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day, our son called to ask a favor. Could we provide a temporary home for
Barkleah? He had the opportunity to work for the United States State
Department. The assignment would be for twelve months in Romania. Of
course, we said yes.
first evening we assumed custody of Mr. Barkleah, we carefully followed
instructions for bed time. Placing him in his crate, we gave him a treat, and
covered the crate with a blanket. He was to happily fall asleep with no
protest. Wrong! He instinctively knew he had landed in the home of
settled into bed and turned off the lights. Immediately, he began to wine, a soft,
I questioned, “Does he sound cold to you, Bill.”
He sounds fine. Now get some sleep.”
is shivering. Perhaps, our bedroom is chilly for him.”
he is a con artist. Forget it. Good night, Honey.”
whimpers turned to full out crying. From the sounds coming from under the
blanket, it was clear he stood up-right, trying to open the crate door.
He’s freezing. Can’t we warm him up in the bed with us?”
“NO. Once he gets into our bed, we
will never get him back into the crate.”
Bill was right. Once he placed
Barkleah into our bed, he nosed under the sheets, and permanently claimed his portion
of our bed.
Barkleah also taught us a new
game. We call it “Show me.” He surfs the floors searching for dropped pencils,
scraps of paper that missed the trash, and credit card receipts that blow off
the desk. Once he has a treasure, he moves in for the deal. Hopping like a
rabbit, he locates one of us, shakes his head to show us the treasure in his
mouth, and then runs under the bed. He wins the game when we crawl on all fours
with a treat calling, “Trade.” The score is Barkleah - 1,000. Pam - zero.
Upon his return from Romania, our
son discovered we had bonded with Barkleah and faced separation anxiety. How
would we survive when Barkleah moved back to our son’s home? Like any reasonable adults, we established
joint custody. We agreed to weekends with his Daddy, and the week days with his
Nana and Papa.
Although Barkleah loved the arrangement,
over time, we agreed to have Barklean with us full time. When travel calls,
book signings, conferences, and lack of pet friendly hotels, Barkleah is cared
for by his daddy. And as many of you know, our son also has Gracie, the African
Gray Parrot. Bill and I are trained and ready to Gracie sit at any time. We are
parrot friendly, with a six foot tall bird cage in our living room, and a five
foot high perch for her comfort.
Yes. Barkleah may be spoiled, but so are Wendy, Bailey, Carlos, and Gracie.
Our lives are full of laughter, as
we care for our pets.
Do you have a funny story to
share? Please leave a comment and I will make sure it is shared with my