Almost A Year

Finn and Journey

We’re still here. We didn’t go anywhere. We just quit posting barks on BarkingProse for a while.

It’s because our Dad died and we really didn’t have words for what we were feeling.

Dad died almost a year ago. Cancer took him. He wasn’t ready to go but in the end he didn’t have a choice.

Lots of people were dying around the same time from Covid. That meant we couldn’t go anywhere and our family from Virginia couldn’t come see us.

We knew lots of people were concerned about us and they felt bad we couldn’t have a memorial service and do the normal stuff families do when there is a death.

That’s the way life is. You don’t always get to choose the outcome, but you can choose how you deal with it.

In some ways it was okay. Me and Journey spent lots of time with mom. Sometimes she was real sad and we had to sit on her and lick her face to make her laugh. Sometimes she was happy and we would go do stuff together.

The worst part was when the light started to go away in October. The dark months were hard, but we made the best of it. We took long walks in the cold and came home to a warm fire. Mom gave us extra treats around the holidays and we got to hang out with a few friends who weren’t so afraid of the virus.

In January the light began to return. Mom got vaccinated and suddenly the whole world felt different. We visited friends and went places. Mom took us to outdoor coffee shops where we lay real quiet under the table while she had coffee with her friends. Me and Journey noticed Mom was laughing more and didn’t seem so sad.

In April Mom told us she was going to fly to Virginia to see her east coast family. We were real happy for her but we knew it meant we had to stay at the kennel while she was gone.

The whole kennel experience was kinda funny. Me and Journey had to audition for a place. We had to show we had good manners and could play nice with the other dogs. Then we had to go to day camp a couple times so we could learn the rules. We both got A+ on our report cards and earned a place at the kennel so mom could take her trip.

It was hard being away from home for nearly two weeks. We missed Mom a lot and our other friends too, but the time went fast and one day Mom came and brought us home. Here’s us lounging on our first day home. You can see we were pretty tired.

Finn and Journey

Now it’s coming up on a year from the day our Dad died. Mom said it’s a sacred time and we need to be on our best behavior. She wants us to pay attention to BarkingProse and post more barks.

There’s a lot to tell about the past year and lots to look forward to in the year ahead. Don’t be worried about us anymore. Me and Journey will make sure Mom has plenty to laugh about. In fact Journey just brought her a dead mole. How sweet is that!






My Turn


I asked Finn what he wanted for Christmas. He told me he wanted me to help him with BarkingProse. He’s right to ask me. I haven’t been doing my share. So here goes. This Bark is for my buddy Finn.

It’s funny how Finn found his voice at a young age. He barks from the heart. Even though Finn never knew the other dogs at Asherpark, he’s read about all of them and keeps asking mom to tell him stories about the Asherpark dogs.

I told Finn not to make his Christmas Bark about Asher, but he told me he couldn’t get Ash off his mind and he really wanted people to remember Ash.

Truth is when Finn started asking me questions about Ash I could hardly talk. My head got light and I could feel the tears coming to my eyes. Ash raised me and when I lost him my world changed forever. Finn doesn’t know how much I miss Ash every day.

Here’s a picture of me and Ash when I was still a little mutt. I felt so safe around Ash and we always had fun together. He taught me to play bump and run and how to make mom laugh.

Journey and Asher

When Ash died I was the only dog left at Asherpark. I was young and didn’t have anybody to hang with. Mom took me everywhere but there were times when I felt lost and lonely and didn’t know what to do with myself.

That’s when I got interested in hunting. I would sit in the big front yard for hours. When I was very still, I could hear sounds from under the ground. Suddenly a little furry thing would pop out, run across the grass, then dig a hole and disappear underground again.

One day mom told me those furry little things are moles. She said they dig tunnels under the ground and ruin everybody’s lawns. She asked me if I thought I could catch one.

I wasn’t sure but I told her I would try. Looking for moles took my mind off of Ash and it was kinda fun. It was a game I could play by myself, so I started trying to dig the moles out when they came close to the surface.

