July 15, 2017

Oh Bartles..


For a while, I presume that a lot that goes on in my daily life will remind me of Bartles.. just as when Bartles came to live with us, many things still reminded me of Piri. 

Yesterday, when I was getting Lady and our guest dog Hank's dinner ready, it reminded me of the times when I had guest dogs and I would quickly get their meals ready and feed them first so that I can feed Bartles last, near his bed so he won't have to move too far. It was when he still got around ok but had a harder time than all the other dogs that came through our doors. 

But just as I was ready to give our guest dogs their bowls, I would see Mr. Bartles round the corner into the little hallway to our kitchen. The careful, slow steps and hops, the curious face of his wondering what everyone was doing. He would then waltz into the kitchen and either his legs would give out and he would slowly lay down and just chill... like the only thing he wanted was to be in good company. Other times, I carried him back to his bed so that there wouldn't be so much traffic in the kitchen and I can make sure that dogs aren't eating off of each other's bowls. He would quietly wait there or make another attempt in coming back to the kitchen. 

Everything that Bartles did was adorable to me, but at the same time it tugged at my heart. I didn't want him to feel like he was being left out. There were many times when I felt bad wondering if he thought we were excluding him in play sessions in the backyard, cuddle time upstairs in the bedroom or meal times in the kitchen.

I know I probably looked tired while I was caring for Bartles. When one of our guest dogs' owners came to pick them up one time, she took one look at me and asked, "Are you sick?" I wasn't. It was just the lack of proper sleep that made me look that way.

I know people felt bad for me or they wondered why in the world I would go through this trouble. Or why in the world would I put him through the suffering. And I recall the tough days... and those days were pretty tough. But, I didn't mind them. And I always thought that Bartles too never thought his life was that big of a burden to want to just die. Yes, there were frustrating moments (which I feel so terrible about now) but in the end, I wanted to do this for Bartles. I just felt that he deserved it and more. I guess it's something that could only be felt if you were with him on the daily.. every moment of the day. You couldn't help but want to give him more, to give him that chance. 

My heart hurt for Bartles so badly yesterday and I cried over the what ifs with him. That's what gets me so sad - all the possibilities that I couldn't with Bartles, especially because I am doing them with now with Lady.

Bartles crying and howling was one of the hardest things to hear because they sounded so mournful and it broke my heart. And lately I've been hearing them in my head. I think I even miss his cries.

This morning I woke up still with a heavy heart. While getting the dogs' breakfast ready, Yangkyu joined me in the kitchen and asked if I was ok. I said, "If someone was to ask me if I would do it all over with Bartles, I would say yes. I know it sounds crazy and I'm getting sleep now and sleeping in my own bed, which is great.. but I would trade it to care for Bartles again."

2 comments

  1. awww Bartles, it's really sweet reading these little stories, Bartles was just doing his thing and you let him do his thing that extra bit longer :) :)

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