Happy Tail: Barkley digs right in

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Be prepared might be one of Barkley’s mottoes. The Chihuahua/Dachshund mix roams the house with a big bone in his mouth, looking for a place to hide it for later.

Barkley is all ears.

Barkley is all ears.

“I’ve caught him digging in my closet to try and hide one and I’ve found them in all sorts of places,” says Courtney Ray. “The dirty laundry basket gets a lot of them.”

The little dog came into her life on Thanksgiving Day 2007 when he was a year old. Diana’s Grove Dog Rescue, based in Cabool, Missouri, listed him on Petfinder after he had been picked up as a stray, running the streets of Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. Courtney had wanted what she fondly calls a Chiweenie, just like the one she’d had when she was growing up, and the wide reach of Petfinder let her see this little guy’s listing even though she lived miles away in Illinois. He looked just like her childhood dog.

“Barks is unique,” Courtney says. He likes to lounge with crossed legs on the arm of the recliner, but if she starts giving her boyfriend a back massage, Barkley is down in an instant and lies right in front of him. “He looks at me as if to say, ‘Where is mine?'” Courtney says.

“He is always at the door waiting for me when I come in,” she says. “He loves to snuggle, and he also tucks himself into bed at night. He digs and uses his nose to get the blankets just right.” Sometimes he gets so entangled that he appears in the living room, dragging them along on his back. “He is such a goofy dog and makes me smile and laugh every day. I can’t picture not having him in my life now.”

As for those bones, you just never know where they may turn up. “He left one behind when he went to the Ozarks with us a couple of years ago,” she says. “The next people who rented the place after us knew us and only laughed when they found a half-eaten dog bone buried in one of the beds.”

That’s Barkley for you. He’s prepared. After all, you never know when you might need a bone to gnaw on.

“I wouldn’t trade him for anything,” Courtney says.