After Toby died in September 2008, Father Andrew adopted another Doberman. Barney was six years old and had no clue as to the legacy he was expected to follow. And, he was a completely untrained dog, who enjoyed counter surfing. Where Toby the gentleman was well-versed in the Bible,

theology and world events, what could Father Andrew possibly expect of a younger, non-church dog? It turns out, Barney was quite prolific during the three years he lived with Andrew. “Barney’s Bytes” appeared in The

Anchor until his death on August 5, 2012. “He just dropped dead after our morning walk,” Andrew recalled, still affected by the memory. Barney suffered from Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a heart disease known to be common in Dobermans, and for which there is no known cure. “Barney was a wonderful companion, and with his friendly disposition and playfulness, the best possible ambassador for the Doberman breed,” wrote Father Andrew. July 2012 - Barney’s Bytes I have to admit that I almost laughed like a Hyena when I saw a television news story about a brown bear that had entered a town. The townsfolk were scared and the bear had to be sedated before being removed. But the truth of the story wasn’t made: the only reason the bear had gone into town was because the town, along with thousands of houses, had taken over land once roamed by the bear, the fox, the boar, the alligator and rabbit. If only you could stop thinking about yourselves, just for one moment. It isn’t all about you, and yet you live and kill and expand and deplete as if it is. We are not your possessions or pets or projects; we are fellow sojourners on this beautiful and only planet that hangs like a ball in space. Remember that we are all in this together and that nothing is yours. It is all God’s.

“They just don’t seem to care. And, they’re really goofy as well as loyal,” he said. He has also found that dogs are a conduit, especially in instances where people are troubled by something and want to talk, but are uncomfortable doing so. “I noticed, early on, people would talk to the dog. If I responded, they would shut down. So, I kept quiet, and let them continue talking to the dog.” The good Reverend writes that “Having a dog in one’s life

Oh for the touch

of a vanished paw, And the sound

of a bark that is still. With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

teaches many things, but perhaps the greatest lessons are to do with how to live one’s life, and also how to die. Even now, when I remember my faithful companions, I still feel the ache of loss. Reason tells me that this is natural, because they have shorter lives. Reason also tells me that the easy way to avoid such heartache is by simply not having the cause of it in my life. Oh, I have tried, but my ‘success’ has always been short-term. My love of the

four-legged fur ball who makes demands on me, ultimately trumps the loss I know I shall one day feel.” Andrew Heyes was born near Manchester, England in a town

Of course, once again, Father Andrew said, “Never, ever will I

have another dog,” knowing that his heart was much stronger than his mind. “I knew it would eventually happen, but I thought it would be later than sooner.” The Red Doberman was only around a year old when he was

found wandering in Miami and picked up by the police. He was placed with Doberman Rescue of Lake Placid, Floridawhere he lived for several months. The rescue group named him Toby. “When I met him, it was clear he had been traumatized. He was

afraid of everything and had scars from cigarette burns on his body. His tail had been badly docked, causing him discomfort as well,” Andrew said. Toby and Father Andrew drove home together that day. In a December 2012 column for The Anchor, Father Andrew

wrote, “He will not be a Toby or a Barney. He will be Winston, a dog whose character will be as unique as each of ours. What his voice will be, I do not yet know. We can be sure that, having just come from Doby-puppyhood and now being in the Doby-adolescent phase, Winston might have an attitude many parents of teenagers might recognize. But, at least he won’t ask to borrow the car.” Winston’s column is called “Words of Winston.” What Andrew loves about the Doberman is their independence.


called Hyde. Growing up he was lead singer and guitarist in a local rock band. Eventually he attended college to earn an honors degree in Theology and Religious Studies, then undertook post-graduate studies in theology which led to his ordination in the Church of England. He arrived at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Tampa in November 2006, became an American citizen in 2013 and continues to play guitar. Winston continues to assist with the Church’s magazine. He and The Reverend take multiple breaks throughout the day just to enjoy nature across St. Clement’s campus. Father Andrew can often be heard saying, “There are no such things as coincidences. Only God-incidences.” April 2013 - Words of Winston. Here is some advice for those of you who are keepers of canines: if you give your canine a dictionary, expect him or her to read it. And then, don't be surprised if your canine puts it to good use. Exhibit 1: Dad left a dictionary on the floor and, as everyone knows, what is on the floor is, by law, the canine’s. I read up on some words in the aforementioned dictionary and, when Dad next asked me to heel, I chewed the back of his shoe. We canines call that ‘positive reinforcement’ and this is a good thing. So please remember that the canine at the end of the leash is smarter than you think.


Father Andrew and Winston. St. Clement’s Episcopal Church, 706 West 113th Avenue in Tampa. The Church recently celebrat- ed its 30th Annual Blessing of the Animals Festival on October 7, 2017 in the newly built St. Francis Garden.

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