Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Second Chances

They say you can't get one dog to replace another and that is true. But when I lost my black lab Barkley, to an aggressive bone cancer, immediately followed by my only brother, also to cancer, I refused to even think about another heartbreak. As I penned their stories for the book I had put off writing for years, the tears flowed and with the tears, came healing.

Then I saw a picture of a little black lab mix at a local rescue. She was older, grey around her muzzle, dumped at a shelter where she languished for months. Something in me responded--for I came out of the foster system, with that brother of mine, and I remember what it was like to not be wanted.

So I got her, and her lively personality and deep love, healed my recent wounds.
"They say you cannot go home again, and perhaps as far as a childhood home, that is true. But what of the memories of other places we hold firm in our mind's eye. Some of them we have a name for, our elementary school, the river where we dove as far out as we could into the dark water, a place where church bells rang. In the Book of Genesis, all is drawn out of fluid chaos by its name, "God called the dry land Earth". Sometimes, the incredibly complex can be summed up in one word. I read in a story that the Inuit Indians have one such word to bring to conceivable life the fear and the awe that possesses them when they see across the ice, the approach of a polar bear. Some things have no words at all, their form remembered only in the etchings of tears." - From The Book of Barkley

But of those places, both named and unnamed, there are places you are drawn back to, years later, praying they are not changed, and knowing it will not be so. So it is that I am drawn back, to love, in the form of a black dog that is stealing both my slippers and my heart.


  1. Oh Abby Abby! How could anyone not love that face? I am so glad she found her home with you and Partner.

  2. Look at that happy and beautiful smile!

    We think THAT's the way to help heal the heart.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  3. Our pawrents decided they could not be heart broken by another dog after losing 2 close together (they were very old). After waiting 5 years for their hearts to heal mom realized that not only did they deny themselves any more heartbreak but they also denied themselves love. So me and Stanley came and healed their hearts. We are glad Abby came to heal yours.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. Murphy and Stanley - Mom and I are so glad you healed your parents hearts.

    Loveable Lily - thanks so much for stopping and you are so very right. I smiled big for the camera thinking there was a treat, but even if there wasn't I love my Mom and Dad anyway.

    Monkeywranger - I do hope you get to meet her. Thank you again for sending the Ramp for Barkley to help get him in and out of the truck in his last days --it made it much easier on Mom since Dad was overseas at the time.

    Abby the Lab

  5. I, too, lost my beloved dog to aggressive bone cancer in 2012. I, too, decided to risk my heart again on a very fearful unwanted little lab. It's the best thing I could've done.

    I'm so sorry for your losses. But I am so glad that you are letting your new girl steal your heart (and your slippers).

  6. She has a lovely smile. She's a lovely and lucky girl. I'm glad you found each other.

  7. KB Bear - I'm so glad you did too. Thanks for stopping. Your photography is stunning. My daughter, the one I gave up for adoption, lives in Colorado, and the pictures she sends me now that she had graduated and moved back, are beautiful.

    Give a pat to your wonderful furry companions.


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on our Lab Rescues that have joined our household since Barkley left us.

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