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  • Writer's pictureOverstrand Life

Monday 13th June 2022 - Barney 28th October to 8th June 2022, Windows Open and Firsts

Today, while I was doing a bit of housework some lyrics came into my head from a Coldplay song. How apt they are for how we are feeling - Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard – after losing Barney last Wednesday. There is so much I want to write about him but currently the waves of loss which periodically take their hold, may make this impossible, but I’ll give it a go.

As you can see from the title, Barney was born on 28th October 2008. We have always had our suspicions he was a Christmas puppy because in September 2009 he was handed over to FAITH Animal Rescue because he chewed and dug – isn’t that what all puppies do? – and we understand his owners were working, so he was probably totally bored. It was at that time we decided to look for a rescue dog. We first drove to the Dogs Trust and with no suitable dogs, we went to FAITH where we were shown two dogs which they considered would suit us; a Rhodesian Ridgeback bitch (far too big for our small home) and a new arrival, an eleven month old male bichon x lhasa (in later years, we did wonder if in fact he was a bichon x cavalier King Charles; a cavachon), called Barney, which I considered far too small to be able to cover the distances we liked to walk. But you know, I think Barney ‘spoke’ to Peter that he wanted to be his dog. He was certainly very enthusiastic, jumping up at the wire of his quarantine pen. As a new arrival he had to be kept away from the other dogs until he had been assessed etc. Anyway, we took him out for a trial walk and decided, despite his short stature he should be able to cover the distance we liked to walk. So that was it, Peter signed the paperwork, we paid, were home-checked and after Barney had been neutered, we were able to collect him and bring him home to Overstrand. I’m probably jumping the gun a bit here, but we both agree his original owners missed out on a trustworthy, affectionate and loyal dog, but I’m glad they handed him in for adoption – their loss has most certainly been, our gain.

Just a bit more, before I move on. When Barney arrived here to his new home, our cat Tim was waiting on the drive. He wasted no time in making it quite clear to Barney who was boss. Tim swiped him with his paw! No damage but Tim made his point. Despite this Barney has always been protective of all our cats and never tolerated other cats who ventured into our garden. We decided to test Barney’s walking ability with a walk to Trunch. Despite it being a warm early autumn day, he covered the distance and on arrival in the village we made for the Crown pub for lunch. So, Barney passed the walking test and yes, he did chew and dig but we coped with this. More about Barney another time.

Following the cold and rain over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, when we turned on the central heating, the weather has been beautiful. After so many months with our bedroom windows shut against the cold, it has been a delight to leave them open at night. I am woken early by the birds' dawn chorus, the putting of fishing boats and if there is a bit of a breeze, the sound of the waves hitting the revetments. During the night, our cat, Sid, jumps in through the window, and bounces over our bed, as he heads to his food dishes in the ensuite. Using this method of entrance saves me having to get up and let him in!

After losing Barney, there have been so many ‘firsts’. This afternoon we took our 'first' walk, along the cliff top path towards Cromer before taking the public footpath across the golf course and back into the village. I don’t know how many photos I have taken over the years from the cliff top but today I took another couple, sharing one here in my blog.


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