I think I need to share a picture of one of the most important males in my life.
He died in my arms nearly three years ago and I still miss him like mad. His presence in my life helped me through lots of black times – I was so lucky to have him around. He supported me through thick and thin and was always there to comfort me. He also helped my late husband, John.
You may very well have guessed his identity.
|My beautiful Barney opening one of his
last Christmas presents
Allow me to introduce you to Barney, also known, amongst other things, as Barnacles, Barnacus Newtus, Barnes and RB [the last being the initials of a horrid name my younger son gave him for the post-haircut period!].
Barney came to us from Ferne Animal Sanctuary near Chard in Somerset. We had been looking at various animal rescue centres for a dog the previous year but, after much discussion, had changed our minds. However, we had talked about the issue again and decided that we were prepared to give the commitment needed to rehome a dog.
On the way back from picking up my elder son from his part-time job I announced that I was going to call in at Ferne Animal Sanctuary to see if they had any suitable dogs. On arrival we were told that dogs could only be viewed by appointment but they had presently had two small dogs: a Jack Russell [shock, horror – I didn’t want one of those!] and a Cocker Spaniel. I arranged for John and I to return the following day.
We were met the next day by a beautiful 11-month-old Cocker Spaniel called Barney who had been in the rescue centre for a month! It transpired that Barney had been rehomed previously but, for some reason, had been returned to Ferne. Consequently they were being extra cautious about who they rehomed him with.
Luckily, we passed muster – I think it may well have been because of the lengthy discussions and deliberations we had had prior to applying.
Someone from Ferne visited our home two days later to “check us out”. Near the end of the visit I asked when we would know if we could have Barney and was told we would know that same day – then she told us our application was successful! I was SO excited! I asked when we could collect him and she asked when we wanted him. I immediately replied “today” – which was met by a shocked expression. I explained that I wanted to buy as much as I could from their shop at the centre which was only open that same afternoon or three days later. Who could wait three days? Certainly not me!
We were told we could collect him two hours later – and so began a very special relationship. We were so very lucky to be allowed to have Barney. It felt as though it was meant to be – but it was awful that he had had to endure such a turbulent puppyhood.
Lots of people loved Barney. He was very generous with his affections but was never unfaithful to his ‘mum’ – he was always my dog, and he always will be. I miss him still.
To read more about Ferne Animal Sanctuary, or to make a donation, please click HERE.