Yesterday we said goodbye to a loyal old friend. He had been a big part of our family for 8 years and we rescued him from the pound as a middle aged dog. He was the scruffiest, motliest dog there and he and Grant had something special from the get go.
His name was Barkely. He has been by our side as our family grew from just Grant and I to being home to welcome our 3 boys into the world. He moved house with us from being in the country on land to being in a unit in town, to our current suburban block, he even swam his way through a flood. His fur has provided a soft place to cry for many a members of this family and has been there to give countless hugs and cuddles in both celebration and sadness.
Enjoying his last nights by the heat of the fire.....He never like to be inside did this silly old dog, He wanted to be in his yard, patrolling it. Except in his last days he finally allowed himself to rest his old, weary bones.
He had a good innings did old Barkley.
Owning pets brings so many lessons to a family. Responsibility, empathy, gentleness, a companion, friendship. It also teaches that life is finite. It will end. We have used this opportunity to teach our boys about death. To talk to them about their emotions and to let them sit in their sadness while they work out how to process it. We let them see death as we brought Barkley home from the vet to bury him in our garden. They patted him for a final time and saw he looked peaceful. Death is not something town kids see much of. But we believe it is important. It is a reality of life.
Thanks old man, forever in our hearts.