There literally are thousands of people mourning today over the loss of a little corgi farmer from Wisconsin.
I am one of those people.
Barney Boots, a 4-year-old “farmer” who delighted more than 4,500 of his Facebook friends (many of whom were other corgis, or other breeds of dogs) with his many posts daily, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this morning. His unexpected death is a shock to us all.
He had followers from every state and all over the world, and it seems he had the time to reply to everyone’s comments, even if it was a simple BOL (Bark Out Loud)! Barney Boots went out of his way to make everyone feel special.
Already, hundreds have posted on a Rest in Peace Barney Boots page (Barney’s own page was down much of the day but has since returned), many through tears. Hearts are breaking over a little dog none of us ever met, but who made us smile every morning with “I am now up!” posts (those simple posts generated more comments every day than I’ve ever had on one of my Facebook entries).
Barney would post often about his activities (“I’m inside now!” “I’m outside now!”), his family of baby steers, his hard work in the garden and his vacuum cleaners (pigs) that he had to keep an eye on every day. He had to run three miles to the mailbox and run 3.5 miles back from the mailbox.
Math and measurements were not Barney’s strengths, but exaggerations were. Green Bay temps soared to 500 degrees numerous times this summer, and 200 below — with 20 feet of snow — last winter.
It was winter a few years ago when, according to Barney, he was thrown into a snowbank out of a truck going 80 miles an hour in front of his house. His mom and dad rescued him, and that’s how he came to live with Deb and Paul. At least, that’s how Barney told it.
He posted videos no more than 15 seconds in length. Often, they were of him walking, but mainly they were of his baby steers (he worked for Brandenburg Beef, after all). A simple little 15-second film of steers standing around would have us in stitches.
He would fain starvation if he didn’t eat his five meals a day, which included his favorites, gravy and ice cream, and just about anything else he wanted. He loved cheese curds and sloppy joes, he loved his Packers, and he loved his farm and his mom and dad. His “Daddy’s home!” and “Mommy’s home!” posts meant yet another meal, but also meant spending time with his favorite people in the world.
That little corgi brought so much joy to so many people, the entire Corgi Nation (which includes people and honorary corgis of all breeds) mourns today. And what he brought to corgis in need is what made Barney so special.
When his Uncle Ronnie (his dad’s brother) passed last winter, Barney started a fund-raiser to help CorgiAid, Inc. Barney’s efforts raised thousands of dollars for corgis-in-need organizations, including more than $4,000 with the “Coins for Corgis: In Memory of Uncle Ron Brandenburg” fund-raiser.
He was in the midst of another fund-raiser, one that suggested a “clutter-free Christmas,” to help a corgi organization. People posted ideas and others voted for their favorites, contributing $1 for each vote. At last count, last week, it had raised about $1,500. It was to conclude in October, Barney’s birthday month. Already, donations are headed to CorgiAid in honor of Barney Boots.
We all offer our condolences to Barney’s parents, Deb and Paul Brandenburg. As devastated and saddened as Corgi Nation is by this news, the pain Deb and Paul are feeling right now is unimaginable. Our pets bring so much joy to our lives that when they leave us, especially so suddenly, our hearts break.
To Deb and Paul, our deepest sympathies. To Barney Boots, thank you for all you did to bring so much laughter, so much joy, and so much help, to so many people and dogs.
Rest in Peace, Bubbles.