This morning at 1:30 a.m., Barky passed away unexpectedly from unknown causes. From the moment we met him at a beagle rescue league adoption day in Baltimore until we said goodbye to him today, we loved him with all of our hearts–a love that was returned in full.
There is too much to write and the attempt to do so pains me too greatly to complete now. I will admit to one lie I have told about him over the years, however. We had gone to the adoption day to see what this rescue league was like and how they operated, if we liked them, perhaps fill out the paperwork there for a future adoption. We were arriving late, so we fully expected all the dogs to be adopted out by the time we arrived.
We walked in with our good friend, D, who had driven all the way up to Baltimore with us to entertain our folly. Mama and D split off from me on our way into the store and were looking at other dogs, but all I remember is seeing Barky standing at the end of an aisle, bandana still around his neck, indicating that he was not yet adopted. He was perfect. He was the dog I’ve wanted since I was a boy.
And somehow, although the beagles with thyroid conditions, the ones so overweight their bellies dragged on the floor, the ones who were so lethargic they never once woke up in the middle of a tumultuous pet store–although all of them were adopted, this one perfect dog was not. I immediately asked if it was true that he was available and when the volunteer said that he was, I kneeled at the table and began filling out the paperwork.
Mama always teases me–especially after Barky did something like bury a package of cookies in our couch or drink our coffee in the car while we went to the bathroom at a rest area–that, “We walked in to look around; I turn around and there you were, filling out the paperwork.” I always demur and say that it was her who picked him out, but we both know that’s a lie, although we have both loved him with all of our hearts.
I loved him from the moment I saw him, and I always will. And Mama loved him from the moment she and D walked him around the store and he peed on several displays.
A few weeks later, when we could finally bring him home, we were all three as happy as could be.