The first few times I’d dig a huge hole, get dirt all over myself and end up with a mouthful of nothing. Mom would laugh and encourage me to keep trying. I kept practicing but it wasn’t easy.



One day I heard a mole surfacing right next to me. I pounced on the mound of dirt and dug as fast as I could. Then instinct took over. I plunged my snout into the soft ground and came up with a mouthful of mole!

The mole tasted awful and it kept wiggling in my mouth. I spit it out and watched it dig its way back underground. A couple times I brought the moles to mom. One time she picked up the mole to keep me from playing with it. The mole bit her hand and wouldn’t let go. Mom said a couple words I hadn’t heard before and finally shook the mole loose.

After the mole attacked mom I decided I’d better learn how to finish the job. Next time I caught a mole I shook it real hard and the little bugger stopped breathing. That’s how I learned to kill my prey.

The Mole

Pretty soon I was hunting moles every day. I caught eight moles in a single week. Once I was playing in the front yard when I saw something running along the fence line. I chased it down and caught myself a big fat rat. I was so proud of myself. I took a victory lap around the front yard so mom could see my trophy. Just then the rat twisted in my mouth, so I spit it out at mom’s feet. She grabbed the rat by the tail and threw him over the fence. I didn’t mind because that rat didn’t taste too good either.

After Finn came to Asherpark I had a buddy again. I didn’t feel so lonely and I quit hunting every day. Now I just hunt when I see an easy target. Like last week when a giant rabbit thought he could outrun me. Let’s just say things didn’t end well for the rabbit.

Most of the time I use my snout for the sport of Nose Work. I’ve been going to classes for a couple years now and just got my badge for the odor recognition tests. I’ll tell you more about that later, but for now I gotta run.


A Christmas Long Ago


I was looking through old pictures and I found this one. I never met Ash but Journey has told me all about him. He’s the reason we live in the country in a special place called Asherpark.

Mom and Ash had a special connection. They were soulmates and did everything together. Mom relied on Ash to help the new dogs learn the ropes. Even the scared rescue dogs knew they were safe around Ash.

Journey told me when a person and dog love each other their hearts begin to grow together. It’s kinda hard to explain. The dog’s heart becomes part of the person’s heart and the human’s heart grows inside the dog.

I know it sounds a little weird, but you end up with a person and dog that are one with each other. Their hearts beat in harmony and they know what the other is thinking without words or gestures. It happens slowly over time until their souls merge. That’s what mom and Ash shared.

It’s all so confusing. I’m at Asherpark because Ash died. If Ash hadn’t died mom wouldn’t have had any reason to find me. It’s like Ash gave up his place at Asherpark to make space for me and now my heart is growing inside mom and she loves me too.

If you’re thinking ahead you can maybe see the one problem with sharing hearts. When your soulmate dies you lose a big part of your heart. People say your heart breaks but it’s more like a part of your heart gets ripped out and it takes a long time to mend.

Us dogs don’t live long enough to stay with our people throughout their lives. That’s why young pups are so important. When we’re really little and don’t know much about the world, we constantly love on our people and make them laugh. When our people cry we lick their tears away and then they laugh more and their hearts begin to heal.

I’m not brave like Ash but he trusted me to take care of mom after he left. He told me to be sure and grab her socks and race around the house. He told me to look her in the eye and argue with her when she scolds me. He told me to do silly things and make her laugh.

I asked mom how much of her heart was hers and how much came from the dogs she has loved.

“Finn, I’ve loved so many dogs. Each has a special place in my heart and always will,” mom said. “You and Journey are knitting your hearts to mine and we are sharing our hearts with each other.”

I guess that’s the way love works. In time our hearts become one with those we love.

On Christmas Day we’re gonna do our best to make mom laugh. And then we’re gonna have a giant Christmas bone.


Merry Christmas Everyone!