I want to let y’all know about a book from a new friend of mine, L.B Johnson . The book is entitled “The Book of Barkley – Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever” author says it “ is as much about my finding my way back to God and family after living out of a suitcase as a pilot with that lifestyle, as it is about a dog. But it is about a wonderful dog, whose stories helped with a lot of healing as I lost both he and my only brother to sudden, aggressive cancers”
Check out this Excerpt from The Book of Barkley
“When the tornado sirens went off, Barkley and I headed for a bathroom
in the interior of the house, with an emergency biscuit, and
some big cushions from the couch to pack around us. Barkley
showed absolutely no concern for the dangers, trying to hump
the cushions as I piled them up. I did not know whether to
laugh or cry, even as he eluded my attempts to save him.
I could hear the little TV on the dresser in the next room. The
cell with rotation was going north of my town, as they often do,
and we emerged from the bathroom, to look out the window
to see if any limbs or lines were down. By midnight, the worst
of the storms had passed, missing my little town as they always
seemed to, splitting north and south of the freeway, leaving in
their wake somewhere, a landscape burned with anguish and
anger. I had all the lights off while Barkley settled onto his
bed, listening as the wind impinged upon the trees, needles of
rain piercing the sodden flowerbeds. Outside, the street lamps
glowed as if underwater, the air weighted with passing rain as
we both fell into sleep.
In the morning I turned on the TV to see about damage, to see
the news of a whole town ravaged, not far away, and the images
came to me unbidden.
Not so many miles away, the rough skin of the earth lay in
ruins, as people climbed from the wreckage to see exactly what
they had been left, voices rising as the wind diminished, the infinite
voices of human fear and anguish of which we all remember.
The first responders arrived, eyes quite wide and filled with
something beyond curiosity or horror. They would do their
work, lifting up a small still form, draped with the dignity of
cloth, lifting it easily as if it had no weight, yet with the movements
that showed that underneath that cloth, was borne the
iron weight of all of earth and grief. But they continued their
task, for between hope and nothing, they would choose hope.
I turned off the news, the pictures still reflected in my eyes. It’s
easy to ask where God was on such days as houses fell, as disasters
rained down, fire in the sky. But I do not ask that perfect
bitter prayer, one that has already been uttered.
I thought of the last picture before the screen went dark, a survivor
bent down looking for anything of value left from their
home. I knew that crouch so very well. I too have assumed
that posture, bent down to the ground on bended knee, not
weighted down by grief, but balanced rather, in the complete
concentration of what may just be the smallest scrap of a life
lived, looking around as if guarding it. For some things need
guarding, not as protection from some four-legged creature,
but those two-legged creatures that move on among both the
protected and the protectors, those that will take what is precious
even from the fallen.
I was thankful to be safely under a roof, where I could sit in
the quiet with my thoughts, as the wind wrapped itself around
the building like a thick dark cloth, a glass of amber liquid in
my hand that tasted of mist and peat, deep love and grief. As
the storms rumbled on eastward, my soul was still, thinking
of the rumbles of change that are occurring in my life Some I
can control, and some I cannot, those things of life and wind,
and death that even our beloved God writes upon our hearts at
birth. Some of these changes can scar our landscape, as we have
seen this night. But some can bring with them a clearing rain,
one that lets you see so much more clearly the blessings around
you after it has passed.”
From the Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever. Outskirts Press 2014
Find Out More
If you would like to find out more about L.B. Johnson check out her blog.
Ready to buy?
If you would like to get a copy of the book for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, it is available at Amazon.