Jeanine Gordon, British Columbia

Senior Writer

Working as a freelance writer and editor, Jeanine possesses a special passion for storytelling. Whether writing for a business or working on a fiction piece, Jeanine loves to find the heart of every piece. Since 2012, Jeanine has written extensively for clients across all business sectors as well as on topics such as personal relationships and psychology. When not writing, Jeanine is at home in Vancouver, BC, spending time with her husband and two kids.

As a Story Terrace writer, Jeanine interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

My Family and Barney

It takes love and support to make a family. That, and a deaf dog.

I was twelve years old and my mom’s boyfriend, Bill, was moving in. My dad had passed away several years earlier and I was thrilled when my mom was ready to move on and start dating again. It wasn’t long before she met a great guy and I welcomed his presence in our life with open arms. My mom was so happy, it was hard to deny that their relationship was a great thing.

It was a cloudy Friday afternoon when the moving van showed up—a huge, hulking beast of a van, loaded to the brim with all of his possessions. Bill carefully parked the van in front of our modest bungalow while his black American Cocker Spaniel, Barney, sat high in the passenger seat, as if announcing his arrival.

I carried a few small boxes into the house and set them down in our living room. I turned around to see piece after piece of furniture carried through the door. Giant boxes followed, along with even more furniture. Our house was already full of our own things and I was dumbfounded by the sheer volume of what another house’s belongings looked like as they piled up around me. Where on Earth was everything going to go? Why did it all look so out of place? And why was my heart suddenly pounding as if it were about to burst out of my chest?

After a while, my mom noticed that I was missing from the unpacking process. She found me in my room with a worried look on my face. When she asked me what was wrong, I burst into tears. “Everything is changing!” I cried. I couldn’t explain it—I was so excited for this, yet felt so out-of-control and panicked. I cried in my mom’s arms until there was a knock at my bedroom door and Bill rushed in. “Barney ran away!” he told us. “We have to find him!”

Everyone split up. My mom and Bill drove their cars around the neighborhood while I set out on foot. Naturally, it was pouring rain by this point and the spring evening had quickly turned to night. I could barely see the houses that lined the streets, yet alone a small black dog. “Barney! Barney, come!” I yelled, but it was useless, as Barney also happened to have gone deaf in his old age. It was an impossible situation—looking for a deaf, black dog in the rain, under a dark night sky.

I was giving up and set off for home when Bill’s car came screeching up beside me. Once again, Barney was riding in the passenger’s seat. “I found him!” Bill said. “Get in!”

By the time we all made it home, we were soaking wet and exhausted, but something was different. I looked back and forth at my mom, Bill, and Barney and began to laugh. All the overwhelming feelings I had earlier had melted away in the stress of the situation. My mom and Bill began to laugh too.

It was just one of those moments, where you know that everything is going to be OK. If we could get through losing a deaf black dog in pitch darkness, plus navigating a massive moving day, I knew that together, we could get through anything. We were a family now, Barney included.

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