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Barney doing Agility

Barney's Holiday pics and crazy 90-second video


Owned by James Moen, Catharine Pronzini & Carolyn Nusbickel
Bred by Carolyn Nusbickel
 August 11, 1999  -  February 28, 2012

Barney was "the Man.”   He'd walk into a room and eyes would go to him.  If you met him, you'd remember him.

Carolyn flew him out to us in 1999.   Barney puppy stepped out of his crate and stacked himself perfectly.  We worked together, but I think he already knew most of the show stuff.  We learned to "dance" together, with him reading my body language while showing to the judge, and he would float around the ring as we moved.  Later, when he was handled by professional handlers Bill and Taffe McFadden, he'd do the same for them, but better, since they are much better handlers.

Cathy got to work with Barney too, and she and Barney got his first Herding group win.  And one of Barney's joys was to visit his friend Beverly Zeman.  She loved the Barn too, and often volunteered to groom him (exquisitely). 

Barney went on to win a lot, to have fun in Agility, Obedience (thanks to teacher, Lynn Buck), Herding (though he never got a title because he was a bit too rambunctious), and Rally.  He just gave everything no matter what the venue. 

We returned to Agility in 2009.  We had all kinds of fun that year, but then he developed a back leg problem.  After many vets and tests,  in 2010 we found out the bad news -- he had Degenerative Myelopathy, or DM, a disease that broke down the covering of the spinal cord.  He began to lose the use of his back legs, but continued to live life to the fullest.  He'd play with the new kid in the house (Kesz), and he continued to bring joy to those around him.

We got him a cart to hold the weight of his back end, and he got many walks a week.  He did not let his worsening disease get him down.  Eventually even his front legs got weak, but he still had that spark.  You can see it in a 90 second video of him taken during the 2011 Holidays.

After years of choosing to sleep in his open-door crate, he found the joy of sleeping on the same bed as the humans.  If he needed something, he'd nuzzle one of us until we helped him.  It was special to have our friend close to us during that time.

Finally his disease caught up with him.  He fought back, but was losing strength.  On February 28th, it was time to say goodbye.  We went for a final walk and took in the blue skies of spring.    At the Vet, he was happy to see his friend, Dr. Wendy Wallace.  As usual, he ate his treats (Charlie Bears).   He left us peacefully and with dignity that February afternoon, with Cathy and me by his side.

Life will never be the same without Barney.  He's left a permanent hole in our lives.  But it was a heck of a ride, and we don't regret one minute of it.  Barney, you're the Man, Big Guy.

Copyright © 2009-2017 James M. Moen. All rights reserved.