Dear Monika,

Barney was taken home in January 2008 from Monika’s. Back then he was called ‘Cairo’ and according to his vaccination certificate, was nearly 7.

He’d been taken back to Monika’s a few times already according to the staff. We were and are unsure which breeds he comprised, shih tzu and silky being the obvious ones among them. None of that mattered to his new family.

Barney proceeded to live a life of great comfort and happiness. The saddest part of his Dad’s day was leaving him to go to work, the happiest was his return to see his boy.

The daily routine involved walks, games, plenty of interaction with his extended family and sister dog Polly, not to mention a legendary diet. Like the rest of us he had a parking space in the ‘good paddock’. Easily the least favourite part of his week in summer/fortnight in winter was the bath, which Barney managed to drag out into a saga. Running and sticking your head under a bed proved not to be a hiding technique, nor did parking his latest treasure behind a pergola upright prove to be a secret stash.

Pretty much everything else for Barney was good; he’d landed on his paws and he knew it. He repaid us with unconditional love. We discovered a few years into his adoption he was the reason for the absence of any flower or bloom at or below knee height.

He was an eccentric, he insisted on hiding only one shoe from a pair around the house. He’d do plenty of little things like that and thankfully they and he remain in our memory. We went on many adventures all over the place, but ultimately for Barney, where you were was where he wanted to be. He’d listen intently as his Dad whispered all his secrets and told him his troubles late at night and he was always there. He really had a special bond with everyone in the family.

Life went on happily for many years until investigating an ongoing tummy problem revealed a malignant tumour which couldn’t be removed. It became a case sadly and quickly of how to manage his condition to maintain his happiness and quality of life. That was ripped right out of our hands inside three weeks. He knew it too, and he had to be set free. Our friend Dr Jeff came to the house, so it was done, with great compassion and care. The little boy has left a big hole.

Barney was a gentle little soul who was a source of great love and joy, and comfort, always a happy little guy to see his people, particularly his Dad whom he wouldn’t let out of his sight. His Dad still sees and hears him around the place and desperately misses his little shadow. As C.S.Lewis once said: “The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.” And what a deal, no matter how hard it now is, the pain will never eclipse the happiness he brought us.

Thanks for coming to us Barney. We love you boy.


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