Barnegat is a German shorthaired pointer and lab mix who is almost magical in his effect on people. See those beautiful, soulful eyes? We’ve read it’s an animal equivalent of a hug when a dog makes long, relaxed eye contact with you, and that’s just what it feels like with Barnegat, a soul-to-soul hug!
We had the pleasure of spending three weeks with him, in the hills around Santa Fe, on a long term house sitting and dog sitting engagement over the fall. At 13, he is in great shape and still very puppy-like, loves playing keep away with his “Bear” (which is actually either a stuffed toy sheep or pink flamingo), long walks in the woods :), and, EATING! 🙂
There is food motivated and very food motivated — Barnegat is in the latter category. His internal alarm clock about feeding time is always way ahead of what the clock says, which leads to a twice daily “conversation,” with him insisting that the clock is wrong, again! Because we never seemed to notice the clock defect 🙂 he uses the nose flip to tell us it’s time– he’s found if he wedges his (healthy) cold wet nose under your hand, or under your elbow, or even under your notebook, giving it a strong flip up is a very effective communication that he has unmet expectations for you to fulfill!.
Besides being a lovable goof, Barnegat is a great hiking buddy, too. He enjoys hiking as much as he enjoys food, judging by the little happy circle dance he breaks out when all the signs are in place — shoes on? Yes! Water bottle filled? YES! Fanny pack with treats strapped on? YES!!!
The owner’s requested we give him the time on the trails off-leash, which can be a little dicey if excellent recall isn’t in place, but fortunately, not an issue with Barnegat. On the trail, he’s incredibly mindful of staying with the peeps, even as he’s relishing the smell of every pinon pine or rock that’s been marked (or anything else that interests him, which is pretty much, everything). There are so many beautiful places to hike around Santa Fe, and there’s something about sharing that experience with a joyful canine companion that so amplifies our appreciation, too.
As are many working dog breeds, Barnegat is a happy companion. Whether it’s running errands (LOVES car rides), hanging out watching a movie or just moseying around outside, it’s very sweet and comforting having him by your side.
He’s also quite the card (probably not intentionally) — watching him in his very intense positioning of the dog bed (which we dubbed Mr. Pillow) is incredibly cute (click for the quick video). At odd times throughout the day, we’d hear rustling, and come in to watch Barnegat in an active wrestling match with Mr. Pillow — picking it up, turning it around to slam it to the ground, rolling it over, standing it up and straddling it, yet somehow, always coming out on top with the win (we think the match is rigged 🙂 )
It is such a privilege being entrusted with long term house sitting and dog sitting precious little ones such as Barnegat – it’s why we love what we do, and are grateful for the opportunity to provide in home pet care for owners traveling for a few weeks or more!