Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 Animals are with us when we are at our worst.  Especially dogs, they seem to love us a little more unconditionally than other pets.  I have been a cat person for most of my life.  I love their indifference and their independence.  But then came Barkley...

My late husband, Santi, bought him for me as a Valetine's Day present about 8 years ago.  They were selling him on the lawn in front of a Bank of America or US Bank.  He was the cutest thing I had ever seen.  He like to stay on my lap cuddled for the majority of a day.  We struggled finding a name for him.  We wanted something with a B, Byron maybe.  After much deliberation, Barkley came about.  His middle name is different depending on who in the family you ask.  For me, his name was Barkley Sneezus Miller because he sneezed to show his happiness.

Barkley would love to bark, so he was aptly named. He would always prone to show his expressions of love, fear and discomfort.  Barkley loved car rides, running out of the house and racing one of us, he loved treats and headrubs.  He didn't like other dogs or dog parks.  He didn't like being without us in the house.  He was meek and sweet.  We found out he was a papillion spaniel when we brought him in one day to see the vet.  We thought he was a cross between two breeds but the vet assured us he was a papillion.  

He was the youngest of the pets.  I expected him to be the last to go.  He was more David's dog than mine but we all loved him.  He was our loud and crazy dog.  He warmed up so much to Geoff.  I'm surprised I'm as devasted as I am.  The grief is shocking.    

They didn't go to school and were trying to pack up the last of the things today.  So, when he went into cardiac arrest, he wasn't alone.  He was with his boy.  I left work to take him into the emergency.  I had thought he had gotten into something and was choking.  They told us that he had an underlying heart problem. It was probably the stress of the move that triggered his poor little heart.

Moving hasn't been easy.  It feels like a loss and I had been grieving the life that once was.  It feels like starting new, a starting new that I didn't properly prepare for.  Barkley had only lived in our former house that was falling apart all around us.  And now... his memory lives on with the house in my heart.  

My son asked me, "Is it true that all dogs go to heaven?"  I didn't hesitate.  I said, "Yes."  Barkley lives on... if only in my heart.  Praise the Lord for good dogs!!!

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