August 26th is World Dog Day – celebrating man’s best friend and remembering how many dogs are currently waiting to find forever homes. Barnaby was one such pup – but is now living his best life. This is his story.
13-year-old Shih Tzu Barnaby came into Together for Animals member Mayhew’s care last November, when serious illness sadly meant Barnaby’s owner could no longer care for his beloved dog.
Barnaby was blind from birth and had both eyes removed, but he had a secure and happy life with his owner, and they were inseparable. When his owner had to give him up, Mayhew stepped in to help. Barnaby was understandably disorientated, confused and sad when he arrived, but the experienced Kennels team did their utmost to help him feel comfortable and quickly set about making his kennel feel a safe space where he could relax and rest.
The Kennels team regularly use scented plug ins to help animals settle in the shelter environment, and being blind, scent is especially important to Barnaby. They used an anti-stress spray on his blankets and cushions and added a specially scented calming plug-in. Barnaby was provided with dog chews for him to chomp on, and reggae music was playing in the kennel block as it’s known for calming dogs.
Dogs that are blind mentally map their environment and memorise the layout. So it’s important not to move things around. To make it easier for Barnaby to climb onto his bed, his blankets were soft and flat, and his food and water bowls were in the same place throughout his stay, so he always knew where to find them.
Mayhew have an onsite veterinary clinic, and on Barnaby’s first examination, their vets spotted signs of early Cushing’s Disease, which was then confirmed by blood and urine tests. It felt like another blow for Barnaby as it means he’ll likely be vulnerable to skin and urinary tract infections and may need medication if his condition worsens.
However, with lots of hands-on care, Barnaby began to relax – and blossom. Everyone was careful not to startle him and would always speak to him before touching him. His walks needed careful planning to build his confidence, and as he became familiar with the route, he relaxed more. He had lots of company and would often spend time with the team in their offices. He also really enjoyed playing games in the garden, and he loved his squeaky ball!
As Barnaby grew in confidence and was ready to find his forever home, we were so thrilled when ex-Mayhew dog Tess’s owners applied to adopt him. The two have become an inseparable pair and are best of friends!
Our members go above and beyond for the animals they care for – just like Barnaby, who was given a second chance to find happiness and a loving new home. Could you help our member’s care for animals like Barnaby? Please donate to help us.