Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ode To Barlow

Barlow has been in our family for almost three years now. We used to have a Pekignese dog, and when he passed away we decided to wait on having another pet for a while.  When Braden was very small we could tell he was an animal lover, and Avery has a gentle spirit with animals too.  Enough time had passed for us to 'mourn' Curtis so we decided to visit the humane shelter to pick out our next family pet.  

We told the people there we wanted a dog who was already trained, but still young enough so he could grow up with our family.  I'll never forget the first time I saw Barlow when she brought him out.  He was so handsome, a great size, and a bit goofy.  The kids were immediately drawn to him, and loved chasing and playing with him in the 'meet and greet' yard.  We brought him home, and he has been part of our family ever since. 

Since Barlow was already trained, we could tell someone had spent a lot of time with him.  I've often wondered what his story was before he had us.  He walks excellently on a leash, even letting Avery walk him when she was only three years old.  Barlow has let Braden waller all over him from the beginning, and hasn't ever snapped at him.  He spends a lot of time inside with us, but also loves being in the yard.  Gladly he hasn't been a big barker, only warning us when people are approaching or another animal walks by.  In the evenings he likes to curl up beside me on the couch or the floor. 

It has been fun watching him grow with the kids.  He started in his chewing stage, but has since outgrown that.  He is still relatively young so he has his excited, hyper times of the day, but does calm down and sprawl out in the sunshine for naps.  He loves his time with the kids, but he also enjoys being alone when he needs to be outside.  When it's bedtime, he knows to go to his crate, and oftentimes we will find him in there before we even tell him it's time. 

Barlow has been a blessing for our family. 

I write all of this because unfortunately, situations have arisen where we will be moving soon.  Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but since we will be renting, the house we have found does not have a fenced yard, and the people have said no animals inside the house.  Barlow is truly a part of our family, and this seems to be a deal breaker for Avery.  She says she just doesn't want to go if Barlow can't come with us.  We've used this opportunity to teach her that sometimes situations arise and we just have to roll with the punches. We have also taught her that we did make a committment to take care of him as our pet, but we will continue to take care of him by finding him an excellent home. 

So, I write this to record our memories of him, and also send a plea to those out there who might be thinking about bringing a wonderful animal into their home to become part of their family.  Barlow needs to have a home where he will be given lots of attention since that is what he is used to, and since he is near and dear to our hearts, we will make sure that a good home is found. 

As much as I hate to think about saying the words, please contact me if you are interested, or if you know of someone who might be interested in welcoming this sweet dog into their hearts and home.        

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Perfect Storm

This week has been a little crazy. Avery has been throwing up for 24 hours straight, bless her little heart. Then last night a storm blew in, and anyone who knows Braden realizes he is terrified of rain. We knew there would be rain so we put a fan in his room in hopes that it would cover some of the noise. It turned out to be a big mac daddy of a storm with more lightning and thunder than I've seen in a long time. To our surprise, the fan seemed to be working...until the electricity went off. Nice. Avery slept through the biggest part. I ended up sleeping with Braden, on the two inches of bed he left me, in complete darkness until morning.

When I let Barlow into the backyard this morning, this is what welcomed me.

You can see where there is a trampoline in there somewhere...

At first I was sick to my stomach; then I realized it didn't hit the kids' swingset

Or the house.

Missed it by a hair. I'll take replacing the cheapest thing in our backyard. Sweet Avery told Braden, "We can use the money from our piggy bank to fix the trampoline!"