It's hard to say goodbye to your best friend

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I had to say goodbye to Barney,  my best buddie of 14 years very early this morning.

He let me know that it was time to go and gave me one last lick before he left.





Tom C. Purcell Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:18pm
I'm sorry, Bill.  I'm sure you've never had a better friend.   Tell us more about Barney!  I want to know.
Stephen Hunter Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:19pm
Oh man! I wish you the best Bill and may you get through this with the least amount of pain possible. 
George N Romey Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:20pm
14 years of unconditional love. Great qualities to have.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:30pm
Sorry for your loss.
Leroy Added Mar 31, 2018 - 12:35pm
So sorry.
Bill H. Added Mar 31, 2018 - 1:01pm
Thanks to all.
He was one of two Cockapoo puppies that were found wandering in a local rural area back in 2004 by a friend. Barney had a broken leg, and his sister Pepper was matted and full of ticks. They were nursed back to health and offered to us shortly thereafter, as the lady who found them already had 3 dogs. Both have been faithful companions to us ever since. We have no children, so they are our kids. Rescued pets certainly return all of the love that they receive.
wsucram15 Added Mar 31, 2018 - 1:53pm
BillH Im so sorry..I bet Barney was a great best friend and faithful companion.
In 2016, We lost King and he was my buddy. He was around the same age but I only knew him for 7 years (BF's chocolate lab).  He was the greatest dog and also a rescue.
Before he passed we adopted Hope ( a staffordshire terrier) and King was so protective of her.  When he passed away,  her demeanor changed completely.  I swear she turned into him, its been very odd.  She never barked, ever.  Now she barks, just like king..real deep and throaty.   She puts her nose in the snow and plays in it, sometimes eats it. Rolls around on her back.  And you cant feed her a treat at all, if you want your fingers..she is too fast with food.  If you toss it in the air, it will never hit the floor.  She sits on the front porch and watches everyone walk by..the ones she likes she doesnt bother with, the ones she doesnt like their vibe.. she goes nuts. 
I swear King was her mentor and the coolest buddy ever. Now we have the version 2.0
They never really leave.
Which is a great thing for us people because they are so honestly pure and loving.  
Bill H. Added Mar 31, 2018 - 2:15pm
Thanks Jeanne-
His sister Pepper has been looking all over the yard hoping to find him. I guess it will take a while for her to figure out he is gone. She watched him go last night.
We can all learn valuable lessons from our pets, The list is long.
Gerrilea Added Mar 31, 2018 - 4:51pm
Bill H-- Prayers and thoughts to you and the heartfelt loss you must now endure.
Have a (((HUG))) on me.
So truly sorry.  They really are our best friends that give us unconditional love that can never be replaced.
James Travil Added Mar 31, 2018 - 5:31pm
Sorry for your loss Bill. The love and loyalty of a pet can be the most complete as any you can find. And they are all unique and special. Keep him alive in your thoughts and memories. 
John Minehan Added Mar 31, 2018 - 6:19pm
Some times, with dogs, I wonder who domesticated whom . . . .
Bill H. Added Mar 31, 2018 - 8:05pm
Gerrilea - Thanks for your words.
My best dogs have always been the ones that I "saved from doom". They seem to become the most loyal and attached. When I loose a pet, I always plant a tree and put a little bundle of their hair under the root.
I think you have a point. I believe that most people still have concern and compassion for animals. When we lose that, we will become useless as a species. I am not a religious person, but I believe that we actually were put here as stewards of the Earth. It does seem that we have lost our place, but maybe there will be a worthy replacement that will look after the "betterment of the machine".
It seems that there has been quite a few pet losses here on WB recently. It's been about 15 years since I lost my last best friend, so I am with you all.
John Minehan Added Mar 31, 2018 - 8:31pm
"When I loose a pet, I always plant a tree and put a little bundle of their hair under the root."
That is a nice observance.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:08pm
Sorry, Bill H.  Pets become important parts of our lives, and if we're lucky, the relationship lasts decades.  It's extremely hard to say goodbye to "friends" in our lives like that, human or animal. I agree with John M: When I loose a pet, I always plant a tree and put a little bundle of their hair under the root." That is a nice observance.-It is.
wsucram15 Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:34pm
John and Jeff have a great idea..I plant trees for people. In forests that were damaged.  Why not plant a tree for your best friend, Barney? 
