I have a loyal friend. He is someone who has stuck close to me for the last 14 years. Through the good and the bad, on trips, and moves. He's there when I go to sleep at night, and he's waiting for me first thing in the morning when I get up. He waits in the window, when I go out, and is still there, when I come back home again. But my loyal friend is getting older now. His eyes are clouding over, and he can't always hear me when I call. I have to carry him up the stairs to bed now, and in the morning, back down again. Sleep is his past time of choice, and the balls and toys now lie untouched. But he is still my boy. There is nothing more loyal than a dog and Barley means so much to me. How very hard to watch him grow older. I wonder if he knows what pleasure and rewards he has brought to all our lives? Well, besides killing my chickens, but hey, nobody is perfect.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm an animal lover. If I was left to my own devices I would be surrounded by them, but my husband feels differently so we keep it to a minimum. Probably a good thing. But the way I see it, a home isn't a home unless there's a dog asleep in front of the fireplace. And the rewards and lessons are endless. What better way to teach my children about life and death, and compassion and responsibility? Watching my kids now, as Barley enters his last stage of life leaves me in awe. When I see my son gently pick him up, and carry him up the stairs so he can sleep beside my bed, I know that the compassion he feels for Barley, is a trait that will follow him throughout his life. My son, and Barley are the same age. They've grown together. But while my son is still a young boy with his whole life ahead, Barley is at his journey's end. My children are witness to the the span of life, so short, no matter who we are, human or animal. The lessons I want for my children, above all else, is to realize that life is a gift, and we must make the best of it, each and every single day. And I believe that Barley has helped teach this lesson. By just being him.