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Home From Siberia
A Barksdale Labradoodles Story

"Jacques or Little Man" is an active stud with Barksdale who lives with his Guardian Family

I wanted to share an experience that Jacques and I had yesterday.  As usual, he amazed me with his intuitiveness and canine kindness.  Perhaps, that is a labradoodle trait.  I know that it is a trait that Jacques has.  We experienced it first hand when Mary Lacy was recuperating last May and June.
We were out for a walk around 9:00 a.m. yesterday when I saw the fire rescue truck at the home of an elderly neighbor.   I decided to check on Sybil before returning home because the firemen had left.  Surprisingly, Jim, the husband, answered the door using a walker to make it to the door.  He had returned home from the hospital on Sunday after being there for nine months.  Jim looked frail and frantic because Sybil had fallen.  Sybil called out that she needed help so he asked "us" to come inside. Because both elderly people are on walkers with seats, they are very dependent.  With Jacques on his leash, I helped Sybil and returned to talk with Jim, deciding to wait for the lady who stays during the day to arrive.

In addition to being frail and stressed, Jim has severe Parkinson's or something similar on one side of his body.  He reached out for Jacques with his shaking hand and Little Man walked right up to his chair and sat for Jim to pet him.  Each time we would move away to help Sybil, Jacques would go back to his post for Jim to pet him.  The calming effect that his presence had on the elderly couple, especially Jim, was evident.  I felt like I witnessed a very special situation, much like you probably often see with your hospice and special needs work.  I don't think that I will ever forget it.  We went back over last night to check and, of course, took Jacques.  He was the main one that they wanted to see.

Sorry to go on, but I wanted to share a little something about Jim that I did not know until yesterday.  He was a Prisoner of War in WW II, as a 20-year-old airman whose plane went down over Japanese waters.  The plane made it into Russian territory before going down and the solders were taken to Afghanistan as prisoners for 9 1/2 months. A book, Home from Siberia, was written about the escapes of four groups and his was one of them.  Jim was the youngest prisoner from his plane.  I was in the presence of greatness yesterday.  Although it sounds dramatic, the picture of a little white dog bringing calmness to one of America's heroes whose body is small, frail, and shaking is a precious moment in time that I will not forget.  Of course, talking with a WW II veteran was talking with someone close to the ages of our fathers and that was special.

(link to Amazon.com)

Thank you to the Montgomery Family and to Barksdale Labradoodles for sharing this remarkable story