Saturday, July 6, 2013

The last day of life.

Ohhh, I'm going over these pictures with tears in my eyes. A little white haired body lays at my feet asleep and breathing heavily. He occasionally squirms around and lets out a yelp, and I know that we're making the right choice.

We have been preparing the kids all week for what we have known will come tomorrow morning. This morning, Bella woke up first. I told her that today is our last day with Barkley, so we need to make it special. We started brainstorming ideas, and my little list maker hopped up and grabbed her notebook. When Grady came down, all sleepy eyed and smiley, Bella shared with him the news, that "this is Barkley's last day of life, and we're gonna make it good".

We ended up with:
Buy a squeaker toy
Buy chew toys/bones
Make a biscuit cake
Go for a ride in the car
Go for a walk wagon ride

After the list was complete, Bella reviewed it with Barkley to make sure he approved. He did.

We went to the store, and bought our items.
Barkley got started on his bone, while we worked on our baking project.


The biscuit cake was held together with peanut butter, and covered in bacon. He could hardly wait.

Enjoy, my friend.

After dinner, we took our windows open, hair in the wind, ride in the car to Riverwalk. Barkley was so desperate to hang is head out the window, but had such a hard time standing up on his one back leg. Oh, how my heart hurts, just watching him.

And since he couldn't go for a walk, we pulled him in the wagon. For brief seconds he would forget about the pain, and try to jump out, and then get weary and sit down. We all sat on the swings for a little while, just enjoying the breeze, and I played remember when. Remember when Barkley was terrified of every moving thing? Motorcycles, cars, skateboards, bicycles? Bryan & I would sit with him on that very swing as a variety of noisy moving things rolled past. We would hold him still and quiet, night after night, until his fears broke.

He was tired, and hot, and panting, and reminiscent of the anxiety ridden dog we first knew. I carried him back to the car, and we packed up and left. And that was it,  Barkley's last day of life. I hope we made it good. I hope that he knows he was loved. I hope I remember that we gave him a good life, and that this is the best choice for him. I hope my children learn that it's ok to mourn for our friend, and to cry, and to miss him, and that sometimes the right choice is the most difficult, but that we make the right choice anyway, and we move on...


  1. As I read this tears are streaming down my face. What an amazing gift to Barkley and your family. Such a great example to your kids. I wish I had been able to give the same beautiful last day to Sam. I'm thankful I was able to meet Barkley. God Bless you guys.

  2. Mr Keith and Miss JulieJuly 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    What an unhappy and sad day for you. We feel your pain, but, from what you have said, you gave him a happy and contented life and you should have no regrets. Love to you all.XX

  3. We love and will miss our favorite “sumo” dog in the whole world. His walk and presence was awesome. The largest Westie we will probably ever know! He had such a great life with your family and will always be a part of your stories. May you all find comfort in knowing you did the right thing for him. May your kids be stronger and more compassionate because they have worked through this part of their journey. Love to you all… <3

  4. I'm so sorry Amy.
    I think you did an amazing thing for both your kids and pup. Celebrating his life with special treats and a chance to say goodbye.
    Sending hugs and prayers your way.

  5. Thank you friends for all of the kind words and sweet thoughts. xoxo