I’m pretty sure that Barney doesn’t keep thinking about his 2 years in the shelter…but every now and then, I still do. My heart tightens a bit… as I sit quietly with it, it opens again. I marvel at the hope and courage that sustained him during that long time (for us it would be the equivalent of 10-15 years of time). I imagine he was on his hind legs hopping up and down at the front of his cage for much of the day, barking furiously alongside the other dogs, unable to see anything, relying on his ever sensitive ears and nose to orient him. I am so grateful for the shelter staff and subsequent foster parents who did their very best to care for him until he could find our family. Each night as I read to my kids in bed, Barney joins us. He likes to go under the covers while we read, then he gets a special goodnight bellyrub from each of my sons before joining my husband and me for some cuddles and more bellyrubs. Each night before I go to bed, he gets a kiss on the head and a “Thank you for being with us” from me. He has taught us all how to live and love more fully.