I recently spoke about looking for that little light – the positives in your life that might just keep you going when all around feels so dark and lonely. Well we had a little light in our lives and now he's gone.
What lessons can I take from his short life, just short of five years in October with him, and just under four months of his 16th birthday.
Barney is a simple soul. He loves his food and cuddles but follows his own path. He doesn't get bogged down with worries but he can be quite stubborn and mouthy at times. He cries at fireworks and is stroppy with Timmy, his brother from another mother. He's a stranger to a brush and loves the water. He has a happy swishy tail and a little skip in his step. He loves life.
Barney was our eldest dog. I 'healed' him when he was desperately ill in May 2017, some six months after we took the plunge to move from Cambridgeshire to the Highlands of Scotland. He started off quite chubby when we first got him... but by then, he was skin and bone, no interest in anything, could not eat, suffering from diarrhoea and going out into the garden and just sitting forlornly by the pond. I almost imagined I would go out to see him lifeless on the grass at any moment. I sat with him on a really hot day and laid down on the grass, praying to the angels to take him if it was time and sobbing my absolute heart out. We were one day from having "that conversation" and taking him to "that place". We were both distraught. I sat down with him and placed my hands on him. I prayed that we would have longer with him and in the process healed my breaking heart at the prospect of something worse happening. He improved, with medical input (drugs) and, I like to think, positive thought. I thought that somehow maybe I was willing the dreadful event to happen before it was properly "that time" so unwittingly perhaps I reversed the process.
Fast forward two years and he is gone, unexpectedly, but quietly and gently in his sleep, only eight days ago. My little sea-otter is now buried in the garden where we can go and talk to him but so many emotions are going on inside of me. Each day a new memory pops up on Facebook with photos, constantly reminding us of this most painful loss, the loss of our eldest furry son. For he was like a child to us. However I know in my heart he went the best way, in his own bed, in his own house. He even had his own fabric leopard house, his little escape room. I loved putting my head in it and smelling it if he was "home" or not... it smelt of biscuits, gentleness and calm. His brother used to sit on top of it and flatten it so over time it collapsed sideways but he'd still heave himself in, little liquorice nose poking out of it. When we buried him, it was in his own bed, with the purple blankie over him and then gently laid the folded leopard house on top of him. Our little scruffy rapscallion, the keeper of the "estate" finally looking after his little land.
A Moodscope member.
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