1. Barley loves life. This dog is always happy and always ready for adventure. Her tail never stops wagging and most of the time her whole entire body is wagging. When we were in obedience classes, a lot of the class time was spent practicing stays. Most other dogs would lie down and put their chins on their paws and stay perfectly still; some would even roll onto their sides. Barley lies down in the sphinx position, tail wagging, tongue hanging out and ready for anything the trainer would throw our way. Even though the ideal posture would be a little more relaxed, she's so happy and you can tell how much she loves learning and it made even our grumpiest classmates smile to see her goofy expressions.
2. Barley is beyond patient with me. I can do just about anything I want to this dog. I can dress her up in reindeer antlers and santa hats and scarves and do a three-costume-change photo shoot. I can dress her in a t-shirt so we can cast our vote for Andrew McCutchen to be on a video game cover.
3. Barley loves her fur-sibling. Even though she likes to herd him, Barley is so good with her brother. When Bar and I play, Soth will crouch under the dining room table and leap out and latch on to her back legs and she runs by. Barley doesn't bat an eyelash. When Soth has had to stay at the vet for testing, Barley has moped around the house and kissed him when he came home.
4. She tries REALLY hard not to react to other dogs. We had a lot of success this weekend with walking by other dogs. There's a new border collie-lab mix puppy in my parents' neighborhood and we walked along beside him for about a block; Barley was interested in him, but never barked, snarled, or lunged. We also took my parents' neighbors' corgi for a walk with us and even though the corgi barked at Barley for the entire walk, she didn't react at all (until he stuck his nose up her butt . . .).
5. She's REALLY good at recall. Most of the time, Barley comes when called. For example, this weekend Mom and I were making the second jump in the garage. I took Barley down into the basement and opened the garage door without thinking. Lo and behold, Mom had the big garage door wide open. Barley trotted right through it, but as soon as I called her to front she was sitting at my feet.
6. She gives me EXCELLENT stories to tell. Since today is Squirrel Appreciation Day according to my Randall's Honey Badger calendar, I'll leave you with the story of the Great Squirrel Slaying of 2011.
|Barley with Herman the Vermin: my aunt and cousin thought this would be a hilarious Christmas present for Barley.|