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How we ended up with a street dog from Romania. Amicii Dog Rescue

After our elderly lab Monty died in January, being heartbroken was an understatement. We had had him since a puppy, and he really was my best friend. It was so difficult and painful and we shed so many tears over him, as his health failed and we tried desperately to save him, making the decision to let him go and also after he had gone.

The thought of ever getting another dog was just not on our radar, because as devastated as myself and my husband were, we at least understood that it was the best thing for him to be pain free at long last. The children didn’t and my son especially struggled to come to terms with and process his grief.

We all really really missed having a dog in our lives though. A very active and outdoorsy family, we had got used to the walks diminishing as arthritis gradually stole our boy from us, but we were still making the effort to get him out as much as we could, even driving him to the beach for his last sniff of sea air. Life just wasn’t the same without him in it. The horrid quiet as I opened the door, no wet nose to nudge me, no sound of his nails clicking on the tiles alerting me of his presence.


The thought of just choosing a new puppy from a breeder just didn’t sit right with me for some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to inquire although we spent hours pouring over breed characteristics and picking out the types of dogs we might have one day.

One evening, I took my cat to the vets, and they often have the staff member’s dogs behind the reception desk while they work and there was an adorable dog there that evening, so friendly, with large ears and a long tail, he totally won my heart in minutes. As I chatted to the receptionists , they told me that he was a Romanian street dog that had been re-homed with one of the vet nurses through a charity called Amicii Dog Rescue.

Well, I got home and tentatively broached the idea with my husband. He was worried about getting a rescue with the children around, not knowing the breed etc etc. We looked at the website and there was page after page of soulful eyed pooches, either named by their sponsor or given nicknames relating to their circumstance, ‘box puppy 1’ etc.

Amicii dog rescue

This is our little baby arriving into the country. Doesn’t he look scared?

We looked at each other and we both knew that this was what we were supposed to do, and agreed to try and adopt one after our summer holiday. I said that I would ring the vets the next day and get some more info. They passed my number to Marilyn, one of the UK coordinators and she got the ball rolling incredibly quickly by telling us about a puppy that she had seen just the week before who was due into the country the following weekend that she believed would be perfect for us. Gulp!

We were wracked with indecision, we had spotted one on the website that we had instantly fallen in love with but he was so scared and timid in the video she sent, our family would just be too much for him wouldn’t it? Plus he was older, but by choosing the other, would we be confining him to a miserable life in the shelter? It was so hard!

Marilyn never outwardly said ‘no’ but continued to steer us gently towards the other puppy, who was funny, confident and playful in the videos she sent us. He just didn’t look like any of the dogs we had had before. Wiry and almost wolf like with intense eyes, plus he was pretty big for a 4 month old puppy, what was he going to grow into? Ideally we wanted a dog that could fit in the campervan with us, it didn’t look likely with this doggy.

Amicii Dog rescue

A message from Marilyn telling is he had ‘the biggest paws she’s ever seen’ made us think that maybe he’ll be far too big for camper trips!!

Finally we made a decision, we’d watched the video time and again and he just looked like the doggy version of our son, diving into his water bowl with gusto. We would take him! The following weekend, giving us just 10 days to prepare ourselves and our house for the arrival of a puppy. Marilyn came round to meet us and to give our home and garden a thorough check over to make sure it was safe and he couldn’t escape as ‘Rommie’ dogs often try and bolt in their first days and weeks in a new home.

We were at Cornbury festival that weekend (write up coming soon!) and we got a message from Marilyn that she had collected ‘Duke’ for us, the name he had been given. She sent us several photos and videos, the first of him looking petrified in the van as he arrived and then a few of him making himself at home in her kitchen! The nerves were building but also the excitement. It was the most epically glorious sunny weekend though, and we were determined to enjoy the festival despite all our urges to run to get him straight away!

The following day was Sunday and we went home to shower before going to Marilyn’s house to pick up our boy. Would we like him, would the kids, would he like us, what would he be like?! The questions were spinning and we all felt worried. One thing we did know was that he was in good health, all the dogs from Amicii come with very comprehensively filled out passports and all their vaccs, worming etc info filled in. He was also neutered.

On arrival, we were warmly greeted by Marilyn, she had put the foster lady on standby as she had noticed Duke barking at the noise of children in the garden and wanted to be certain that he was going to be ok with us. He was a timid boy at first, hiding under a bench but equally desperate for affection and he slowly warmed up to us. We spent an hour and a half at Marilyn’s house, carefully watching his reactions and making sure he would be alright with the kids. He soon got over his initial fears and his bold and playful nature meant that he wanted to be involved in the children’s games before too long. When she, and we, were happy, we took our new puppy home.

Amicii Rescue Dogs

Look at that face, he had no family and no-one to love him.


It has been one week on now, we have renamed him Barnaby, Barney for short, and let me tell you, he is the best thing we have done for the family. It’s not been easy but my gosh has it been worth it, he is the sweetest, most gentle, most affectionate loving dog. A post about our first week will be coming soon, in the meantime, I have set him up an insta account to help raise awareness for the fantastic work that Amicii do. I have no idea when I’ll have time to run it, I’m not getting very much done in the way of blogging, (or anything really!) but am loving having him in our lives! 🙂

Find out how we’re getting on with him here and a more comprehensive update here.



  1. July 16, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Hooray, what a brilliant thing to do. Good for you. We also adopted a 4 month old rescue dog and it was the best thing we ever did, despite going through some tough times afterwards, which were made much more difficult by the presence of a rather chewy puppy!

