Today we lost Barney. If you know us, you know Barney. If not, Barney was a Golden Retriever/German Shepard masterpiece. Gentle, smart, forgiving, intuitive, friend. He was the perfect family companion. Our guardian, our pet, our peaceful force.
Today, tonight was single handedly the hardest parenting moment since M’s lengthy hospital stay. As I try to wrap my head and thoughts around why now, why this way, I also have M’s questions to contend with…”Who will I throw the ball to, who will bark for us, I was safe with a sitter here because I knew Barney was here, I won’t feel safe outside, now I don’t want to cross the street”… Great valid questions, how do I answer? Tonight he cried himself to sleep. I held him tight as he mumbled about all that he’d miss. Walking, moping around the house there are 101 things I miss already.
He was my hearing dog. I knew if a car was in the drive, Papa was home, or the neighbors were passing through, all from his “alarm”. He kept watch over M as he traversed the backyard or meandered through the woods. Our Dyson was no match for Barney’s clean up power. Who will clean up little R’s messes? Vacuum power sniffer and snout. No vacuum can replace his powerful dedication to a clean floor. Who will R sneak food to when he thinks we are not looking? Without Barney the butler, who will greet each guest? The hugs, the licks, the welcome home wag. The arm throwing workout. Cuddling on the couch. The morning argument of who gets to make his Kong. Or the nightly ritual of who can beat whom to feed Barney. Family weekend snuggling in bed with Barney taking up the most room. The special twinkle into his eyes followed by a burp in the face. Most of all, I’ll miss his gentle soul. Never a mean bone or mischievous moment. Him, sweet him.
On dark, rainy mornings I’ll forever be trying to erase the vision of him alone laying there. That spot etched in my retinas as much as my soul. It hurts to know that he was along without us near. We cry, we hold each other tight. No time for a good-bye. No time for a last, final scratch or high-five.
What I would say if he were here right now, thank you. You were an amazing presence in our lives. Blessing us with 9 wonderful years, you made us better parents of the 2 legged and 4 legged.
Sleep tight dear buddy.