Archive for August 6th, 2017

Dear Friends,

Twelve years ago I met Barney, my personal trainer’s (Theresa Kalupa) dog. Back then he was less than one year old, still a puppy. Those first few times I saw him I was a little apprehensive of touching him because I was afraid of dogs—all dogs. You see, when I was only ten years old, I was bitten by a bulldog on my leg. And ever since I became terrified of dogs, little and big dogs. Every time I came to the house to train, Barney was the first one to greet me at the door waggling his tale and offering me his little paw so I could shake his hand and pet him on the head. He loved wearing his bandana and felt strong and confident when his hair was long—even though we could barely see his little eyes. When he got a haircut and looked like a skinny little thing, I was careful to not tell him that because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I could tell he didn’t feel as self-confident and acted a little shy and even embarrassed when his hair was so short. But I still petted him and made a big deal every time I saw him too. I remember Andy telling Barney, “Go get her Barney!” and he would bark as if he meant it. I looked forward to my workouts with Theresa for sure, but I also always looked forward to my encounter with Barney.

I believe God created dogs for us to enjoy and to love us through them. They are truly the best creatures to show us what “unconditional love” really means. They love us no matter what. The last dog I had was when I was thirteen years old and I had to leave him behind when we fled Nicaragua because of the war. I remember my dog was cuddling next to me on the floor as if he knew we would never see each other again—and we didn’t. And since then, I’ve never owned a dog. Therefore, I adopted Barney as my personal doggie friend—and he became my best doggie friend ever!

I know that we can get a new dog but I believe each dog is, like each human being, irreplaceable and unique. They each leave a mark in our hearts and a hole when they leave us. So today, I want to write my blog as a tribute to my little friend, Barney. I will never forget you and will forever be thankful to you for taking the fear of dogs away for good. I’m no longer afraid of dogs. The next time I see a dog, I’ll remember your sweetness, your kindness, and your friendliness, and I know that will help me to not be afraid.

Thank you to my great friends, the Kalupa family (Andy, Theresa, Olivia and AJ) for letting me share the love that Barney brought to your home. You all and Barney made me feel part of your family and I will always appreciate that. If you get a new puppy, I’ll be there each week to love on him or her too! You can count on that!

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