Oh my, words will never be able to truly express and fully illustrate one of my most treasured four legged clients. For the past 4 yrs, at least biweekly I’ve had the pleasure of servicing a pint sized suburban combat veteran. Barkley, a powder keg of a yorkie mix (and he’s slightly shape like one as well), is ever diligent and on patrol. This Napoleonic warrior has not let a myriad of health issues nor his double digit age stand in his path. Living up to his name, has no problem barking orders at those in his stead or perceived enemies. To unfamiliar faces, a furrowed brow and stare down are customary. In essence is the Patton pup.
Each morning begins with the neighborhood and yard perimeter check. Aided by his female sidekick Chelsea, Barkley surveys his estate with uncanny thoroughness. An example of what befalls trespassers has to be made on occasion. Whether armadillo, squirrel or other foul vermin (all of which are larger than this soldier) these unsavory interlopers must be battled and their carcasses paraded around in glory. Despite the screams and superficial displeasure of this prized tribute to the mother, Barkley is certain his defense of the homeland is held in high esteem.
Then after the mother is defended and pays her tribute in return of substance and affection, it is time for the pampering. The mother, Barkley and his ward Chelsea all load up into the SUV and head toward myself. With a primal yell, akin to a bullhorn, Barkley can be heard about a block away from the shop. This vocal trumpeting continues as the vehicle pulls into the parking lot and comes to a highly anticipated halt. Upon exiting his staff car, his proceeds to enter the shop and continue to announce his presence. Only after being graciously invited into the grooming area does he take a recess from issuing orders.
From there I am to worship all that is the Barkley. Soaked in special shampoo for this delicate skin, and all the grime of war washed away, Barkley wiggles in well earned delight. Although a proud dog, not lacking in ego, he still is gracious and offers kisses. With sniper like precision his tongue always finds its mark, noses and smack dab on the lips are optimal targets.
Ever vigilant, a new enemy appears. The evil box that procures the hurricane snake simply must die. Launching his entire body like a missile he clamps on the hose and refuses to relent until the accursed monster has been slain or silenced. With battle won, he waddles in delight, turns to face me and once again fires a wet one right on my nose. In his mind , a damsel was just defended from an act of terrorism. Of course I cannot help but let him revel in his victory and thank him for his bravery. I too let out a giggle in delight.
Grooming is simple. High and tight, soldiers don’t need all those frills to get in the way. Barkley is all business. Any customers that happen to stroll in or out while he is being attended to get a full Barkley salute. This consists of a firm visual assessment and 2-3 barks; state your name, business and be on your way. In addition, any unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated by human or canine while his grooming ladies are present. Once the grooming ritual is complete he stands right at attention for his spray of wonderful smell and his medal of honor/bandana. I can’t help but laugh as this pint sized peacock then proceeds to strut in all his regalia.
The mother then returns, thanks to being summoned by his grooming ladies. As fast as his age and stature allow, the entire battle is recounted to the mother while making some impressive maneuvers in between and around her legs. Satisfied that each detail has been absorbed, he leads his ward and the mother to the SUV. There perched on the mother’s lap and head just right over the steering wheel he is once again back on patrol defending all in his care, well of course after his customary and hard earned nap.