A little story about a little dog named Barkley
Sometimes I think I foster dogs for the greater good. It seems like the right thing to do. I love dogs. I certainly tolerate dogs. I know a lot about dogs. There are always more dogs that need temporary homes as they transition to a better life.
On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I foster dogs for selfish reasons. It makes me feel valued. A dog loves me no matter what, even if we just met. Even if I make all kinds of mistakes.
Barkley is one of those dogs. He came with a unique set of “issues.” I want to help him, but helping Barkley is also a way to help myself.
Everyone wants to know “the story” behind every rescue dog. Was he abandoned? Was he a mill dog? From the pound?
And if we don’t know these stories, we create our own.
Barkley could be one of those dogs, too. A dog with a made-up story about how he was abused and abandoned. I could be his hero.
An insecure dog
Barkley has a hard time dealing with stress. On our drive home, he shook the whole time. A lot of dogs will pace in the car or try to climb into the front seat. If I get out, they might bounce from seat to seat or scratch at the window. Barkley just shook, frozen.
At our house, Barkley had to learn how to go up and down the stairs.
When I moved a pillow from the couch to the floor, he wouldn’t go near that pillow.
He has a hard time understanding when it’s safe to walk through our glass patio door and when it is not.
In rare instances, if I move towards him in a certain way with a certain energy, he lashes out. Or sometimes he just crouches really low and urinates.
The poor dog, you might say.
And if I didn’t know Barkley’s story, I too would probably piece together some tale about his troubled past.
Sadly, there are dogs out there being abused. Right now. And there are dogs out there that have experienced violence. There are dogs that are suffering.
Barkley is not one of those dogs.
Most dogs have not been abused, not even insecure dogs like Barkley.
Here’s the real story about this little dog:
Barkley lived in a home with the same person for almost three years. And she probably loved him.
There are no fill in the blanks. This dog has had a good life.
The only sad piece to Barkley’s story could be from the very beginning.
He originally came from a pet shop – Pets R’ Inn at West Acres Mall in Fargo, N.D.
He is a “designer” dog. Half Yorkie. Half Maltese/Lhasa Apso.
That opens up a whole new discussion, I know. And what it highlights is that a dog’s breeding can determine quite a bit. Likewise, the first few weeks of a pup’s life, whether they are nurturing or not, have lasting effects on the dog he will become.
We can’t change that for Barkley. We can only move forward. That’s what he wants. That’s what every dog wants.
What’s the story of this one little dog?
His “story” is a good one. It will end happily. There’s likely an adoption in the works. He has a lot to look forward to.