One day, our son called to ask a favor. Could we provide a temporary home for Barkleah? He had the opportunity to work for the United States State Department. The assignment would be for twelve months in Romania.  Of course, we said yes.  
The first evening we assumed custody of Mr. Barkleah, we carefully followedinstructions for bed time. Placing him in his crate, we gave him a treat, and covered the crate with a blanket. He was to happily fall asleep with no protest. Wrong! He instinctively knew he had landed in the home of softies. 
We settled into bed and turned off the lights. Immediately, he began to wine, a soft, lonely whine.
Whispering, I questioned, “Does he sound cold to you, Bill.”
“No. He sounds fine. Now get some sleep.”
“He is shivering. Perhaps, our bedroom is chilly for him.”
“No, he is a con artist. Forget it. Good night, Honey.”
Barkleah’s whimpers turned to full out crying. From the sounds coming from under the blanket, it was clear he stood up-right, trying to open the crate door.
“Bill. He’s freezing. Can’t we warm him up in the bed with us?”
“NO. Once he gets into our bed, we will never get him back into the crate.”
Bill was right. Once he placed Barkleah into our bed, he nosed under the sheets, and permanently claimed his portion of our bed. 
Barkleah also taught us a new game. We call it “Show me.” He surfs the floors searching for dropped pencils, scraps of paper that missed the trash, and credit card receipts that blow off the desk. Once he has a treasure, he moves in for the deal. Hopping like a rabbit, he locates one of us, shakes his head to show us the treasure in his mouth, and then runs under the bed. He wins the game when we crawl on all fours with a treat calling, “Trade.” The score is Barkleah – 1,000. Pam – zero. 
Upon his return from Romania, our son discovered we had bonded with Barkleah and faced separation anxiety. How would we survive when Barkleah moved back to our son’s home?  Like any reasonable adults, we established joint custody. We agreed to weekends with his Daddy, and the week days with his Nana and Papa. 
Although Barkleah loved the arrangement, over time, we agreed to have Barklean with us full time. When travel calls, book signings, conferences, and lack of pet friendly hotels, Barkleah is cared for by his daddy. And as many of you know, our son also has Gracie, the African Gray Parrot. Bill and I are trained and ready to Gracie sit at any time. We are parrot friendly, with a six foot tall bird cage in our living room, and a five foot high perch for her comfort.
Yes. Barkleah may be spoiled, but so are Wendy, Bailey, Carlos, and Gracie.

Our lives are full of laughter, as we care for our pets. 

Do you have a funny story to share? Please leave a comment and I will make sure it is shared with my readers. 



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