Adopted Dog Shows His Pet Mom the True Power of Unconditional Love

With a dog named Bentley by her side, Shweta knew she had love and support to help her surpass life’s challenges.

Shweta + Bentley

When Shweta and her husband adopted Bentley, they treated him with patience, love, and kindness. Bentley, in turn, brings his family unconditional love and support that have comforted them through pregnancy challenges, through life with a new baby, then through the pandemic and beyond.

"One particularly rough day, Bentley climbed into my lap, licked my tears, and put his head down on my stomach. It was as though he knew exactly what to say, without saying anything at all. I can’t begin to describe the comfort I felt in that moment."

When an acquaintance first showed me a picture of Bentley, she said, “This dog is like plain vanilla. He’s nothing special, so don’t worry, he won’t be adopted quickly.”

She couldn’t have been further from the truth.

When we first met Bentley in November, he was anxious and quiet. His trip from Alabama had clearly worn him out, and he wasn’t sure how to react to us. We quickly took him home and introduced him to his first toys and hoped for the best. The first few weeks were quite a trial. He had many poop accidents, including at a friend’s house; he barked incessantly, and he needed adjustments to his routine in general. However, sure enough, Bentley began to warm up to us. Within a week he was following me everywhere, including the bathroom! And he began to cuddle with us every opportunity he got. By about a month’s time, he had fully adjusted to home life with us, and we felt as proud and happy as could be.

It was only after about a year with Bentley that I truly recognized the power of unconditional love. I became pregnant in February of 2017. Unfortunately, the journey was very difficult, and I was fraught with worry over the complications I faced with my pregnancy. I would regularly come home from my prenatal appointments in tears. Fortunately, I had a friend beside me… always. Bentley did not need to understand my language to know what I was feeling. One particularly rough day, Bentley climbed into my lap, licked my tears, and put his head down on my stomach. It was as though he knew exactly what to say, without saying anything at all. I can’t begin to describe the comfort I felt at that moment. I knew that I would never be alone through everything I was facing.

Fast forward nine months and Bentley became a big brother—a role he has stepped up to graciously. It hasn’t been a perfectly smooth transition, but Bentley has proven his ability to expand his unconditional love to our daughter, too. Watching the two of them grow up together has put a smile on my husband’s face as he recalls growing up with his first dog in childhood. Having Bentley has given him back the love of an animal, which he had sorely missed. My daughter is truly lucky to grow up with a best friend by her side—and the two of them are slowly becoming inseparable.

Bentley is anything but plain vanilla. He is a unique, quirky, and unconditionally faithful member of our family. He proves his worth over and over again. I work as a physician, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, he provided immense support to me as I battled with distressing patient encounters and faced the unknown. Thank you, Muddy Paws Rescue, for filling a void in my life I wasn’t even aware of. You made our family complete!

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Shweta won Muddy Paws Rescue in Long Island, New York a 2021 Love Stories award.