle for anything and in fact, don't even use a grooming tie to keep him on the table. He simply sits there for me and while he watches intently, I speak to him in soft tones and reassure him. Sometimes I even sing to him.

I have many clients with "Superstars" for pets and will be featuring them periodically on this site. But this is a story that makes a point regarding what a lot of love and patience can do. People can be critical of dog owners as we often treat our pets as family members and not as animals. But look at what happens when we spare a little love, patience and time for another of God's creatures. Bentley is a "gift" to anyone who meets him and I look forward to many years in his company. Thank you Jocelyn and Mr. Bentley for sharing your story and for allowing me, in a small way, to share in your love of each other.

* Although these companies' names were used in the article, I am not endorsing their services, as I have no personal experience with them. You can tell however, the success that Jocelyn and Bentley experienced.

Click here to read about "Little Bit"