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Our Romanian rescue, 7 months on.

Our Romanian rescue dog Barnaby has been with us now for 7 months and what an impact he has made on our lives so far!!!! It’s quite a long one, I’ll start with the negatives and end with the positives so keep reading as it’s not all bad!!!

A very tired puppy lying stretched out and wearing a rather fine superhero collar!

Barney’s fabulous collar is by local business Merry Tails. Click the pic to see more.

The first thing I’m going to say is that is hasn’t been easy. Not by a long shot! It has been very hard at times and more then once we have questioned whether we can do this. It might help you to first read how we ended up with a Romanian rescue in the first place.

Now that’s covered, let me get you up to speed on life with Barney. For a start, he’s not quite the medium sized dog he was predicted to be. Found by the roadside with his sister and brother, there was no parent to go on, just some scary sized paws!

We are fairly sure that he has large doses of German Shepherd (Alsatian), Alatonian Shepherd and possibly slovakian pointer, husky or even wolf hound! Eek, that should give you some idea of the size of him, the fact that he is 10 months old and level with our dining room table and cruising counter tops with ease should tell you something else!!! He’s BIG.

Initially there were major issues with him and the children, he was never that cute, picture perfect puppy that they were hoping for, he arrived large and just kept growing. He also looks a little wolfy and I think they were frightened of him. He was also unpredictable. Go to stroke him and he would swing round to see, and also maybe snap. Only in play but due to his size it scared the children and they became wary of him. I wrote a post about how puppies and toddlers are not dissimilar, see it here.

He also chewed up a fair amount of their things. Pencils, pens, plastic toys and any paper would be destroyed in minutes.

His other flaws then, while we’re at it, initially he came to us with stomach issues and to this day can’t digest any wheat or grain. Until we sorted that out, he had the most chronic, room clearing wind. He also pooed everywhere outside as he had an upset stomach constantly, making the garden a no go area until it had been checked thoroughly and hosed down. Nice!

He also had some extreme fears, mostly people related, glasses, hats, gloves, fluorescent jackets, you name it, he’s bark at it! Making walks with him fairly stressful and not fun affairs, especially when he started barking aggressively at other dogs and certain people when on the lead. This isn’t uncommon for Romanian rescues though, they can be treated so badly by people.

The main issue was that they were used to our beloved lab Monty and not over his death. Barney was the polar opposite to a 12 year old calm, slow moving, loving, loyal labrador.

Onto some positives! Because trust me, there are a million reasons I would recommend a street dog despite the above!

We found him the perfect food, he no longer smells so bad when he farts, (unless he steals an entire loaf of bread from the counter as he did over Christmas!!!) and the kids find his loud wind hilarious. He’s also much much easier to clear up after! (The company we get it from is called Harrys and they give a bag of dog food to the shelter for every bag you buy.)

He’s funny, really really comical. I got the idea to write this post after my friend and I watched him climb up onto the back of the sofa and carefully nibble a piece of bluetack off the window pane. Which he then choked on and coughed out with great gusto. He is always tripping over his long legs and really does make us laugh with his antics every day!

He’s calmed down an awful lot now. When you tell him ‘no’ he actually stops when he is doing something naughty and will drop the toy etc that he has in his mouth. The other thing which is an enormous bonus is that he will settle down now, he used to roam around the house constantly looking for things to chew and we had to shut him in the utility any time we left the room. Now he will come in the lounge and just lie down and go to sleep. Like a normal dog!

We’ve done loads and loads of work with Vinny at Cotswold Dog Training and he took him out on a socialisation day around town, since then, he has been so much better with people. The addition of a halti head collar has meant that I feel so much calmer and relaxed on walks and the children can also walk him now because if he does give the odd grumble or bark at another dog, you an move him smartly on with a few gentle tugs. It’s happening less and less which is brilliant.

He plays with the children. Just before Christmas we went on a little holiday to Wales, (he was even scared of the waves at the beach would you believe!!) and something changed in the children. They discovered their confidence with him and started playing with him with toys. He is so much more gentle when playing tug of war with them and lets them hug and stroke him. It’s lovely watching them all run off together as a little gang!

So there you have it, a brief, ‘in a nutshell’, rundown of our time with our Romanian rescue Barney so far. We have finally all grown to love him fully, and he us, and the vibe in our house is a happy one. It hasn’t been easy by a long shot but we wouldn’t change him for the world.



  1. January 10, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    Oh this was lovely to read. It is tough having a ‘teenager’ move in isn’t it? Bubbles was 18 weeks when we got her and although we missed the house training stage due to her age, she was also just moving into the chewing phase and it was tough for us all. Totally worth all the hassle though because I think rescues know that you’ve done something amazing for them, they become such loving members of the family. I’m so glad Barney is finally setting down, he is the most beautiful looking dog and it sounds like he’s fitting right in now.

