Barkley: Year 1

Barkley was adopted just over a year ago and today I got another update from his new family. It’s so great to hear about former foster dogs doing so well.

First anniversary, which we consider his birthday was this Monday! The only reason he kept from freaking out wearing the hat was because we were holding pizza. (we tried to put one on him for maggies birthday, without the allure of pizza, and he ran to the third floor and hid.)

We flipped past ST:TNG last night and watched, because you said Barkley was named for a character, so we were trying to spot him! I looked up the character, because you said they were similar, and read that Barclay was afraid of the transporter! Perfect!

He is still terrified of vacuums. He still needs a nylabone constantly- really likes to gnaw at midnight and 6am on the bed. He still rolls around on his back kicking his legs when he’s entertaining himself. He now drops a tennis ball at my feet all day long- and when I’m in bed on my head all night long. He’s a good runner, we do 3 miles a day. Many days the finish line of our run is the fish store, so they each get a cooked shrimp as a reward. He saw his first crane (as in the bird) on the river and went cuckoo, since it’s on our running path he searchs for it every day. He doesn’t seem to mind the snow.

Barkley Year 1
Barkley Year 1

A Barkley Happy Tail

I always love hearing from the people that adopted dogs I fostered. This was sent in for a Happy Tail entry from the people that adopted Barkley earlier this year.

Imagine that after years, you’ve decided to expand your household pack to include a companion for your 9-year old Lab, Maggie. Given Maggie’s small size, you search the Lab rescues for another small one so as not to daunt Maggie. Having learned of Barkley, a 60-lb lab who was rescued from a shelter, the pack drives 8-hours to meet him at the Wild Heir South Carolina lab rescue.

You haven’t taken into consideration that he was 60-lbs when you learned about him, i.e. a few months prior when he was only 9-months old. You arrive to find a 75-lb giant of a Lab who leaps over couches in one bound. (“He’s not 60 pounds anymore…”) He puts his paws on your shoulders and looks you in the eyes. But Maggie, whom you feared would be quite displeased with a year-old clumsy brother, is delighted with him, and you can’t help but be either.

Barkley appears to have no qualms about leaving South Carolina with unfamiliar people and dog, in an unfamiliar SUV – leaping in the back (momentarily). He merely views the back seat as an exercise hurdle to get to the front. (“uhm, he’s in your seat.” ) You open the door, take him around to the back. By the time you’re back in the car, he’s back in the front. Repeat two more times.

He never appears confused or anxious about arriving in a new home. He paces the bed every night (“Did we get an insomniac?”) until you realize he just wants on the bed. After that, you – and Maggie – are pillows for him to lay across while he sleeps. When it comes to sleeping, he never applies “lay down” but rather falls across you from a standing position. He buries his nose in your neck for the entire night.

All dogs are friends, all squirrels are foes, and moles are to be to be carried carefully in one cheek. (“What’s in Barkley’s mouth?) Leashes and Maggie’s collar are edibles (“Why isn’t Maggie’s collar on? Why are her ID plates on the floor?”) His Nylabone and tennis balls are pacifiers. Water is for slobbering across the kitchen, requiring you to put a rug down. Maggie’s head is for drooling on. Vacuums are a terror, causing you to have to replace the Plexiglas door he broke through to escape one. (He wasn’t injured.) Couches are for you to sit on – with Barkley’s entire self on your lap. Maggie is his most beloved big sister and best friend whose side he won’t leave.

Maggie, now 10-years old, is a pup again. Post-breakfast is Labrador wrestlemania, as indicated by the joyous sounds of thunder throughout the house and by every rug accordionned against a wall. She loves an ambush – hiding under a desk or chair and leaping out at him with a playful “snap snap” of her ferocious fangs. Every play session begins with each giving each other nose licks, and then pandemonium ensues. She lets him chase her just long enough to gain momentum and turn on him – the chased becomes the chaser – and he seems as delighted as she. She has taught him that the first thing to do every morning is check the tomato plant for new green tomatoes, thus ensuring we never get to eat a ripe one.

Such is our life with our beloved rescue Lab, Barkley. If you rescue a Lab, you will be blessed to have the same love, affection, fun and frivolity as we do.

Barkley’s river adventure

Another update from Barkley’s new family. I think this was his first water adventure. I had him out by a pond at a CSCLRC event in the fall, but he didn’t jump into the water at all. He looked like he wanted to join the other dogs, but just ran around the edge of the water waiting for them to come out so he could grab the bumpers from the dogs.

He was so happy! Maggie immediate ran and jumped into the river, so he followed with a big leap- he looked so startled that he didn’t land on something! He had no problem paddling back to shore but then was too timid to go back in even though he really wanted to- he kept putting his toes and nose I’m and trying from every rock but just couldn’t take the plunge! We’re sure he will when the water is warm enough for us to get in because then he’ll follow. He and Maggie ran and ran over the rocks!

Barkley by the river

Counter surfing Barkley

I’ve been getting fairly regular updates from Barkley’s new owners about his antics, most of which make me laugh (BTW, if you’ve ever adopted a rescue dog that lived in a foster home, send them updates…we love to know that a dog we fostered is doing well).
Being a pretty tall dog, counter surfing comes pretty easy for Barkley. I always kept an eye on him when he was in the kitchen and made sure there wasn’t anything edible within reach. It didn’t keep him from trying to counter surf though. At his new home, he seems to be having a little more success.

this is what happened to the flour i’d spread out on the counter to knead dough …

Cleaned Counter

when i pointed to the counter and said “no!! no! no barkley!” he just wagged and wagged his tail

Barkley caught

Barkley has left the building

It’s taken a few months, but Barkley has finally been adopted and is heading off with a nice couple to his new home in West Virginia.
I had planned on taking a bit of a break before taking on a new foster, but it looks like I’ll be taking on Sazy instead.