,, During lockdown in January 2020 we decided to apply for a rescue dog. We did not take this decision lightly but felt it was the right time as it was something we had discussed as a family for some time.
We did apply locally in the UK for a rescue dog at first, however there was a significant increase in households applying at that time, limitations about travelling because of Covid-19 and we were restricted because we have a cat and two teenage children so we found it difficult to find a compatible match.
We found MISI’s Animal Rescue via Facebook. We read the articles and reviews and started to look at the dogs that needed a good home. We saw Barney’s picture and some videos and were immediately in agreement that Barney looked like the dog for us. (he was so cute).
We went through the normal application process as instructed online. Martina and the team responded promptly, they were very approachable and answered all our questions and spoke honestly about the commitment that we would need to make. We had to provide videos of our house and local area where we would potentially walk Barney. Our daughter got to work creating a video.
We then had a couple of video meetings with Martina and the team and were lucky enough to make it onto a shortlist along with other families to potentially home Barney. It was explained to us at this point that Barney had already been homed in the UK but had demonstrated some guarding issues with his food and toys and therefore his current family felt they could not risk having Barney around their young 4-year-old child. At this point we were asked if we still wanted to continue with the process, which we were, and subsequently asked to have a meeting with Barneys adopted family for both parties to ask questions. Martina and her team were also part of the meeting.
Barney in his previous home
We were lucky enough to be chosen to be Barneys new adopted family. The family were very upset at giving Barney up but we spoke on several occasions and reassured them we would take good care of him and we would stay in contact to give them regular updates. They told us about Barney and how they had trained him so far, what issues they felt we may face and agreed together a suitable date and time to go and see Barney and pick him up. The family had already paid the necessary fees to MISI for Barney to travel to the UK and pay for his veterinary bills, passport etc.
In agreement with MISI we arranged that we would pay the family directly for what they had already paid (confirmed by MISI). The family were very good and we came to an agreement to also purchase the equipment they had already bought (bed, cage, food, bowls, leads etc).
We visited the family on the agreed date and spent time letting them say their good byes and telling us everything we needed to know. We setup a Whatsapp group with the family and posted regular updates of how Barney was settling in. We have stayed in touch and said they are always welcome to visit Barney if they want to.
We tried to keep Barneys routine the same, including his food, bed times etc. Barney settled in quickly although over the first few weeks did display guarding issues over food and toys. He had already been toilet trained, taught to sit, give paws and lie down. We introduced him to the cat gradually but it was evident straight away that they would be good friends, in fact he was scared of her. They get on really well, he is happy to sit and watch her and grooms her when she wants him to.
We sought advice from our vet and used Google for search for advice on the guarding issues. Gradually over the course of a few weeks and some perseverance we managed to train these issues out of him. (feeding him out of our hands, sitting with him playing with toys, giving him treats when he was good.) Barney does not have any guarding issues anymore and his happy to share his toys and for us to approach him or even move his food whilst eating.
The whole family love Barney he gives and receives so much love. He has really brought the family together and got us out and about. He loves the beach and going walking in the hills. He is now able to be let off his lead, his recall is good, especially if we have treats. He never goes far away from us, he loves being chased by other dogs but loves being with us. He is such a character.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to let Barney into our lives and hope other families get the same opportunity to provide a dog with a good home. Our whole family love Barney so much and we could never imagine life without him."
by Vicky Weller, UK