BARNEY (was Buster)

Very Sad News – 24th February 2016

Caroline tells us:

"I wanted to let you know my dear Barney was put to sleep this morning.  His poor old
legs finally gave way and there was no other choice, the vet came to my house so he
wasn't stressed at all and he was very peaceful.

With time and lots of love, his true personality really shone out, he was the dog I had
always dreamed of.  He almost never left my side and he's the only dog I have ever
seen who smiled, he used to sort of curl his mouth up and it really was as if he was
smiling at me!  He was a really special boy, and I only wish we'd had more
than 5 1/2 years together, I miss him terribly.  I'm attaching a few pictures of him,
just so you can see how he was."


The gorgeous Buster is like a smaller sized version of a Golden Retriever although he is obviously some sort of cross. Because of his original poor state, everyone thought he was about 12yrs but now we realise he is probably no more than 9yrs old as he is extremely active.

Terry & Belinda had hoped to adopt him but, since he has been there, he has got more and more self confident and has shown a less than friendly interest in the resident cat. Therefore the difficult decision has had to be made to try to find another permanent, CAT FREE home for him.  

It is a very sad Terry and Belinda who are having to part with him but they want him to find his perfect forever home.  He is returning to his original cat free IRR fosterers (Val & Andy in the West Midlands) who are more than happy to have him back as is his friend Smudge.

Terry says “Buster is a real charmer who will do anything to please. He has a lovely way of putting his head on one side as though he understands every word you say to him. 

As soon as he came to us he attached himself to Belinda and absolutely loves to be the centre of attention, so maybe he would benefit from being an only dog?    He behaves well, if a little boisterously with the grandchildren, and has settled beautifully with our four female Goldies. Happily, there has been no problem with the chickens – but sadly– he does not love Purdy the cat who was last seen at the top of the Pear tree!  Therefore, very reluctantly, a home without cats is a MUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Buster, who has recently been neutered, was reported as being around twelve, but he is very lively and our vet thinks he cannot be older than nine or ten. He jumps happily into the back of the car and is very keen to go on a walk. He is not yet totally comfortable on a lead although he is beginning not to pull quite so much. The excitement of walking with all his ladies won't be helping. He barks when he sees other dogs, but wags his tail the whole time. Unfortunately, he does occasionally seem to feel the need to protect his "harem". He was supposed to be an old quiet friend for our elderly Stella but is actually the partner in crime of our 7yr old Millie :)

He has had a difficult life so far, but now he has been given a taste of freedom, happiness and understanding, we believe he would flourish in an adult home where he can give his undivided love and loyalty to his owner.”


Buster has been renamed Barney and now lives with Caroline who said. "We had an uneventful journey home yesterday, it took 2 hrs 45 mins and Barney & Buddy were both as good as gold in the boot of the car together.

When we got back Barney checked out every room in the house and had a good sniff all round the garden…He ate all his dinner and by 8.15pm was comfortably settled in…

By the time we all went to bed, he was permanently by my side (and has been ever since!) He slept in his new upstairs bed… (there are several others dotted around the house in strategic places). And Buddy just had to check it out too…

Barney slept all night without a sound – I think he was exhausted. This morning started with breakfast in the garden room… followed by a quick snooze… Then we had a walk on the downs, where we met some walkers & a couple of cyclists but no dogs.

He’s had great fun checking out the garden….. And had a good roll around plus shake… I think he’s settled in fine and looks pretty happy – I hope you agree!!

After 24 hours, it was like Barney had been here forever…. … 2 dogs on the settee and poor Mum sitting on the floor!! During the rain this morning he had a sleep in one of the “downstairs beds” – a bit “compact and bijou” but pretty comfortable!!

Once the sun came out, we went on the South Downs for a walkie… He may be on the lead for safety, but that doesn’t stop Barney enjoying the smells…




Buster was thought to be an approximately 12 year old Golden Retriever Cross. He was rescued by Ruffluck Rescue http://www.ruffluckrescue.org.uk from his less than perfect existence…… poor Buster had been locked in a house with many other dogs for most of his life, never even being taken out for a walk.

