Saturday, June 20, 2009

We lost our best friend today

This morning at 1:30 a.m., Barky passed away unexpectedly from unknown causes. From the moment we met him at a beagle rescue league adoption day in Baltimore until we said goodbye to him today, we loved him with all of our hearts--a love that was returned in full.

There is too much to write and the attempt to do so pains me too greatly to complete now. I will admit to one lie I have told about him over the years, however. We had gone to the adoption day to see what this rescue league was like and how they operated, if we liked them, perhaps fill out the paperwork there for a future adoption. We were arriving late, so we fully expected all the dogs to be adopted out by the time we arrived.

We walked in with our good friend, D, who had driven all the way up to Baltimore with us to entertain our folly. Mama and D split off from me on our way into the store and were looking at other dogs, but all I remember is seeing Barky standing at the end of an aisle, bandana still around his neck, indicating that he was not yet adopted. He was perfect. He was the dog I've wanted since I was a boy.

Our dog.

And somehow, although the beagles with thyroid conditions, the ones so overweight their bellies dragged on the floor, the ones who were so lethargic they never once woke up in the middle of a tumultuous pet store--although all of them were adopted, this one perfect dog was not. I immediately asked if it was true that he was available and when the volunteer said that he was, I kneeled at the table and began filling out the paperwork.

Mama always teases me--especially after Barky did something like bury a package of cookies in our couch or drink our coffee in the car while we went to the bathroom at a rest area--that, "We walked in to look around; I turn around and there you were, filling out the paperwork." I always demur and say that it was her who picked him out, but we both know that's a lie, although we have both loved him with all of our hearts.

I loved him from the moment I saw him, and I always will. And Mama loved him from the moment she and D walked him around the store and he peed on several displays.

A few weeks later, when we could finally bring him home, we were all three as happy as could be.

Coming home for the first time.

Back before we had kids, when we could nap on the couch whenever we wanted.

Before global warming, when we used to be able to walk in the snow, a favorite activity for Barky.

Barky on Grammy's farm a few weeks ago, where he loved to be--outside, off leash.

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  1. I am so sorry. He was a beautiful friend.

  2. So sorry about Barky...

  3. We will miss him and all the stories you had to tell about him. Love and Hugs.

  4. I'll drink a martini while thinking about wishbones. Good dogs go to heaven.

  5. My boy reminded me of your story about when he refused to leave a bandage on his foot alone and wore an enormous cone on his head after I told him about Barky. We will remember him forever.

  6. Oh gosh. I'm sorry! It hurts so much to lose such a good friend.

  7. If I'm crying right now I can only imagine what you must be going through.

    He was a good dog and lived a fabulous life. He was lucky to have you, as you were to have him.

  8. Jennifer B7:46 PM

    I am so sorry! We enjoyed meeting him at Thanksgiving in DC. Take some comfort in the fact that he lived a good and happy life with a family that obviously adored him. My girls both believe that dogs live on a star in the sky when they die and say hello to Mowgli at night. We will add our hellos to him too.

  9. Thanks to all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. They truly help us, we lean on them, in these sad times.

  10. Anonymous1:36 PM

    Hugs to you all. Barky will definitely be missed.

  11. I am so sorry.
    So very, very, sorry.

    We know that hurt and empty space that can't be filled.

    I am just so sorry.

  12. I am so sorry for the loss of a great friend. Companionship like that touches our hearts forever. My sympathy to everyone.