Day One

I’ve been asked to introduce a Barker who is no longer with us. Darcy was the first foster dog we got through Old Dog Haven. His people couldn’t keep him anymore so we brought him home to Asherpark. Everyone adored him. He was able to bark his story even though he only stayed with us a couple of months. Here’s a picture of him. Please read his barking so you understand how much he meant to us. – Asher


My name is Darcy. Today begins the story of the rest of my life. My early years are shrouded in confusion. I vaguely remember the warmth of my mother’s body. She licked me and nourished me. Then she was gone and I was alone. People came and went from my life. Most treated me fairly well, but then something went wrong. I was two or three and suddenly I found myself at the local animal shelter. It was so scary – dogs barking, crying, the smell of fear was everywhere. My cage was bare and cold. The food was tolerable. I tried my best to do what was asked of me, but I really didn’t know the rules or expectations.

For some reason the people at the shelter seemed to like me. I do have good manners, if I say so myself. I have no aggressive tendencies. I never snapped, nipped or growled. I showed my appreciation through a slow and elegant wag of my tail. In time my situation improved. A very nice couple adopted me. They took me home. I lived with them for seven years. Life was good. I had so much food that I became obese. It made getting around difficult but I really enjoyed the constant supply of kibbles and treats.

I developed a skin allergy that troubles me to this day, but it’s nothing that I can’t endure. My people shaved me each spring to help me stay cool. Now that I am older my coat isn’t growing in very well; quite honestly I am not as pretty as I once was. My hearing is weak but my eyesight still serves me.

I assumed I would continue in my comfortable world until the end. But this was not to be. I have never been one to ask much in this life. Given my circumstances I didn’t feel I deserved much. I am content to be the last dog in line for treats and the last one out the door. Status matters not to me.

One morning my person gave me a pill that made me lose awareness. I vaguely recall being lifted into the back of the car. For some reason all my worldly belongings were with me. I slept fitfully as we drove. I had no idea of our destination. The car stopped next to a station wagon. A woman approached us. She said she represented Old Dog Haven. My person opened the door of our car. The lady extended her hand for me to smell. She called me sweet and told me everything would be all right.

All my belongings were loaded into her car, including my bed. I struggled to understand what was happening. My person gently lifted me into the station wagon. I thought he was going to cry. Where was I going? What was happening? I tried to get up but the silly pill made my legs like taffy. I could only grunt and fall back down on my bed. My person took a picture of me with the lady in the back of her car. And then he left. I was alone with a stranger.

For several hours I rode in the back of the station wagon. I listened to classical music and the news.  At last the car came to a stop. The pill was wearing off, but my legs were still weak. A man carefully lifted me out of the car. I had to pee. He seemed to know that. He slowly walked me to a tree. Such relief. But I smelled the scent of others. I felt so vulnerable. What if the other dogs were mean? What if the people didn’t like me? Would I go back to the shelter where it all began? I was hungry. Did they know that?

I was still on a leash when the female housedog was introduced. Her name is Tess. She is a rescue too. She is the prettiest girl I have ever seen. Her coat is a rich mahogany and white. Her face is equally divided into her two colors. She has long eyelashes. She approached me with some rigidity, her tail held straight out. But I offered no resistance. After a few moments she wagged her tail and ran off.

Next came Asher, the man dog. He barked when he saw me and postured. Oh no, I thought. What if he attacks me? The lady told him easy and he seemed to relax. I stood perfectly still and let him sniff me everywhere. He knew instantly that I was no threat to his position in the household. In a flash he raced down the fence to bark at the neighbor dog.

This was my first day in my new life. Please come back for the rest of my bark.

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