Sierra–Part 2–Chapter 2

“The shelter I guess,” Mrs. Browne couldn’t hide her tears.  It was difficult enough to admit she needed help, but to give Barnaby to a shelter was more than she could handle.  “What if no one adopts him? Will they put him to sleep?” 

Barnaby strolled across the room and tugged at Sierra’s shirt.  His sad dark eyes seemed to be pleading with Sierra not to send him to such an uncertain fate.  Sierra bent down and gently wrapped her arms around Barnaby’s neck and said,   “Okay, okay, I’ll take you.” 

“Sierra, do you know how he got his name?”

“No.  I don’t think you’ve ever told me.”

Mrs. Browne pointed to a picture on the, now, almost empty bookcase.  “Get the picture over there.  The one I wouldn’t let you pack.”

Sierra picked up the picture, a very young sailor smiled back at her.  Sierra knew this was Anthony, Mrs. B’s grandson.  And she knew it had been taken just before he shipped out aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.  She also knew that after the Navy he had returned to Florida very briefly before he disappeared completely.

Mrs. B held the picture and smiled.  Instead of an 18-year-old sailor she saw a three-year-old  toddler.  “When Tony was little,” she started, “his grandfather thought that Anthony was not only too big of a name for such a little tot, but also a ridiculous name for a blonde, blue-eyed child of Irish decent.”  For just a moment Mrs. Browne was quiet as she remembered her husband, Aidan.  She could see his blues eyes smiling mischievously as they had the day he proposed.  Quickly, however she pulled herself back to the present.  “Well, anyway, Aidan decided to call Tony, Barnaby.  His Mother hated the nickname, but our son just laughed.  So as long as Aidan was alive, Anthony was called Barnaby any time he was here at the cottage.  After our son was killed, Tony’s mother didn’t adapt well.   She started drinking and hung around with a lot of undesirable characters.  So Tony spent a lot of his childhood here with us.”

“Okay, but how does that explain why you called a dog Barnaby?”

“I got Barnaby right after Tony’s ship left to provide military support off the coast of Iraq, and Sierra, as silly as this sounds, calling a stupid dog Barnaby gave me some comfort during that time.”

“What did Tony think about that?”

“Well, Sierra, he was here for such a short time after he got out of the Navy, that we didn’t really discuss it.  He did roll his eyes the first time he heard me call the dog.  I wish I knew what happened to him.  I am afraid his mother might have had something to do with his disappearance.”

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