College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

Dear family and friends,

We are writing to let you know our beloved Barkley has passed on. He did so in a natural way, moon nearly full on a cool summer eve, in a favored spot of grass in his own back yard. Nine of his closest family, canine and human, held vigil for his last few hours of life. The girls offered him love and comfort, lit candles and poured their hearts out to him. Rachel softly yipped a little dog-like song that really seemed to give him comfort near the end. Interwoven with the incredible difficulty of saying goodbye-for-now, were beautiful aspects reflective of his spirit and our time together.

He had battled cancer and while it took his body it never did his spirits. Even on three legs he had managed to steal some food from the table from time to time and sniff an occasional crotch of innocent guests! To the very last day he sought us for petting, massage, hugs and conversation which we wholeheartedly provided. He was a rarity in the canine world on many levels including his "hugs" where he'd bury his head in our legs. For those of you that knew him well, you understand his amazingness. He was nice to every living thing we witnessed him encounter from cats and rabbits to other dogs and humans.

Laid in his final resting place while children slept we awaited burial until a morning family ceremony. Melissa and I, the kids and Sasha (our newest canine member for about a year now) encircled his grave as we each in turn spoke prayerful words of Love, appreciation and good-bye as we dropped offerings created by Rachel, Ella and Jillian into the hole along with other tokens of memorabilia including his favorite orange squeaky ball.

He is and will be sorely missed. He gave us so much and in his passing a grand reminder of the impermanence of everything!

This last picture was not "Photoshopped". He was actually at Crater-Lake Oregon where we enjoyed a 4 night camping trip together as a family. He was a real blessing to us and we will love and remember him always!

Peace and Love,

Melissa, Jeff, Rachel, Ella, and Jillian

PS The Cosmos made an allowance as he passed on September 15, 2005 an unusually cool evening for September in AZ. A black and white family photo taken while Rachel was a baby (and Jeff still had hair):) is also enclosed as an attachment... Thanks all for reading/viewing...

Posted Oct. 25,  2005  |     Printer Friendly Version