  2. July 17, 2017 / 7:43 am

    Oh, I loved this. I think losing a dog is the most horrendous thing. I know that sounds dramatic when people lose family members but I totally felt your pain. I am soglad you have given this beautiful dog a home. How lucky is he? and looking at those eyes, how lucky are you?! Back to the beach then xx

  3. July 17, 2017 / 8:22 am

    Oh oh oh!! Barney is gorgeous and what a totally wonderful thing you have done. I’ve got four dogs already but if I ever decide to get a 5th I’m contacting this organisation – well done you for giving Barney such a wonderful home – how lucky is he?! I can not wait to see how he grows xx #BigPinkLink

  4. July 17, 2017 / 8:24 am

    He has the sweetest doggie face in the world – so happy to finally have a home! #bigpinklink

  5. July 17, 2017 / 11:36 am

    Aw what an absolute little cutie! I’m so pleased he’s found a loving forever home and pleased for you too to have found a lovely new and loyal family friend #bigpinklink

  6. July 17, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Ah, he’s lovely and he looks so happy to have a home and be surrounded by people who love him. I love a happy ending. So pleased for you all 🙂

  7. July 17, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    What an adorable little face he has, he looks so happy and safe with you. #BigPinkLink

  8. July 17, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    I know how much you miss Monty and I am so pleased that you and Barney have found each other. What a great story. I am sure many designer dogs are well loved, but it’s so great you are saving this pooch from the streets. #bigpinklink

  9. July 17, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Oh Barney has such an adorable face. I’m sure you will have many happy years as a family with him #bigpinklink

  10. July 17, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    How lovely you were able to rescue this sweet boy! He does have wonderful, soulful eyes! I’m sure your children adore him, and he they! #bigpinklink

  11. July 17, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    What lovely story. I’ll look for his Insta account. #BigPinkLink

  12. July 17, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Such a heartfelt story! Here’s to many happy years with Barnaby #bigpinklink

  13. July 17, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    Wow, I’ve never even heard of dogs rescued like this. We’ve always had a rescue dog. They’re so fantastic.
    Great post.

  14. July 17, 2017 / 10:53 pm

    He looks lovely and so relaxed! Glad to hear that he’s settling in well #bigpinklink

  15. July 18, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Great story and he looks like such a handsome dog, those eyes! x

  16. July 18, 2017 / 9:31 am

    This is wonderful. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose something so loved and adored by yourself and the family, but what you have done for Barney is the best thing that could have happened to him. He know has a family to love and to receive love. I’m so happy everyones settling in well. #bigpinklink

  17. July 18, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Having a pet is wonderful but saying goodbye is so hard. I think it’s a lovely decision to rescue a dog rather than get one fro a breeder and he looks like a friend for life! 🙂 #bigpinklinky

  18. July 18, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    Barney is precious!!! What a GREAT thing to do!!! He will be a treasured member of your family and you are teaching a valuable lesson to your children! As a dog lover (I frequently pick up strays & have two of my own) I commend you for taking the leap of faith and going with a rescue! I understand the hesitation because of the kids-I have felt that too, but there are simply too many out there that need homes & too many breeders that (basically) keep them from getting the homes they deserve!

  19. July 18, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    My bad! I stepped away to help a kid & forgot where I was! DUH!!!


  20. July 18, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    What an amazing thing to do and Barney looks so cute. I remember reading your post when your dog sadly passed away and you were obviously all heartbroken so I’m so glad to hear you’ve got a new little member of the family. Lovely to hear. #bigpinklink

  21. July 18, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    Our dog Ollie is very old and has arthritis. I don’t know how Chris will cope when he dies 🙁 I think rescuing animals and giving them some happiness is so important #bigpinklink

  22. July 18, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    What a lovely story! Your pup is adorable! Love! #bigpinklink

  23. July 18, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    I love that, not only did you get a dog but you rescued him too! He looks like the most gorgeous dog and I have been smiling about it every since I saw your announcement. He is so lucky to have you, and you to have him, wishing you both a long and happy life together! #bigpinklink

  24. July 19, 2017 / 4:12 am

    Barney looks like a happy chap in his new home! Congrats on your new addition to the family. I had never heard of this charity so as an animal lover this was a really inspiring story xx #bigpinklink

  25. July 19, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    awwww I love a happy ending! my friend rescued a dog from Romania and she’s the cutest little thing ever! Looking forward to more updates from you whilst he settles in! #bigpinklink

  26. July 21, 2017 / 3:52 pm

    Oh this is so lovely! I really enjoyed reading this, it sounds like such a journey but what a wonderful thing to adopt a dog that is so in need. I’m glad that he is settling in well and becoming part of your family. #BigPinkLink x

  27. July 22, 2017 / 2:17 am

    Oh wow, what a wonderful thing you’ve done! I was so touched when you lost Monty, and I hope that your beautiful rescue brings you as much joy as he did. #bigpinklink

  28. July 22, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    This is so lovely. What an amazing story. I hope you all have some wonderful adventures together as a family #bigpinklink

  29. July 23, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Such a wonderful story, he sounds like a lovely pup and just the perfect addition to your family. I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures together. Thank you for being the most marvellous co host lovely xx

  30. July 25, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Oh my word… I’m going to leave my laptop open on this page so that my husband sees it when he walks past… that little fluffy face has GOT to convince him! Surely!? This is such a fantastic thing to do and I hope I am allowed to follow suit one day #bigpinklink

  31. January 30, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    Glad it all worked out for you. Any dog every a special bred puppy comes with issues. We have always had rescue dogs and have been lucky with them.
    Onto rescue dog No3 this month, last one only got 17 months with us before being riddles with cancer at 7 yrs old, from diagnosis to sleep in 3 weeks. But we know she had a brilliant 17 months and was loved and cared for due to our pet insurance.

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