Barkley, Just Who the Heck are You?

                                                                       Barkley, Just Who the Heck Are You?

Barkley classic pose!!12-15

Well, I am Barkley.  Um… I mean, that’ pretty much who I am.  I’ve been Barkley, continue being Barkley, and certainly hope to continue to continue to be Barkley.  I’m not sure what else I can say.  I am Barkley, and that’s pretty much the bottom line.

The guy who feeds me and does dictation for me wants a crack at this question, so I give him free reign to say what he pleases.  Go ahead, Chuck. Just remember, this is MY blog, not yours.

Thanks, Barkley.  It all started in the first minutes of October 9th, 2o12.  I was sitting outside in the backyard with Loreli, one of my ex-stray cats and soul mate from another life or lives.  We were listening to the sounds of the night: crickets chirping, barred owls hoot-hoot hoo-hoooo-ah!ing, and frogs croaking. But then erupting from the woods on our side of the river, about 100 yards into the darkness, comes the saddest, loneliest, and frantic cry of a dog.  Both cat and human’s attention is seized by this.  The crying, howling, yelping, frightened wailing, yipping, and whining continued the entire hour I sat outside with Loreli in my lap.  Oh, the poor dog!  So sad!  I thought of venturing out to look for the dog, but then wondered if it might be rabid, think I’m going to attack it, etc…. So I decided to let nature take its course, it’s out of my hands.  The ex-stray cat and I retired for the night. I had an appointment with the dentist to get a cavity drilled at noon the next day.  I told myself that this is what happens when living way out in the country. Sorry, dog. But it did break my heart.  Little did I know my world and my cats’ worlds were about to be turned upside down forever.

The next day at 1:00 PM, 10/10/2012, I roll down my 1/5-mile long driveway, my mouth still numb, head still vibrating from the dentist’s drill, drool leaking from the right side of my mouth, and having completely forgotten about last night.  Until I eased myself out from my car.

Suddenly out from under the cluttered carport steps a badly emaciated white dog to present himself, not putting weight on his rear left leg, pelvis slightly curved, staring directly into my eyes, and I mean deeply INTO my eyes, trying to read my soul as his tail wagged so fiercely it could have cut saplings, while peeing like a firehose, smiling and growling. His eyes and body said it all – – this was IT, his time of final reckoning.  Will THIS human take me in?  He is my last hope. The stakes for this dog were huge, and he knew it.

Not only was each rib clearly outlined, but also clearly visible was the texture of each rib. And obviously he had been hit by a car, the reason for his pelvis to be curved and his left leg pulled up off the ground.  He told me that he REALLY wants to be my dog.

Both my hands went to the top of my head and said aloud, “Oh no……NO!  I can’t…. no…..” (I have chickens, I have cats  – He’ll eat the chickens, chase and harass the cats – I already have too many animals to properly take care of! No, God, please…) as he continued peeing and growling and smiling and staring at me telling me I am his last hope.  Then I thought, take him in and advertise ‘lost dog’ and find his owner.  I simply couldn’t handle a dog right now, but at least I could do that. So then my hands fell to my side, I sighed, bent down, patted my thighs and said, “Come on!”  And he limped right up to me and sat down on my feet, smearing his body against mine, looking up and staring me in the eyes, wagging that tail of his so hard it was kicking up dust and scattering gravel.

I fed him. He wagged his tail the entire time he ate the catfood and quiche leftovers I put in the hubcap that has been his dogfood bowl ever since.

A friend helped me advertise “Lost Dog”. On the second day  I got a response from someone who said that was her dog, I offered a time to meet, and never heard back.  Suddenly red flags were flapping in the winds my mind – – what if it was someone who raises fighting dogs looking for a victim for her dog or boyfriend’s dog to practice on?  How would I know? I can’t just let anyone have him!  And the dog showed no interest in chasing the cats and no interest in chasing my chickens. How many dogs are like that? I was lucky to have a dog of such disposition. He had a VERY sweet disposition…..He’s actually leaving the chickens and cats alone…. Huge! Oooohhh crap.  I can’t give this dog away!

Looks like I’m now a dog owner.

And the rest is a trail of wanton destruct – – I mean, and the rest is history!

Barkley presenting himselfBarkley now na ex-stray dogBarkley with brand new collar

Bottom photo shows Barkley in his brand new collar. It is official: Barkley is now the “Ex-Stray Dog!” That is “Who the Heck” he is! Little did I know he would be shortly earning a slew of nicknames, such as “Barkley the Destroyer”, “Barkley the Get-a-Way Dog”, “The Escape Artist”, “The Crazy Dog”, “Barkley the Disgusting”, “Barkley the VBD (Very Bad Dog)”…. “Barkley the Destroyer of All Things”… “Barkley the Manipulator”, “The Nose”, “The Mouth”…and “The Horror”…. the horror….



I Love to Jump Up on People and Feign Ignorance

Barkley jumping up on me 12-15

By the time the guy who feeds me yells, “Down, Barkley! Down, boy!” It’s too late.  As though I don’t already know I’m not supposed to jump up on him, or anyone else for that matter!

I had him believing for the first year I showed up as a stray, emerging from the woods all skin and bones with a bad limp, that I didn’t know how to lie down. I’d “sit” okay, “shake”, yeah, that too.  But lie down – not unless there is food involved.  He never offered me food.  So I simply feigned ignorance.  I got busted that Christmas day when I was visiting my cousin Willow, human cousin Jess, and my aunt Nancy and uncle Eric.  It was my first time seeing my human cousin, so I was on my best behavior.  The guy who feeds me was shaking his head as he watched me turn on the charm with my ears all cute and perked up, sitting ramrod at attention all focused on her, tail wagging, being as cute as I can be because I really wanted to impress her. He was thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, Barkley.  You don’t act like this with me!’

Then my human cousin patted the ground and told me to lie down, and I was down like a very good dog before she even finished the request.  The guy who feeds me’s mouth hit the ground.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing! So you CAN “lie down”! he thought.

Long story short, I’ve trained him to offer me food when requesting I “lie down”.  So it’s a win-win.  I do what he asks, but I get something to eat in the bargain.  No food – – I refuse to lie down, and he can be telling, yelling, or begging me to lie down, (and sometimes even to “sit”) it ain’t gonna’ happen.  Simple as that. And to his credit, he quickly learned to obey.




Hello all you bad dogs!

Barkley Destroys Doghouse

Barkley Destroys Doghouse

Hi! I’m Barkley and can be a VERY bad dog. This new blog will have bad dog stories of mine, and I want all you other bad dogs out there to send me yours so I don’t feel like the only one. Unfortunately, the computer keyboard was deliberately designed so only human hands can manipulate it, thus I have to rely on “The Guy Who Feeds Me” to take dictation. I do trust the guy, so hopefully he’ll be writing down what I say exactly as I say it. My proofreading skills are nonexistent, I’m afraid.

The subjects of “Bad Dog” stories can range from the simplest, most basic events, such as pulling on the leash during a walk, refusing to “lie down” unless there’s a tangible reward for doing so, all the way to really bad stuff like eating a dead possum or leading a double life your “owner” (Ha!) is clueless of.