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A sad goodbye to Barnaby. Rehoming our dog.

Rehoming Barney.

I can’t actually believe that I’m typing this, but my heart is breaking and my eyes are swollen from crying so I know that it’s real, last week marked Barney’s first birthday (as near as a rescue dog can be aged) and just days later marked the day we had to say goodbye to him.

8 months ago when we picked him up, we were full of excitement and anticipation, it had taken us so long to make this decision. Our beloved lab Monty died in January and for 6 months we tried to live without a dog but we found it so hard it seemed like fate when we met an Amiici dog and learnt about their amazing charity rehoming dogs from Romania. Within two weeks of making contact, we were picking up a giant puppy, with the most enormous paws. For 8 months we have poured heart and soul into him and although it took a while, we fell completely in love with him.

For a while now though, we have been worried about the affect that our busy household has been having on him, as he gets older, he’s been showing increasing signs of anxiety, having difficulty allowing strangers into the house and becoming fear reactive on the lead, making walking more tricky. (On some reflection, we have realised that he is not a pack leader, he is the first to run at any sort of skirmish in the park and he has been getting too stressed as the only dog in a household with a lot of perceived threats and no other dog to tell him it was ok.)

He has been barking at children that come for playdates, meaning he was having to be shut away more often, and the final straw has been him starting to growl at the children when they come near him and then snapping at them when they don’t register. If they were older, we could have explained but they have been used to Monty and keep forgetting to give him space. It isn’t fair on him or them. After seeking advice from the wonderful charity we got him from, we were advised that it would be in all of our best interests to return him to them so that they can find him a new home with older or no kids and people that can devote the time to training with him before something really bad happens. We were just not in a position to take on a nervous dog as we don’t have the time to put into him and it turned into a potentially very dangerous situation.

Also, the bigger he got, when he got overexcited and ran with the children as they tore up and down the garden, he had a tendency to knock them flying, something that was making them nervous. The saddest thing of all about this tragic outcome? He is the loveliest dog, sweet, friendly natured and wanting to be everyones’ best friend, picking up his training with lightening speed, he was even able to be taught by the children who used to say ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot’ to him and he’d put his paw out. We love him so so so much and just hate this situation so much.

If my husband and I didn’t have children, there is no way that I would be typing this, but we do, and they come first and we knew that should the unthinkable ever happen and he nipped one of their friends as he was trying to herd them or knocked a child flying in the park and they were hurt or worst of all lashed out in frustration, he wouldn’t be getting this option and so we have done this for him too, as painful and traumatic as it is. I am barely able to see the screen through my tears as I think of him tonight, wondering where we went. Why we left him. It is honestly one of the most traumatic endings that I never imagined for our story and I feel physical pain in my chest whenever I picture his face.

We want so badly to see him in a new home and so I thought I would write a sort of advert for him, in the hope that someone will see it that will be able to be the forever home for him that we so desperately wished we could have been.

Barnaby. (Barney for short.) UK.

Barney is an amazing looking, large cross from Romania. We had so many comments about his eyes and curly tail.

DNA tests revealed that he is a cross between a German shepherd, a Belgian Tervuren, a Labrador, a Leonberger and Collie.

He is very food orientated and easy to train.

He is incredibly loyal and bonds strongly to his owners. He would suit a family with children over 16 or without children.

He loves other dogs. When he stayed with the dog sitter, he seemed happiest being part of her ‘pack’ and just wants to play. Due to his size, he can seem intimidating to others but if there is ever any aggression he is the first to run away.

He is nervous. Sounds startle him when we are out for a walk and he can get easily spooked and then tries to get home as quickly as possible.

Birds and aeroplanes are a source of tremendous fascination and he loves watching them.

Being outside is his happy place and he would regularly choose to stay outside in the garden over coming in, even in rain and snow!

He is incredibly loving and affectionate and liked cuddles a lot. He wasn’t as keen on them from the children although he tolerated them most of the time.

After a long walk in the morning (1 hour) he will sleep for most of the day and enjoys snoozing peacefully near you in the evenings.

What he needs:

An owner with the time to spend training him and helping him overcome his worries. A garden and a long daily walk. Someone with lots and lots of love to give as he is used to having plenty of cuddles and strokes. He needs a strong pack leader or a home with other dogs. He was always much happier and calmer with another dog around. Experience with shepherd breeds may be a good idea too.

It’s been two days now since he has gone and I wrote this and the pain is still not getting much better. The tears keep coming and we have asked ourselves and each other so many times if we have done the right thing, but we know that we have. We weren’t the right home or family for him and it kills me to say it but he’s better off with someone else. It won’t stop us thinking of him every day and missing him though.

If you think you can give Barney a loving home, please email me louise@pinkpearbear.com and head your email Barney so I can pass your details on.


