Very much loved for almost 12yrs by Pauline (Jefferey)

I still can't believe that my Barney has gone. He was my very special boy and having to write an obituary for him was something I always dreaded. I had hoped it wouldn't come so soon. I lost him just 4 days short of his 12th birthday. He was a total clown & a Peter Pan so I guess he was destined never to make really old bones. Tony Lockyer once said "he won't always bring you success but he will still do everything with great style and enthusiasm" and he surely did. Unbelievably, Barney was the runt of his litter and was not expected to survive but he did and proved to be an extremely bright and beautiful little puppy.

His breeder (Angela Williams) remembers "It took me back to that special puppy that used to climb out of the whelping box and I used to wonder how on earth he did it because he was so much smaller than his brothers. So I watched and saw how he would wait until Chloe (his mum) came to get into the box and all the others would crowd the entrance and then he would clamber all over them to escape! He would watch everything that was going on and sit back and learn and take it all in. He was always special from the moment he was born and I knew I had to keep him until someone special came for him. I always think things happen for a reason and I wouldn't let anyone else have him because I was waiting for that special person to come along - and you did. And you gave him a very special life. I was so proud to have bred him. A very special boy".
She got one thing wrong, I wasn't a special person at all although maybe I was to my darling Barney. I was extremely priviledged to be allowed to take him into my doggy family at 11 weeks old and the bond between us was instant. He was Mummy's boy then & remained so all his life. He excelled at everything he did, despite the total idiot on the other end of his lead. He won rosettes almost too numerous to count in breed, working trials, obedience and even heelwork to music. He was, at the time, only the 10th ever golden retriever to attain a TDEx qualification and I think the first and only one who also had Best of Breeds in the show ring, proving that show dogs could also work & could work well. Having retired from working trials, he tried his paws at obedience, winning out of Beginners and being placed in Novice but his immense style often worked against him, his waggy tail causing wonky bums at the wrong times. He won the shield for the happiest worker at the Northern GRA show 3 times, bless him. He successfully worked in A & B at the golden retriever limited shows. I was always so proud to have him by my side. At 10yrs old we ventured into HTM and again he did really well and was admired by everyone. He gained a 1st & 2nd at his very first show, which, sadly, also turned out to be his last as he then managed to pick up a nasty groin strain from which, with the help of our homeopathic vet, McTimoney chiropractor and hydrotherapist, he recovered really well but time had crept on and a wee bit of the enthusiasm (his & mine) had gone. What turned out to be our last day was very special. I knew he hadn't been himself for a couple of days and planned a trip to the vet to check him out but this was not to be. The first fit I actually saw was at Plymouth when I stopped to get him something nice for his tea at about 4pm. I brought him out of it with the flower essences I always carry and then saw a vet in Plymouth who said that many fits happen at night when owners are totally unaware of them, with hindsight this is what may have been happening, but he checked Barney out and he seemed fine, with a strong heart. He didn't think he even needed medication and said it may just be a one off. After having a nice tea and proudly carrying around a large ball he had found and meeting more new doggy friends at the home of a friend, Barney started to go wobbly which culminated in another fit at about 6-30pm and the vet sent along some drugs to help him. Barney had another minor fit but seemed to respond to the medication and slept so we set out for home. He was fine for a couple of hours but then fitted again. I managed to calm him again but about half an hour from home he fitted again and couldn't come out of it:(( I picked up my close friend Lynne on the way through to the waiting emergency vet, who was an absolute angel, and treated us with kindness and respect. She gently advised on the prognosis, which was not at all good, and I knew I had no choice but to let my little soldier go. He had had a very happy last day with a lovely lady friend for company. We had a gentle stroll in the shade of some trees, there was a wonderful breeze blowing and we had both felt very happy and relaxed. Barney was and is my eternal puppy. Rainbow Bridge will be an even happier place with his huge grin and waggy tail.
Goodbye my sweetheart.

His Journey's Just Begun
By Ellen Brenneman
Don't think of him as gone away--
his journey's just begun
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.
And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost--
and he was loved so much.

Back to the Rainbow

2006 Irish Retriever Rescue UK