Ric Wells Added Mar 31, 2018 - 9:59pm
Bill I've dug the graves and buried 14 dogs and each one is special. It's never easy. Be comforted in remembering the good times. 
Bill H. Added Mar 31, 2018 - 10:29pm
John - Maybe if we all plant trees in memory of our loved ones, we could eventually regain what we have lost.
I have always thought that there is a finite amount of life allocation here on earth. I also believe that we all have come and gone in many life forms throughout history. By planting a tree over a prior piece of life, hopefully it helps perpetuate things.
Jeff -Jeanne - I am actually going to plant a Blue Spruce with a tassel of Barney's hair up in the local mountains. He also gets a Papaya and a Cherimoya tree in the greenhouse.
Ric - I would have loved to bury him on my property, but the local laws prevent that after having a pet euthanized. All they will do is return the ashes.
Jim - What a great poem! Maybe when my mind clears, I can write something comparable if I am lucky.
If so, I will publish it out here.
A great tribute to your best friend.
Flying Junior Added Apr 1, 2018 - 2:45am
Only one way to get over that sorrow.  Get a puppy!
It is one of the hardest things to take emotionally.  Mrs. Junior explained to me that horses have the same bond with humans as do our best friends.
My neighbor told me he didn't cry as much when his mother died.  I guess it must be because dogs know how to make us happy without even trying.  We certainly please them with nothing more than an arrival.  If only we could greet each other with such enthusiasm.  My little Chauncey is so happy to see me get home, he lets out something resembling a whimper or a Lassie worried vocalization.
We bought two Dark Red Golden Retrievers Valentine's Day in 2006.  This is a West Coast phenomenon from what I understand.  William got cancer just a month after his twelfth birthday.  God was merciful.  Although he was bleeding from the nose profusely when I took him to the vet, somehow his blood pressure dropped so low, the bleeding stopped.  We cherished him another three weeks.  Every day I took him out for a little walk in the garden.  He loved to drink from my birdbath.  My favorite was TV time with Billy.  He would lay at my feet while we watched movies.  It started to be more difficult to get him to eat and drink.  But he did.  He was living on fine, tender, broiled steak until I bought him six cans of premium dog food.  The day we had to put him down, he had stopped eating.
My vet explained to me about his kidney disease.  As long as the dog is happy and wagging its tail, you can care for them at home.
I cried my eyes out for two or three weeks.  The last time I cried was about a week ago.  What used to get me was revisiting a place where I had become accustomed to his company.  Like walking around in the plants at the grocery store.  I had to go to the restroom and wash my face.
Chauncey took it harder than did I.  Imagine, living with your big brother for twelve years.  They were inseparable.  Chauncey is feeling a little bit better now.
Flying Junior Added Apr 1, 2018 - 2:50am
Mrs. Junior had a beautiful cross, a Springer Spaniel with a Rottweiler.  That dog loved to talk.  He even accepted my training when he was already four years old.  All of my dogs are leash trained.  I had to establish my dominance at one point.  Foolishly, I grabbed him in a headlock just to let him know who was boss.  He could have easily bitten my ear off.  I was his hero after that.  Once I fashioned a harness out of a collar and a piece of rope.  It helped me control him. 
We dug a grave and gave Jake a Christian burial from the Methodist book.  Three years later, we dug the same plot up to bury my Black and White Collie from Santa Ysabel.  One day I was by Duffy's grave crying.  The little four-month old Billy came out to comfort me.
opher goodwin Added Apr 1, 2018 - 3:55am
I know how you feel. It's a great loss. There's a special relationship like no other. All the best.
Mark Hunter Added Apr 1, 2018 - 4:01am
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Our dog was sick over the weekend--I'm going to give him still more hugs when I get home. It's so hard to lose a member of the family.
Dave Volek Added Apr 1, 2018 - 10:20am
It's amazing how our critters become part of us. Too bad they can't have a longevity as we have.
Pardero Added Apr 1, 2018 - 10:23am
Bill H.
Sorry for your loss. I had quite a scare with a pet recently, and am so grateful that it was not yet time to say goodbye. 
Bill H. Added Apr 1, 2018 - 11:05am
FJ - Thanks for your words - We plan on getting another companion for Pepper shortly.