**UPDATE One week on and my heart is still so broken but I have been sent photos of him looking very happy and it looks as though he has a family that want to take him, no young children. I am so so sad thinking of my baby with someone else but simultaneously so happy that he has been rehomed so quickly. Cross your fingers for him.**



  1. Hayley F
    March 13, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    I’m so sorry. I had tears in my eyes reading this. Wonder if he would be better with a companion. Are you able to keep in touch with the new owners to see how he’s getting on. I think he’s had a wonderful 8 months which I’m sure will help him in his new home x

    • March 13, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      I think he definitely needs a buddy. He was much happier with other dogs. They are going to keep us updated all the way. We really gave him a lot of love and hopefully that will help him.x

  2. March 13, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    He has 8 months of pure unadulterated love and you’ve set him on the path to find his forever home. We fell in love with him when we met him and I know it won’t be long until he finds his new home xxxxxx

  3. March 13, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    The time you have devoted to him will set him up for the rest of his life.
    I think it is very mature and responsible of you to realise there may be an issue and prevention is better than cure.
    I am so sorry this is the outcome as I know how they integrate into family and home and everything you do. I feel your pain.
    We always take on rescue dogs and the last one we had was very very close to getting sent back to the SSPCA on more than one occasion due to her erratic behaviour with other dogs. The most sweet adorable loving dog with the grandchildren and people but a devil beyond all recognition when out.

    • March 13, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you for this. He is such a lovely lovely dog and he will make someone the best dog. I’m just devastated it’s not us. We miss him so so so much already. I’m glad you’ve had lots of successful rescues.

  4. Hilary Farrow
    March 13, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    You have done the right thing for him and for your family. I am so sad for you that it didn’t work out. I also rescued a rommie dog, a small one, she too would prefer to be out in all weathers except for snow. She had been found as a tiny puppy abandoned in the snow. Sadly our rommie was killed in a road accident, I have never forgiven myself, but reassure myself (and you and your family) that she and Barney have been shown love, security and a much better life than they would have done had they not come here.

    • March 13, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      Oh Hilary, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so so painful when they die isn’t it. Really losing a member of the family. I’m sure there was nothing you could have done. Barney has a chance at more happiness in his future and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that.

  5. March 13, 2018 / 9:52 pm

    Oh my days, I’m so sorry you had to go through this. It’s a very brave decision to make. x

  6. March 13, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    I was so sorry to read this but it was the only possible decision. If he’d bitten one of the children you would have been faced with having to put him to sleep, so this was kindest for all of you. I know it doesn’t make it any easier though, absolutely heartbreaking decision to have to make. I am sure he will soon find a loving home and I hope you can still keep in touch with him and his new family.

  7. March 19, 2018 / 9:16 am

    I am so sorry Louise, I can only imagine how devastated you are feeling. But I’d like to give you a HUGE thank you for recognizing he needs to be rehomed in order to protect him, as well as others. Lola and Barnaby have a lot in common. She is anxious and scared of noises, we never walk her as she gets scared too easily. She used to love children but slowly has come to view them as aggressors and she won’t tolerate them running near her. And you are totally correct, since we don’t have kids this isn’t a problem for us. I am Lola’s pack leader and she has to be close enough to touch me throughout the day. I even changed my job to stay home with her once it became apparent that I either had to give her up or stop leaving her alone for large chunks of the day. I just wanted to give you hope that an owner like me will want Barnaby and will treat him like a king. #bigpinklink

    • March 19, 2018 / 11:37 am

      Oh Heather, thank you so much, that really does help. He would be so lucky to get someone wonderful like you and it gives me hope to read this. I think his new family will be able to give him the same loving care and the calm home he needs. We’ll never stop thinking of him and missing him but I know that it was the only thing we could have done.xx

  8. March 19, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Oh I’m so sorry to read this, he looks and sounds like such a lovely dog. I’m so glad to read you’ve had happy photos from him and that he is being rehomed. It’s always very sad when we have to say goodbye to a pet but you are putting the children and his interests first which is the right thing to do. xx #BigPinkLink

    • March 19, 2018 / 11:34 am

      Thank you lovely, he’s such a sweetie and he won his new owners to be over so quickly. I’m sad that they get to take him home but happy that he’s got someone new to love him.

  9. March 19, 2018 / 9:37 am

    I am so sorry to read this. I had two beautiful ragdoll cats that we ended up having to give away due to various medical problems with them and the fact that having 3 children I just could not give them the time they deserved. it still makes me sad wven though I know they are in a lovely home. You have to do what is right for your children and your family so I think you have 100% done the right thing. sending hugs. #BigPinkLink

    • March 19, 2018 / 11:33 am

      I’m so glad that your cats got their happy ending but I’m sorry you’ve been through this too, it really really hurts doesn’t it? Thank you for your kind comment.

  10. March 19, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Very sensible and brave putting the needs of the dog above you’re own emotional need, so well done! X

    • March 19, 2018 / 11:32 am

      Thank you, I really appreciate that, it helps so much to hear.

