I’m always thinking how small events and swift decisions can sometimes dictate a special path we take in this world. A great example of this is how I got to know my best furry friend.
This is a shout out to all area shelters and the amazing work they do. Specifically, the Conway Area Humane Society, where over 11 years ago, I met “Barley” .
Back in 2007, my wife and I were ready to adopt a puppy and decided to stop by CAHS on our way home from skiing. A former colleague and friend of mine from my time at the Mount Washington Observatory is their director. We were told a truck load of puppies from Alabama would be arriving that week, and we might want to come back in a few days. Well the rest is history… My wife and I adopted an 8 week old puppy with plenty of puppy energy.
Before Barley even knew if she was an Alabama or Crimson Tide fan, she was shipped up to snowy New Hampshire in the month of December. Truth is, I’m told that truck load of animals came from a shelter, where at the time, they euthanized 70% of the dogs. Seriously, I just can’t wrap my head around how this amazing dog our family got to know and love, was given up. Some will say she was a lucky dog. That might be true, but if it wasn’t for the effort of Conway Area Humane Society, and other programs like it by area shelters, the past 11+ years of our life would have been significantly different.
This little dog was my companion every day the snow was ski-able for over a decade. It was one of her favorite activities.
Barley lead the way on most back country ski tours and spring trips to the mountains.
Every family back packing trip, she kept the chipmunks away. The muddier the better…
If the kids (or Dad) wanted to dress her up, she was a good sport.
Always on guard protecting her flock from the neighborhood hawk and fox was a job she took seriously.
Keeping those woodchucks and deer out of the garden and patch was appreciated by this pumpkin grower.
And those lazy autumn walks through the field…
Turns out she could even help me pick out a good beer. I guess that’s appropriate as here name was Barley.
She even played a small role in every CBS13 Pet Food Drive and Adoption Day.
Last week we had to say goodbye to my best little doggy friend. It’s was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. She gave us so many good memories, and life will not be the same without her. I’d like to think we provided her the best life a little Alabama dog could live in rural Maine. I can’t imagine the last 11+ years without Barley by our side, and none of it would have been possible without the great work of shelters. There are many dogs and cats out there who need a home today.