Remembering Our “Mister B” Barney
I sat here at the keyboard for a few good minutes reflecting on the following words before tapping finger to first keys. Actually this has sat for a few weeks waiting to be published because it’s been hard for me to finish it. It’s incredibly heartbreaking to put this into words because it once again assures me that our dog Barney isn’t coming back. It’s still difficult to talk about at length without getting emotional. But life goes on while one or two in our case deal with death. We both go to work and continue on while pushing down any rush of teary melancholy moments we have here at the house where together we spent his life. That is until we can’t hold it anymore and slowly weep or take a sigh of deep sadness while remembering our two kids that have left us too soon.
It’s been a month since Barney very suddenly and unexpectedly passed on to Rainbow Bridge. The place where compassionate pet people say their furry loved ones are safely waiting and playing until we parents are once again reunited with them when it’s our time to go is known as the Rainbow Bridge. We were here at home on Sunday. I had just fed him dinner and gave him a few treats. He loved the cold crunch of cucumbers thinly sliced. Jacques left for the grocery and Mr. B went outside to do his business but didn’t stop at the rock as he usually does but kept coming on around it with his balance off kilter. I already knew something was wrong.
He made it inside and his balance blew out on the tiles. Barney headed into the splits with his back legs until I caught him and got him down on his side trying to calm him (and I) down. By this time he was panting and from what I could tell he was having another stroke. Our little man suffered a stroke one year ago and miraculously recovered after two days of bedrest. He had been on a pill a day for high blood pressure since then and possessed incredible energy for the last year. Well, incredible energy for dog matured at 16 years. The past year was magnificent with him and we must celebrate that! After Britney’s passing we made sure Barney was out most every weekend and enjoying his golden years. We knew he was incredibly lonely without his best friend as were his daddies missing their precious daughter.
Jacques soon got home. We scooped our boy up and rushed him to VCA Animal Hospital in Indio since the one in Palm Springs was already closed. That was a desperate long drive to Indio. With Jacques frantically driving as fast as he could I was turned in my seat with my hand on Barney’s torso, him in his bed taking slower and more infrequent breaths. Unfortunately, Mister B took his last gasp of air mid-way to the hospital looking out past me into the sky, his paw extended to me. It’s heartbreaking to remember. I couldn’t even say the words to Jacques. I just shook my head crying quietly and placed it on his seat as he continued driving up I-10.
When we arrived to VCA the staff dropped what they were doing and took him from us. We were devastated and in compete disbelief. After being escorted into a private room the doctor came in a few minutes later and that was it. Our boy was gone. There’s more details but quite honestly it’s hard for me to look at this screen and continue typing without crying. We took care of the arrangements and drove home without him. A week later they called to say he was ready to be picked up and brought back where he belonged. Our kids are next to each other where they belong here with us. It’s so very sad.
I still look for him like I did her after she passed. I actually feel Britney around the house more than I did after she was gone. When she died, we had a good week before to process her demise because we saw it coming. The Big C got a hold of her and her little body could’t handle chemo. Afterwards we showered him with all the love we could to help his and our pain of loss. When it was time for Mr. B it was sudden and incredibly quick. It blindsided us. He saw his daddies trying to get him help and Barney truly knew he was deeply loved. The house is very quiet now without them.
I now remember things about Britney and what she would do more than ever. Britney would climb the stairs in the morning after getting a treat from Jacques and jump high on our bed. I’d wake up and find her nuzzled around my head on my feathered pillow asleep. She loved to perch on the back corner of our leather couch as we’d go to work and watch us leave as she drifted off into a nap. Barney ran the show here at the house. Our schedule revolved around him and his needs, from snacktime to morning feeding and of course, his crunchy cool carrot or cucumber treats. As a kid he loved the pool and couldn’t be splashed enough. He hung near us most of the time we three were here without her, more so than before. I know Jacques misses being able to hug his furry warm body and kiss his adorable face like I do. That face, tho. I worshiped him.
Barney helped me through some very rough times in Los Angeles and his unconditional love was just that. He loved me on days I didn’t love myself. If you’re a pet person then you understand the love/joy your animals provide and the pain/loss we feel when it’s their time. If you’re not a pet person then that’s sad because you’ve never felt a love that doesn’t ask questions nor judge you. As much as we loved having the kids, Jacques and I had decided a few years ago that it would be awhile before we have another when that time came. We honor them both and remember the family that still feels so alive in our hearts and home. I still say hello to them when I leave and arrive into the house. They gave us life while we provided a privileged and special life for the two most deserving dogs ever.
Our “Little Man” Barney
05/25/99 – 07/12/15