Barley's Blog

  • Adopting Barley

    As many of you know, much of this business was inspired by our dog Barley, including the decision to donate 10 cents of every bag sold to APS of Durham. Therefore, I thought it might be a good time to share with you Barley's adoption story.

    If you ask any our friends and family, it'd be no surprise to them that Scott and I had different views on having a dog because...well...Scott and I are, for the most part, the epitome of opposites attracting. On Scott's end, he grew up with a lot of different pets. I, on the other hand, had very little interaction with dogs throughout my life. Don't get me wrong - I didn't dislike dogs; I just didn't understand the draw.

    That all changed in March 2009. Scott and I had just bought our condo in the West Loop of Chicago a couple of months earlier, and because our building allowed pets, we started talking about adopting a dog. While I was fairly neutral, I knew how much Scott loved having a dog, and I didn't want to be one of those awful girlfriends who killed the proverbial dream. I also never doubted the fact that Scott would take very good care of the dog and would also keep her from tearing the condo apart. The only caveat was that Scott would be the primary caretaker. I agreed to do the basics (e.g. feed her and take her out for potty breaks when Scott wasn't around), but I couldn't promise that I would do anymore than that.

    So on a rainy Friday night, Scott and I ventured to PAWS Chicago, a great shelter in the city. We met a lot of dogs, and it was starting to feel a bit overwhelming. But then, we went into a room with two dogs - one was a black and white border collie and the other was a black lab mix. I assumed we'd end up with the border collie because he looked just like Scott's childhood dog Lucky, an adorable border collie his dad rescued from the side of the road. Scott spoke so fondly of going on hikes with his brother John and always relying on Lucky to help them find their way home - I was convinced he would immediately fall in love with this border collie. The only problem was the dog would not stay still. He literally ran in circles around us the entire time we were in there, only stopping once to pee in a corner. And in the midst of all the collie chaos was the little 4-month-old black lab mix the shelter team named Adrianna. 

    Scott and I sat in the middle of the small room, and Adrianna came right to us. She let Scott pet her; and then suddenly, she walked over to me, flopped herself in my lap, rolled over onto her back, and looked up at me as to say, "Rub my belly please!" To this day, Scott is convinced Barley knew I was the one she had to win over so she used her best weapon - her cuteness.

    Clearly, her strategy worked. True to form, I was ready right then and there to start the adoption process. But remember how I said Scott and I are opposites? While he, too, was quickly falling in love with her, he is not one to make a snap decision. He likes to think through things very carefully and weigh all options before moving forward. So we left the shelter that night without the cute little lab mix.

    The next morning, we both woke up still thinking about that dog. So after talking about it a bit more, Scott decided that he was ready, and we hopped back in the car to go get her. 

    Barley Labs Dog Treats

    So on the morning of March 7, 2009, Scott and I officially added a new member to our clan - Barley Adrianna Cheaudry. Her first name was inspired by Scott's love of his home brewing hobby; her middle name is the name the PAWS Chicago team gave her when she first got to the shelter; and her last name is a mix of our two last names - Chu and Beaudry. (The picture on the left is from the day we brought her home 3.5 years ago.)

    As any puppy parent knows, the first few months were rough - especially for Scott. He got up every night at 3 a.m. to take her outside in the cold Chicago weather to potty, and he woke up every morning at 6 a.m. to take her out again and feed her. But he sure did love that dog, and much to my surprise, so did I. Within just a few weeks, all of those warnings to Scott that I would just basically do enough to keep her alive went flying out the window. I suddenly found myself worrying about everything from nutrition to training to her making other doggy friends.

    Now, it's 3.5 years later, and Scott and I are still enjoying every minute with our crazy girl. Barley has brought us so much fun and adventure, and we can't imagine life without her now. She has given us so much, including the inspiration to start Barley Labs, that we just hope we can give her the best life possible in return. 

    Do you have a dog adoption story? If so, we want to hear it! 
    Share your story in the comments below, or feel free to post it on our Facebook page

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