Barney Can’t Be Bothered

| December 4, 2013 | 0 Comments


Barney left us on Nov. 22, 2013.  RIP Barney.

Barney left us on Nov. 22, 2013. RIP Barney.

Frenzied! Now, you wouldn’t expect this adjective to be used to describe a dog –or any dog – but after careful observation and consideration – this is it: Ginger is one excitable dog.

Yes, this column is about Barney, and in his youth, Barney was occasionally frenzied. But now, in his dotage, the only motivations for that much excitement are his declining enemies’ list (i.e. Boxers) and, as had been exhaustively reported, the parking ticket scooters. (We still haven’t figured that one out. But we have lost a few puzzled parking scooter driver friends.)

Ginger, however, is a puppy; the newbie canine in son Bill Walcher’s family. At just a few months old, she is strong and smart, and…frenzied. Ruby, who’d been an “only” dog there ‘til Ginger showed up, has resigned herself to long-suffering-itis. Around here, it’s something like “bombs away!” when that branch of the clan shows up. Ginger makes a maniacal bee-line for Barney’s food. Only when that’s been inhaled, she makes the ‘rounds, and heaven help us if we get in the way of that swinging tail.

There was a time when Barney would have gone to war over his food. Today, he doesn’t merely sigh (“here she goes again!”), he cedes. He’s cool. Maybe he’s just not hungry, but we think it’s…the wisdom of age.

Herewith, Barney’s lessons learned:

– He cedes over the food issue because – he’s developed patience. He now knows he’ll eventually win out; after these competitors have gone home, he’ll get a bonus: his food – and a walk.

– On these walks, he has bagged the “look both ways while crossing the street” lesson. He’s learned, if you look four ways and no cars are coming, you can cross faster – diagonally.

– Cats scratch.

– Can a dog who’s become deaf “hear” the distinction between “Stay!” and “Okay!” ? Yes.

– Yawn. If he doesn’t need to go, he doesn’t need to go. One eager walk-offering could possibly get a bored glance; at an invitation to a walk, Barney might even stretch or turn over – acknowledging – but not to be confused with – enthusiasm.

– Unless, see previous bullet, it’s me. Per excellent judgment in his dotage, I’m the favorite. I need only to wave my pinkie or glance door-ward, and he turns from couch potato into a frenzy of action, proving, as he occasionally does, that the athlete’s still in there somewhere. Just judiciously meted out.

– Fortunately for society at large, Barney’s enemies’ list has declined. We’re actually quite impressed with his senior conflict avoidance techniques, like escaping to the bathroom rug when exuberant youngsters like Ginger show up, or – – just as unwelcome, company that he doesn’t really know. And doesn’t want to know. And, instead of direct counter- attacking those little guys – Chihuahuas and Pekes – who go totally ballistic at the very sight of Barney, these days he wins – by staring them down.

Barney? He just can’t be bothered.

Barney left us on Nov. 22, 2013. Rest in peace, Barney.


Category: Animals, Life Style

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