  11. March 19, 2018 / 10:08 am

    This is such a sad read Louise, my heart is breaking for you all. I know how much you all loved him and how much he was already part of your family, so I can imagine how difficult a decision this must have been, but I do think you’ve made the right decision for you all. I’m so glad he’s found another loving home where he’ll hopefully be far more settled #bigpinklink

    • March 19, 2018 / 11:32 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment Katy, we have sobbed and sobbed and sobbed over this but we do feel much better now we have seen him happy and with some people that really want him and can give him the calm and child free home that he so needs. He looked so ‘fine’ and that hurt but really helped too.

  12. March 19, 2018 / 10:12 am

    I grew up with dogs around both from breeders and strays. It is such a tricky decision when there are young children in the home. We have toyed with the idea of a dog for a while but my heart continues to say “not just yet” for all the reasons outlined in your post. You have absolutely made the right decision. Sending lots of love #bigpinklink

    • March 19, 2018 / 11:30 am

      Thank you, I really appreciate you saying that, we have felt terrible about it but it really was the right and only decision he could have made. His new owners have seen him at full size and full boisterous-ness and so know exactly what they are taking on. Our hearts are still hurting but it helped to see him happy. I think we will try again one day, but not for a while. It’s too raw! Thanks for your kind words.xx

  13. March 19, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    So sorry things didn’t work out the way you planned with your dog. You have to put the family first and sadly you can’t rehome the kids!! It sounds like you did what was best for him too as he obviously was very anxious around children. #BigPinkLink

  14. March 19, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. I have a border collie called Joe who no longer lives with us, luckily he’s now with my mum. It break my heart every single day that he’s not under my roof, but he’s so big and bouncy that having him in our smallish house with babies just wasn’t working. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but as you say, the children have to come first. It’ll get easier lovely, chin up xxx #bigpinklink

  15. March 19, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    I read this post on twitter and was so sad for what you’ve all had to go through. I’m sure you’ve made the right call but it’s a tough one xxxx #bigpinklink

  16. March 19, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    Sorry to hear about your current situation, fingers crossed he goes to an another home full of love X #bigpinklink

  17. March 19, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    There is wisdom in knowing when it is too much for a pet. I hope he finds a great home that will give him what he needs. #bigpinklink

  18. March 19, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    This is so sad. I remember how upset you were when you lost Monty and then your wonderful post about finding Barnaby. It is good to know he is getting on well with his new family, I hope that brings you comfort. This is a lovely post. The advert says so much. Thinking of you. #bigpinklink

  19. March 19, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    Oh gosh, what a shame but you know your doing the right thing for him and for your family. I’ve never had a dog, but I can imagine how hard this must be for you all. I hope Barney finds another loving home #Bigpinklink

  20. March 19, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    God I found this hard to read because we are debating whether to get a dog and have been given a lot of mixed advice and conflicting opinions about whether a rescue dog is right for us as we’ve never had a dog before. I can’t believe your awful luck considering your beloved previous dog died and I totally get how torn up you are at giving him away. Sending hugs lovely

  21. March 20, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    I’m so sorry 🙁 It’s so hard to tell with a new pet, rescue or not, how it’s all going to go until you get them home. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but that’s one of those things. When we snuggled with our rescue cat, we were told there’s no such thing as the wrong animal or the wrong owner, just the wrong combination. Hopefully the next home – with no children – will be the right one for Barnaby. And the right dog will find you. Sending hugs to you all.

  22. March 20, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    I’m sorry, this must have been such a hard decision to make. Barnaby looks like a lovely dog and I’m sure he will be really happy in his new home and settle in soon. #bigpinklink

  23. March 21, 2018 / 11:58 pm

    You have taken a brave and heart-breaking decision for the very best of reasons. I am so pleased it looks like he has a new home too and hope you will update us and perhaps you can still visit him? I think your post will also help others really think through whether to have a dog and what dog will suit their circumstances best. I know I have made foolish decisions in the past too ready to be ruled by heart rather than head. It will get easier for you as with any big loss and I totally get the pain of rehoming a pet. #BigPinkLinky

  24. March 22, 2018 / 11:27 am

    Oh Louise, I can really feel your pain when I read this. You have done the right thing for your family and Barney, but I know that doesn’t take away the pain. Sending lots of hugs. xxx #bigpinklink

  25. March 22, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    Aw I’m so sorry you’re having to do this but you’re doing the right thing for everyone. Dogs become such a huge part of the family that it’s so hard to say goodbye to them – for whatever reason. Please give us updates if you find out where he goes! #bigpinklink

  26. March 25, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    May he go to a home that fits his needs. I’m not keen on dogs personally as I fear them but I don’t like to think of him going to a worse place. #bigpinklink

  27. April 3, 2018 / 9:15 am

    I am crying as I read this, and I wish you all the strength and energy to get through this process. Such a hard choice for all. And you have to protect the kinder. The pup will find a good place. Oy! #bigpinklink xo

  28. April 3, 2018 / 9:48 am

    I felt so sorry for you reading this but you made the right decision for your family and Barnaby and I’m so glad that it looks like he’s going to a new home so quickly. #bigpinklink

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