Buster was very nervous and terrified of the collar and lead, probably having never seen one before! The lovely ladies at Ruffluck worked very hard with Buster to improve his confidence and show him what love should be like. But they felt that kennels was no place for this gent, and so IRR offered to continue rebuild Buster’s faith and confidence in foster under the TLC of Val and Andy. Whilst Buster can still be a little nervous, Lisa and her helpers have worked wonders with him and he now wags his tail at the sight of his lead rather than wetting himself.

He is now safely settled in the lap of luxury at Val and Andy’s and his confidence is growing again, here’s a couple of words from them:

As you'll see from the pics he isn't a Goldie, but looks remarkably like a smaller version of one.

He was nervous at first, but soons realises you're his friend, and then he's your constant companion. He's an affectionate little fellow, and loves to cuddle up close.

He's house trained, good with other dogs, but apparently is scared of cats, although I can't confirm this. His walking on a lead is progressing nicely, especially as he'd never been on one until rescued.

For an old boy, he's very sprightly, and puts our younger Smudge to shame, he has so much energy. His teeth aren't great, and we've been feeding him on moist food, which he seems to like.

In short, Buster is a lively, affectionate old charmer, with lots of life left him in yet. For a little love he'll be your friend for life, and I suspect will be quite a character once he gets his confidence.

Buster is looking for a home where somebody is home most of the day, whilst he is fine being left alone and not destructive, he has many years of lack of affection to make up for! He is also looking for a home where he will have full access to the entire the house, as he is still gaining in confidence and likes to be very near to his people. Buster is great with children but would probably be best suited to a quiet older home but visiting children and grandchildren would be very welcomed by him.

Anyone opening their home and heart to Buster will be repaid tenfold, he is a cracking old fellow just looking for love.


Belinda says "We arrived home safely. Buster is a terrific traveller. We were delighted that he jumped with ease and no hesitation into the back of the car.  He met the girls with no problems, watered several plant pots on the way into the garden and then did a huge pooh right in the middle of the lawn. He has been for a walk around the garden and did lots of sniffing at bushes etc (there are probably still smells of Toto!). He looked very wary of the chickens although Andy says he chases pigeons!  

Buster is getting less and less nervous. We have had some tail wags and he follows the others around. He cocks his head on one side when he is listening to you! His face looks very battered and grey and lots of his teeth are missing, poor old chap but his coat is in beautiful condition.

We have all been sitting down quietly with him to let him settle into just being here."


 Belinda says " He slept with us and the others up in our room last night and he was as good as gold.

 We have just taken the dogs for a walk and I was concentrating so hard on keeping hold of our "really old" new dog that I couldn't manage to get any pics!  Buster just wanted to take off with the others. He is full of energy so either he is incredible for his age or Stella is about 16!!!:)))))

 I think it was so exciting at the reservoir today that he could hardly contain himself! There is no problem getting him in and out of the car and he has been excellent with all the other dogs we met. He comes well when called and has very quickly picked up the routines - ie when Terry calls them in they get a treat!  He is becoming quite a little shadow and is settling in really well with the others."



Caroline says Barney has done brilliantly well in the last year - he is the sweetest dog anybody could possibly wish for and has come on in leaps and bounds. Health-wise he's been fine, and his teeth are much better now - I no longer soak his food so he's eating it dry, he has chunks of carrot with his meals to help his teeth, and also chews his way though a dentastix every day.

He is still very slightly wary of people when he first meets them, but once he knows them he's great, and I have a couple of friends who he knows very well & he keeps trying to climb on their laps - which can be highly entertaining! The only issue with him has been his lack of socialisation with some other dogs - he jumps on them and holds down by the neck. I spent a lot of time with a local dog behaviourist but it didn't really help much so I've been getting as many friends' dogs round as I can, muzzling him when they first arrive, and once he's got used to them (only a few minutes later), taken the muzzle off and he's been absolutely fine. I'm really hopeful that eventually he'll learn he doesn't have to defend himself and this will cease to be an issue.

Having said all that - to me he's just perfect and I wouldn't change him for the world. In fact, I think I should have called him"Shadow" as he's always at my side, and I just love him to bits.

I'm sorry the pictures aren't great - one shows him being climbed all over by my friend's puppy a few months ago and another is him being very shy in front of the camera & hiding under the table (which is one of his favourite places!!). I hope you can see enough of him to see how well he looks.



2016 Irish Retriever Rescue