  2. Vicky Robinson
    January 14, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    I love reading 🙂
    Lovely dog! Rescue animals are so rewarding. We rescued our cat from being a freezing cold starving stray in our local area. We’ve had him since 2012 and he’s amazing! A really precious member of the family 🙂

  3. Georgie Wright
    January 14, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    Rescues can be hard work to begin with but are worth the effort as you know! I love reading & my rescue dog!

  4. Natalie Crossan
    January 14, 2018 / 11:39 pm

    I love reading poats about dogs. I have a rescue dog myself, her name is Lily – she is thriving in her forever home x

  5. January 15, 2018 / 9:15 am

    Barney is so adorable! We had a labrador rescue when I was a child and he was so badly abused that for the 14 years he lived with us, no one outside of our immediate family was ever able to touch him. He never tried to bite, but he would shrink into the corner in sheer terror and soil himself if someone approached.

    We would love to have Barney join us on our new Instagram community, Lola just started it. #ShankYouPets for all your non-human babies!

  6. January 15, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    super adorable glad he has adjusted and warmed up to your family#bigpinklink

  7. January 15, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    Barney sounds like the most lovely dog. I think it’s amazing to have adopted a street dog and given him such a wonderful life. Glad the dodgy tummy has been sorted now! He’s so cute as well x #bigpinklink

  8. January 15, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Oh Barney!!
    Well done for all the hard work you’ve put in, pleased to hear it’s paid off and the family are happier now and enjoying having him around. My friend adopted a Romanian rescue last year after her dog had to be put down but unfortunately after trying everything including trainers they just couldn’t get to the point where he was safe to be around children or off the lead and they had to get rid of him 🙁 They felt terrible but it was having a big effect on the whole family and they decided it was for the best. Really nice to hear a happy ending to your experience, he is a lovable scamp with those big fluffy paws isn’t he?! #bigpinklink

  9. January 15, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    Hi, I just lloook at the eyes and go gooey and as for those big paws no doubt the highs far outweigh the lows especially having to keep on hosing down the garden #BighPinkLink

  10. January 15, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    Aww Barnaby! He is adorable Lou! I know exactly what you mean about that horrible “have we done the right thing?” feeling. Rescue dogs sometimes come with their own luggage don’t they and I don’t think we can begin to imagine what they might have been through. You have one very lucky pup there to have found such a lovely forever home. So pleased he’s starting to settle in. Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink xx

  11. January 15, 2018 / 8:47 pm

    We love rescue dogs and their little quirks – glad to see that with a lot of love and training he’s settling in nicely! He looks gorgeous! #bigpinklink

  12. January 15, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    Ahhh!!! I’m so glad to hear about the positives and pleased to hear that he’s doing so well with the family now. You did make me chuckle with his room-clearing farts!! #BigPinkLink xx

  13. January 15, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Wow! Can’t believe how big he is. Such a risk getting a young mongrel and not knowing what size they will grow to. But he does look quite handsome. So glad it is working out for you though. I know how much Monty meant to you. Just wondering how he will fit it in Wilma though…! #bigpinklink

    • January 16, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      That’s what we are worried about too!!!!! He is almost the full width of it already!

  14. January 15, 2018 / 11:22 pm

    Aw, he looks like a lovely dog. Glad it’s all working out well now.

  15. January 16, 2018 / 6:41 am

    awww just look at him, so cute with his big eyes, I bet he is loved a lot X #bigpinklink

  16. January 16, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    He is so gorgeous! And what an amazing thing to do, rescuing him! It’s lovely the kids are getting more familiar with him now too. Lovely post chick and can’t wait to hear more about him! xx #bigpinklink

  17. January 16, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    This is amazing, you’re amazing and Barney… well, he’s just adorable! I’m so glad that everyone has now settled and it’s all working out well. #bigpinklink

  18. January 19, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    It’s great that you were able to rescue a dog. May you all have a fantastic time together. #bigpinklink

  19. January 21, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    Oh Louise this made me quite emotional, I am so so happy you have this crazy little pup to help heal your hearts. He sounds like such a character and is just adorable!! I’m glad he doesnt smell as bad these days! #bigpinklink

  20. January 21, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    Oh this sounds really tough to begin with and I would have been worried about the bonding at first with the children. But I’m really glad it’s working out so much better for you now. Claire x #BigPinkLink

  21. January 30, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    how lovely that you persevered and he is turning into a great family pet.
    Yes the do get badly abused and this takes time for them to get over so well done on all the training.
    Our last dog was known all over the village for people crossing the street to avoid her going loopy at other dogs, and she was a Jack Russel weighing 7kg so looked cute but went loopy at the sight smell or noise of another dog.

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