Opher, Dave - I remember when I was a very young child and lost my pet red eared slider turtle that I won at a local fair. It haunted me for weeks. It was my first pet loss.
Mark , Pardero - Give them the love they deserve and they will give it all back and more while they are still here. Thanks! 
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 1, 2018 - 12:33pm
"It's amazing how our critters become part of us. Too bad they can't have a longevity as we have."
I hear ya, and I agree.  They add quality and years to our lives.  They teach us so much about life, don't they?  I've had other pets, I keep an aquarium, even had two species of tree frog when I lived in my own small apartment.  Nothing, even cats IMHO, comes close to man's best friend. 
The domestic dog is one of mankind's greatest achievements, and I think it's essential that we continue to reciprocate what the domestic dog does for the human condition, in countless ways and always with courage and honor.
Jeff Michka Added Apr 1, 2018 - 3:50pm
Tree planting is a great way to reaffirm the lives of those passed, animal or human.  Good for you Bill re: planting the spruce. It is so hard to get passed those things in our lives that we grown tight with over time.  It took several years to get past losing a favorite cat we had for 17 years, but it got oral cancer, and got to a point it couldn't eat.  It would hop into our laps, still, cry low and want affection, but it became obvious it could not go on and she had to be put down.  Even though it was "for the best", it was extremely difficult to do.  Thinking of you, Bill.
Bill H. Added Apr 1, 2018 - 5:18pm
Thanks Jeff -
The tree will be planted tomorrow with a small bundle of his hair and his favorite chew bone in the hole. The tree is about 5 feet tall now in a pot and came originally from a friend's daughter's wedding about 10 years ago where they were handing out saplings to all of the wedding guests.
I also had a cat that was around when I was born and was still alive after I got married. He lived a total of 23 years. A vet once told me that he had treated a cat that was over 25 years old. According to my parents, the cat just ran off one day, never to return.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 2, 2018 - 10:00am
Bill, sorry for your loss. 
I have had dogs since I was a child, and losing one is never easy.
I hope you are able to get another one soon, that always helps to start a new chapter in life.
Bill H. Added Apr 2, 2018 - 11:25am
Thanks, Bill-
We still have his sister Pepper, and it has been obvious even more each day that she misses her brother immensely. She has been constantly laying in the same corner that her brother used to lay in and isn't interested in playing with the ball lately. After she improves, we will get another puppy for her as a companion, but now she needs all of the attention she can get. Many years ago, I had to put down my German Shepard, Mooch due to a hip problem. Her companion, Heidi was in mourning for over a month or so.
Bill Kamps Added Apr 2, 2018 - 12:02pm
Having a second dog helps the humans also.  We have had multiple dogs for the past 20 years or so, and it helps a lot when we lose one.  Yes, it is still awful, but there at least is another to focus one's attention on.  I know some people who had only one dog, and when they lose one, they find it very difficult to get a replacement and they themselves get depressed.  Mourning is a good thing, for a while, but important also to focus on the here and now.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 2, 2018 - 12:42pm
Sorry for that, Bill. I remember how my daughter suffered, when her puppy died...
Bill H. Added Apr 2, 2018 - 1:34pm
Thanks SEF. Life goes on, but I will always have the memory tree that will continue to grow. Just got it planted this morning.
Shane Laing Added Apr 5, 2018 - 4:14am
I know how you feel Bill. I had my Scottie called duchess for 16 years. At the end she was incontinent, could hardly walk but I just did not want to let her go.  Yet at 3 a.m. while watching tv she just looked at me and I knew that she was just to tired of life.  I went straight to the vets andhad her put to sleep. I must admit I was very upset cried a few tears but knew it was best for her.
Bill H. Added Apr 5, 2018 - 11:18am
Thanks for that.
The last 3 dogs that I have had to put down all let me know with that familiar look that they gave me at the time.
If there is one thing I will not tolerate, it is the suffering of an animal.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 16, 2018 - 3:01pm
Bill H - very sorry to learn of Barney's passing.  Looked like a cute little fella, I'm sure he gave you lots of enjoyment over the years.  No matter how many dogs you own, it always hurts when they pass on.
Bill H. Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:34pm
Thanks Mike-
He was my best buddy for sure. We still have his sister from the same litter and she is still grieving from his loss.
We are going to go out next week and try to find another companion for her in hopes that she will come out of her shell.
The more I study animal behavior, the more I find that they are like us.

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