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Barlee died of hemangiosarcoma at 9 years of age. Here is the Lamkins’ tribute to her just before her death.
“Barlee is the best dog we have ever known. Gentle, kind, intelligent, and full of fun, she has been a marvelous pet and best friend for all her nine years. We take comfort in the memories of her happy life, where her exuberance and friendliness made her loved by all who got to know her. She enjoyed her years in New York, where she would execute Houdini-like escapes for her and Maizee, and they would bound through the cadet area looking for fun until we could corral them and return them to the fenced area.
In Missouri, she loved her freedom as she bounded around her seven acres of yard. A natural hunter, she would spend hours ridding the yard of squirrels, groundhogs, and other assorted wildlife who would intrude in her space. She was occasionally successful catching groundhogs — never a good thing for the groundhogs or us. Our neighbor at the Lake marveled at her swimming and retrieving ability, as she out-performed his professionally trained golden. She loved the Lake, and spent many happy moments there, swimming, retrieving, or resting in the water on a float. Our grandchildren absolutely love her, and she has never failed to be gentle and affectionate with them.
In July, she spent many good days at our lake home, diving in the water with Putter and Bella to retrieve an endless supply of thrown rubber ducks. She has welcomed Bella into her home, teaching her the ropes, playing with her and showing her what good dogs do. Until the past few weeks, she has been her happy, exuberant, happy self, leading a very, very happy life.
Barlee is going out in style and we will miss her terribly. I will miss her constant company as she followed us from place to place at our home. I will miss that great head that would suddenly appear under my hand for pets, any time I sat in a chair reading a book or watching TV. I will miss that large paw that would push on my leg or chest for attention — “It’s time to go out, Fletch.” “Let’s play a little ball.” “Hey, let’s go down to the dock and fetch some ducks.” And I will miss her curling up with me for some peaceful moments and relaxation. She has been fun, companionship, and unconditional love.