Bentley's Story

    I credit Bentley, my Basset Hound with being the inspiration for my book series, The Returns.  I really believe he was born to be our dog.  Bassets Hounds have always been one of my favorite breeds because, well, just look at them.  Those ears, that face, and the stubby little legs with ginormous paws are hard to resist.  Seven years ago a friend of mine offered me her son’s full-grown Basset.  Soooo tempting!  We have always enjoyed raising our dogs from the puppy stage, so I reluctantly passed on her generous offer. 
Baby Basset Hound with #7 on his hip
About a week later, my family was trying to decide on our lottery numbers.  I told them my lucky number was seven.  The kids laughed and pointed out that seven was almost everyone’s lucky number.  Duh, there’s a reason for that…it’s a lucky number!  Surprisingly, we didn’t win the Powerball.  Keep reading, I promise this is leading somewhere. 
Basset Hound puppy chewing on toy
My husband received an invitation to a surprise 50th birthday party for one of his co-workers.  Now is the time to point out that we never go to parties other than family functions.  It’s not that we don’t enjoy parties; we just don’t like actually going to them.  So for the first time in probably fifteen years, we ventured out to this surprise celebration.  It was a great time and his friend was very surprised.  He was even more surprised when he received a six-week-old Basset Hound puppy for one of his gifts.  **Note: It is not a good idea to surprise someone with a puppy!  Of course, I was in love immediately and spent most of the night cradling the little sad-eyed baby.  We spent the rest of the weekend talking about the puppy and thinking of what we’d name him if he were ours.
Basset Hound puppy
My husband called me at work the following Monday.  The man and his wife were not able to keep the pup.  They had recently lost their senior dog and weren’t ready to welcome a new puppy.  If you’ve ever lost a pet, you can certainly empathize with their feelings.  My sadness at the fate of the puppy was quickly replaced when he said those magic words, “They want to know if we want to take him!”  My excitement was off the charts.  YES, a thousand times YES!
Golden Retriever with Basset Hound puppy
The next afternoon Bentley, the name we had settled on over the weekend, came to live with us.  My Golden Retriever, Tucker was less than enthusiastic.  True to his nature, he tolerated the ear pulling, gnawing, and climbing little bundle of curiosity.  They quickly became best friends and Tucker taught him the ins and outs of being a good boy.
Basset Hound wearing leather hat
It wasn’t long before we let him run around in the backyard following his big “brother.”  It was during one of those romps, my husband called him ‘Seven.’  When I asked why he pointed out the perfect white number seven on Bentley’s hip.  I was stunned and did what any responsible pet owner in my situation would do…I wrote Jack Daniels Distillery!  They asked for a picture and thought it was great but declined my idea of using him in ads.  I did score a ball cap and Bentley got a bandana, so it wasn’t a total loss.  I still knew there was some reason God put a seven on our Basset.  Then, we figured out he was the seventh dog we had owned since we were married.  (Cue the spooky music)  He is such a cool dog.  He sits on his butt like a human waiting to talk; he insists on giving real hugs, looks deep into your eyes, and can be as stubborn as any human.
Basset Hound looking out window with tennis ball on window sill
I later contacted a dog food company advertising that their food helped dog’s bodies in seven ways.  I mean, come on!  Nope, nada.  I couldn’t shake the feeling there was a reason for all of the coincidences surrounding the number seven and Bentley.
The Returns book available on Amazon
Finally, I decided to begin my writing career and wanted to incorporate him as a character.  The idea to make him an FBI Agent returned to earth as a Basset Hound struck me like a bolt of lightning.  My husband and I both knew at that moment, we had found the reason Bentley and his number seven had joined our family.  He is definitely my “soul dog.”
M. K. Clinton with Bentley the Basset Hound
                 The rest, as they say, is "his-story."
Basset Hound pup and adult with #7 seven

Unimpressed Basset Hound with #7 and stick

Bentley Basset Hound number seven
If you’d like to know more about the amazing Basset Hound dog, please read my Basset Hounds 101series.