Navigation Menu+

Barney’s first year

Made or posted on Aug 9, 2014

August 9, 2014

Barney (at right) celebrates his first birthday with his dog-park pal, Flora, after a chaste sleepover the night before. The cake isn’t real; it’s mostly Photoshop.

imaginary 1st birthday cake for dog


July 2014

Like most dogs, Barney likes the smells of nature, but he prefers greeting people, giving specially big wags for Richard and his sister Leslie (below), who emerge from a theater in Staunton, Va.

Animation of Barney & Richard greeting after a play in Staunton

May 2014

Barney bounds through the grass and dandelions on the reservoir hill at Ft. Reno, D.C.’s highest ground, and then poses amid fallen cherry blossoms.

puppy bounding through grass at Fort Reno, Wash DC


With help from trainers at the Washington Animal Rescue League (now the Humane Rescue Alliance), Barney’s humans (mostly Richard) school him in obedience, agility and finding things with his fine nose.

Photos above by WARL.


April 2014

Carrying five months’ added weight and hair, Barney returns to the front-yard setting of his November 2013 glamour shot at age 3 months.

Barney at 3 and 8 months' age


He’s strutting at dog parks (above, in Adams-Morgan) and tugging hard on rope toys.



March 2014

With the hair of Tina Turner and the goatee of D’Artagnan, Barney charms visitors Samantha (in March) and Dhes (in June).



January 2014

Puppy plays with frisbee, caught on nose

Puppy playfulness and mischief is peaking after his fifth month, when he gets into toys (above) and rests in an off-limits chair. Soon he’s on the forbidden human bed.

puppy grabs chair, climbs on bed


Barney stars in our New Year’s 2014 card:  Who said the savior will come in human form?

card 2014

December 2013


As his jaw gets stronger, Barney’s posse of stuffed toys (above) will begin to lose limbs and stuffing, and his morning drive to a dog park becomes a ritual (below).


He visits dog parks wherever we find them — below, in Roanoke, Va. (More on his dog-park experience here.)


puppy leaping, bounding and racing through snow
Click snow picture for larger version


We go to dog parks for off-leash running, battles over sticks, Barney’s general socialization to the ways of other dogs, and for our own fun, too.

Barney, Flora & Castle battle over sticksPhotos by Richard.


Even when Barney doesn’t find a partner for sustained romping, he and Richard get to meet a huge variety of pets at the big Shirlington dog park, including other Labradoodles (below) and a West Highland Terrier, which brings insistent pelvic action to every party.

puppies surround human


November 2013

When other four-leggers aren’t available, Barney’s favorite sport is chasing the Orange Varmint (known in retail as the Squishy Face Studio flirt pole), an orange toy connected by elastic cord to a short pole. Below, Richard’s nephew Charlie wields the pole. In contests with the average dog, the elastic (sproing!!) guarantees the human will win often enough to please both parties.

boy with orange stuffed animal plays with puppy


See also

Earlier: Barney’s first 12 weeks.

Fiercely playful: 21st-century canine society in city dog parks.