We lost a good friend yesterday. We knew him for 12 years. He was exceedingly loyal, patient and a good judge of character.
Barney loved showing us he was a great working dog by chasing the horses when we drove in the yard. The horses usually merely lifted their heads when he told them where to go!
Feeding time was his favorite time. Gophers and rabbits were much easier to view from atop a bale.
We called him ‘Barn-Dog’. However, I had someone tell me, “he’s not a barn dog, he’s a greenhouse dog!” The first three years we had the garden center on the farm, he had free run of the place. The fourth year we added a lunch counter and told him just once that he had to stay outside. He only broke that rule if it was thundering or if he heard gunshots.
Because of the garden center, Barney wasn’t just our dog. He loved children, especially young ones. A kid would scratch him, then run. He would run alongside, as if he was herding an errant young calf. A certain young lady did this for hours. Then they would stop and rest and she would rub his ears. He would lean into her until they both fell over. She would giggle, get up and they would start all over again!
Mohall is a small town. Those of us who grew up here all know each other well. In my small class of 28 graduates, there were two of us with the same name. The other Soni is a daycare provider in town. I have often had children who have been under her care meet me for the first time and say “You aren’t Soni” because I’m not the right one. I delivered flowers to the ‘other’ Soni several years ago. One of the daycare children asked me who I was. I smiled and said, “I’m Soni.” The young man said, “No, you’re not!” The little girl playing with him looked up and casually said, “Oh, THAT is Barney’s Soni!” Which is exactly true!
He and the cats had a very staged relationship. When he was young we had a very prolific cat. We called her Mama Kitty (very original, don’t you think?). She would cross the yard nonchalantly. He would race up to her and pounce on her, put her head in his mouth and proceed to maul her. If you yelled and stopped him, they would both turn and look at you as if you had just stopped a wonderful game. She would even let him sniff a new nest of kittens without worry. Up to the very end, Barney would chase a cat if he knew we were looking, but let that same cat eat out of his dish if he thought we weren’t watching!
Barney, we will miss your thumping tail, your paw on our foot waiting for an ear rub, and the killer-holes you dug in the horse pasture. We will miss your race with the ranger when checking horses. We will miss you very, very much.