Barkley on the sand dune at Pacific City (photo by Marcy)

Barkley is our three and a half year old rescue dog that we’ve owned since the summer of ’05. We’re told he’s a shepherd mix, but he’s smaller than average at about 50 pounds. A lot of people comment on how cute his ears are because one is always perked up while the other one folds down.

Favorite Treat: Greenies (Our friend Marcy calls them Doggie Crack)
Favorite Game: Fetch (Thank goodness for Chuck-Its!)
Favorite Past-time: Protecting the backyard from squirrels
Best Trick: “Roll over”

Barkley’s Story

David and I decided to take a visit to the Bonnie Hayes Small Animal Shelter a few months after we bought our house. We were looking for a cat. Instead we noticed a quiet, sweet dog that stood out among the other loudly barking, cage-rattling dogs (most of them strangely named after Star Wars characters).

David humored me while I asked to see Barkley in the “interaction” area. What do you think that dog did when he got there? He completely ignored us. He wasn’t interested in us or the toys, and would hardly be still for more than a second. Just paced around the pen as if he was looking for something (most likely his previous owner, or simply a way to escape imprisonment).

Anyways, we eventually left because this was all so sudden. Getting a dog is a big decision. I’ve never owned a dog before and besides, David did not want one. But I couldn’t help myself. A few days later I went back on my own to see if he was still there, and he was. He even recognized me. This time when I left he actually barked as I walked away, and I knew then that I couldn’t leave him.

Unfortunately, Barkley was scheduled to be “fixed” the next day, so they wouldn’t let me take him. They also wouldn’t let me place a “hold” on him if I couldn’t pick him up the day after the surgery. Worse, the very next day David and I were flying to Denver for his brother’s high school graduation. What a dilemma!

After I phoned David to tell him of my intention (can you imagine?!), I dialed a good friend of ours, Alex, who also has a dog, Mia (now Barkley’s best dog friend in the whole world). I asked if he would do me the biggest favor and pick up my (hopefully) new dog. Thank goodness he agreed. To this day Alex loves to speak in “dog voice” pretending that Barkley says “You saved me” to Alex. It’s pretty funny.

Overall, Barkley is the best dog we could have ever asked for. David was cool towards him at first, and complained often, but now everyone knows he loves that dog. Barkley was super quiet and reserved for a long time. He never barked and would flinch if someone moved too quickly around him, especially men. Women he liked, men not so much. Our guess is that he was mistreated by a male owner. He trained really easily, and except for his chewing/separation anxiety at the beginning, we haven’t had many problems. Now he’s a much more confident, friendly, and easygoing companion.

For anyone with the time and means to have a dog, I say go for it. Barkley has been such a blessing, I can’t imagine life without him.

Photos of Barkley

Barkley in his “noble” pose

Playing in the yard with David

Hiding in the grass
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3 Responses to “Barkley”


  1. 1 puremotif July 25, 2007 at 11:11 am

    i really like this idea of having a page devoted to your pet. it’s very sweet!

  2. 2 Liberty October 27, 2007 at 7:14 am

    Barkely is a sweetie pie!
    We, too, were looking for a new dog and I SWORE I wanted a lap dog – nothing big. Too much work I said.
    But, we visited the shelter twice in one week, and there was “Lonnie” .. a sweet collie mix. We took him out back to interact with him and he melted me.
    We’ve now had him for two months and he’s a wonderful pet. I love him! (And we renamed him “Augie”)
    Thanks for sharing stories/photos of Barkley!

  3. 3 Lara Sydney December 18, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Hello Amy, my name is Lara Sydney and I have a frame shop and gallery on NW 12th and Hoyt st and have a piece of yours in for framing for a Christmas present, please call me, 503-329-7296,or at the shop 503-223-4923, the piece needs a small repair and I hope you are available to fix it, I’d also would like to discuss the posibility of having a show, I like your work, thank you


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