Carol Perkins, Founder of Harry Barker, pictured with the company's namesake
"The origins of Harry Barker are lost in the mists of time. Some say I came on a Viking ship. Must be my regal bearing. Some say I was smuggled in a bunch of bananas from Central America. Must be my fiery temper. Some know the truth: I was born in my mother’s heart as soon as she heard about Shetland sheepdogs.
My mother, Carol Perkins, heard about shelties from her best friend, Jackie, who had five of us by the time she was grown up. Yikes! Carol was skeptical but did her research, and soon found me. I was an innocent ball of fluff. That would all change. Carol was just starting a company that made things for dogs and people; it was a company that cared a lot for dogs and people. And it needed a name, just around the same time I needed a name. What are the chances? And that is how I came to be Harry Barker.
What else can be said about the myth of me? Most shelties weigh in at about twenty pounds. Some are smaller, some are larger. I weigh sixty-five pounds. Why? No one knows. The food’s not that good. I’m very big. Very large indeed. Most shelties retain their herding instinct and snap around the heels of people and dogs; I still actually nip. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it does make me special, if not slightly feared.
Some people say that dogs begin to resemble their owners or vice versa. I don’t resemble Carol. I’m a boy. A big, handsome boy. With my breathtaking bluish-gray ruff and my haunting brown eyes, I’m told I resemble Richard Gere. Again, I’m not bragging, but I understand he’s considered quite a handsome man among humans.
So that’s really my story. I’m available for dinner and a show, but it’s probably best for everyone if you just come by the store."
—Harry Barker (1997–2012)