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One of the hardest things we had to do Thumbnail

One of the hardest things we had to do

When I met my wife Leslie some 16 years ago, she came with two bonuses.  Her 2-year-old daughter Madeleine, and her puppy Barney.

Barney was a rescue lab/beagle mix from West Virginia.

A young Barney and a young Maddie


Due to his less than ideal entry into this world, he was a bit skittish for a while.  We even had to swap out his stainless-steel bowl for a plastic one as he was afraid of his reflection.

Being pretty strong willed, he never took to training too well but that all lended to his unique personality.

Barney had a cast iron stomach and ate ANYTHING.  It amazed me what he could wolf down in a matter of minutes if you weren’t looking.

A dozen fresh bagels?   Sure.  A whole pizza piping hot out of the oven?  You bet.  A whole chicken with bones and all?  Yup.  There was even a time he ate a whole jar of unopened honey roasted peanuts.  Still not sure how he unscrewed the lid.

The one item that amazed me that he wanted, and didn’t kill him, was a box of Albuterol.  Albuterol is a liquid medication used to treat asthma or other respiratory conditions.

I think even the Vet scratched his head on that one.

Barney was a very good friend to me.  On days I didn’t feel like going for my daily jaunt in the woods, Barney was always there with an encouraging smile and wag of his tail.

He was always happy to lead me on our next adventure.

Even though he was always eager to get out for a walk, things started to turn about a year ago when it was me leading him rather than the other way around. 

As he slowed down over the last couple of years and developed more health issues and anxiety, we knew the day would come when we would have to make that decision pet owners dread.

The difficulty was knowing when would be the best time for Barney.

Even though the Vet assured us that anytime was the right time many months ago, it never felt right.

Barney comforting my mom a week before she died

 As his health further declined, we decided we needed to do something soon.

A client of mine referred me to a wonderful woman that helps pet owners with end of life care.

On June 14th, Dr. Johnson arrived at our house in the morning.  She introduced herself to Barney and sat on the floor with him comforting him.

After a bit, she gave him the first injection.  Barney was very calm and his breathing eased up. 

We all sat around him and told him how much we loved him and what good friend and protector he had been all these almost 16 years.

She then gave him a second injection that helped him feel really good and alleviate any pain he might have been feeling.

Barney, like most pets, wasn’t a complainer so we really didn’t know how much discomfort he had been living with.

By the time she injected the final shot, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

She listened to his heart and checked some other vital signs and like that, he was gone.

Dr. Johnson went out to her car to give us some time alone with him and we sat there on the floor holding each other patting his soft fur.

Living almost 16 years is a pretty long time for a dog and we were very fortunate to have him that long.

The house has been unusually quiet.  Barney had the hardest and fastest growing nails we ever saw.  You could trim them on Monday and by Friday, they were back.  It was like living with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

We will never forget Barney and he will live in our hearts forever.

Me with Barney a couple of days before we put him down


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In good health.

All the best.

Rick Fingerman, CFP®, CDFA®, CCPS®



Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.


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