Me and Finn promised Mom we would get BarkingProse going again. So I started looking through some of the earlier barks and I found one that Ash wrote before he got sick.
I’m not sure why he never published it, but it was just sitting in the box of draft barks waiting for him to make the final edits.
Ash did most of the barks for BarkingProse. He was thoughtful and silly and always had something to say.
At first I didn’t know what to do with his last bark. Then I remembered that famous people get their stuff published after they’re gone so why not Ash? This is what Ash wrote just before he died. He picked the pictures too.
Asher’s Last Bark
I was deep into my favorite dream. Whimpering and kicking, I was running through the ravine chasing coyotes and having myself a good old time.
All of a sudden I felt Codie’s spirit. “Codie!” I shouted, but my bark was hardly louder than a whisper.
“I’m right here, Ash,” Codie said. “There’s no need to shout.”
I burst into tears and ran to her. Blubbering like a fool I told her about all the dogs we’d lost and how much my heart ached to see them all again.
“They’re not lost, Ash,” Codie said. “They’re in your heart and mind. They’re beautiful memories in your soul.”
“But….” I couldn’t even get the words out before Codie interrupted me.
“Ash, I know you miss me and the other dogs. But when you really need me I will come to you. It won’t be all that long before we’re together again,” Codie said.
Then I woke up remembering the dream like it had been real. Maybe it was.
Me and Journey have each other and we have a neighbor dog we hang with. But I long for the way it used to be. I long for a worn out mutt like Nellie, I long for my girlfriend, Tess. I long for Codie, the dog who raised me.
A few years ago we had the best four-pack. I was the easy going top dog, Tess ran the pack, Jack did whatever he was told, and sweet Nellie was just grateful to have a home.
Mom used to take us joy riding. That meant a nice long ride in the car followed by a special treat somewhere. We were so happy.
After Nellie and Jack crossed over, we added Mama and Shiloh to our pack. It wasn’t quite the same but we had some wonderful times together. Then they were all gone except for me and Journey.
It’s a good life. Journey goes to school once a week and I get lots of walks with mom. But deep down I feel like something’s missing.
I feel like part of my heart is on the other side of the bridge. I feel like I need to find my old pack again.
I know it will be hard on Journey when I leave her. But Mom will find her a pal and they’ll have good times too.
There’s more to say but right now I can’t find the words. Maybe I’ll do the crazy chase with Journey and come back to this bark when my head is clear.