When The Barking Stopped



I’m not sure exactly what turned our barks silent. Maybe it was the constant stress of Tess wanting to kill Shiloh. Maybe it was because Mom was so disappointed how things turned out. Or maybe there just wasn’t a lot of fun stuff to bark about for a while.

Me and mom knew we’d start barking again, but we never imagined it would take five months to break the silence.

Later I will bark about the changes at Asherpark and how we’ve come to accept the new normal. But for now I want to tell you about the Codie rose.

If you’ve read my old barks you know Codie was the most important dog in my life. She raised me and taught me manners. She eventually grew to like me and we used to take walks and play together until she got too old.

Codie was born in June 1993. She died in July 2009. In 2008 mom planted a rose bush in the backyard. The soil isn’t good and the bush has to work real hard to survive.



The first year the bush put out a few roses. They were the most beautiful coral color and they bloomed just in time for Codie’s fifteenth birthday.

The next year we were getting ready to celebrate Codie’s sixteenth birthday when she took sick. The roses bloomed on her birthday but we hardly noticed. We knew we were going to lose Codie.

Then came the most awful day of my life when we had to say goodbye to Codie. Me and mom cried a bucket of tears and my heart ached like it was gonna explode.

As the weeks passed without our beloved Codie, I longed to feel Codie near me again. One evening we were moping in the backyard when I went to pee on some plants. As I lifted my leg I caught a glimpse of something bright. That’s when I saw it – Codie’s rose.

“Mom!” I barked. “Codie’s back, I mean her rose is back.”

Mom came running and we both looked real close at the bush. Sure enough, there was one big beautiful rose and a whole bunch of little buds. The bush was blooming again when normally there wouldn’t be new flowers.

Now this may sound silly to you if you don’t believe in signs, but I knew in my heart the fresh rose was a sign from Codie.

Just before she died Codie told me she would always be with me. Even though she wouldn’t be wearing fur and I couldn’t touch her, Codie told me I would feel her presence when she was close.

Looking at her rose gave me goose bumps. I cried tears of joy and took off running around the yard barking like a fool.

After I calmed down mom came and got me. She told me we had to honor Codie’s life by doing something to help mutts that never had a good life.

“Codie will be our guide, Ash,” mom said. “We will listen with our hearts and she will send us the dogs who most need our care.”

I thought that sounded like a great plan. I hoped Codie would send me somebody soon ’cause I was so doggone lonely without her.

Soon after we saw the sign of the rose, Codie sent me Tess for a playmate. That was five years ago. Tess was our first rescue dog and she’s become my best pal.

This morning Codie’s rose came back, only this time there are five amazing flowers…..one for each year Codie has been gone and one for each of us five mutts at Asherpark. Sweet!




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.