I have a much more complicated relationship with Barnaby, a rescue from Family Dog, than I do with Wes. In some ways, he is a mirror to parts of my soul.
In others, he is a fleeting, but deeply important, companion. For as much as Wesley is flighty and dainty, Barnaby is solid and solely of the earth. He is a rabble-rouser, a troublemaker, a protector, a friend. This seems a weird way to explain a dog, but Barnaby has an old soul, with slices of wild abandon that I am deeply in awe of. I love this pup fiercely. It took longer to bond with him than I expected, although looking back I don’t really know what those expectations were. He is a dog and I love all dogs, but it took him a while to bond to me and maybe that is the rub…he was defiant and had his own plan, would run away from the house and chase cats and birds and would not return until he was tackled. And usually tackled in bushes, and yanked back home by his scruff.
“He is a rabble-rouser, a troublemaker, a protector, a friend.”
Barnaby is his own entity and I think that is why I love him so much. He is his very own and once he settled in, which he did, finally, it was because he wanted to. He is also very sensitive, emotionally empathetic, and completely aware of his surroundings. He gets upset when I leave him for too long, even sick. Wes does too, becoming finicky about food, but only because he hates things outside his routine. Barnaby becomes sick of heart, like his distance from me is too much to bear…
And then he goes “crazy”, madly chasing his ball and bringing toys to you as though he is presenting his treasure for your approval. He loves play, and he loves food, and he loves. Just loves.
Thanks to Lisa Babbitt, Portraits in Watercolor (Peninsula Museum of Art, Burlingame) for doing this beautiful watercolor of Barn.