It was Barney that inspired the forming of the IFRR.
He arrived on my doorstep in March’95. I did find him a new home but unfortunately there was said to be a problem with him and children.
I was looking after my son’s dog when he came back and I had to reluctantly put him in kennels for ten days. During his stay there he had a bad tummy and I thought that when he came home he would be fine. Sadly that did not happen and he continued to go downhill until one morning we realised we had a very sick dog. He was immediately taken to the vet and given some injections but by late afternoon his body had started to shut down as he was so dehydrated. He was rushed back to the vet and put on a drip in intensive care. For those first few hours it was touch and go but as time went on he slowly improved and after three days he was well enough to come home. During the next few weeks Barney had many tests but all came back negative. The only conclusion after much discussion with the vet was that Barney had suffered severe kennel stress.
Overall it took eighteen months for his complete recovery. We had seven wonderful years with Barney. He was a very special boy.
We were notified of two Flatcoated Retrievers in a rescue in Yorkshire. We made contact and learnt that it was two entire Flatcoat males - 11 & 10 years old. Arrangements were immediately made to collect them and take them to a foster home. These two boys had lived together with a lady who sadly was taken ill and had to go into hospital and it was felt that she would not be able to look after these dogs so they were handed in to a rescue. From the information that we have been able to gain these lads had been left on their own for six weeks in the house and someone was supposed to be going in to feed and exercise but it appears this was very hit and miss. So as you can imagine these dogs were quite stressed. The rescue tried their hardest but as they said they just could not devote the time to these dogs that they needed. Evelyn and Jim collected Guiness and Murphy and kindly offered to look after and assess them. Evelyn said that they drooled all the way home and were very stressed. They obviously did not like travelling. Perhaps they had never done it before. We laugh about it now but Evelyn thought two oldies would be quiet and easy going! She had quite a shock, as they were quite delinquent. In hindsight this was obviously due to what they had been through and they soon settled down. They are still naughty boys and get up to mischief but they have found their way into Evelyn and Jim’s hearts and I know they are really loved. Guiness is the older boy at 11 and Murphy is 10. They both appear to be in good health, apart from the usual lumps and bumps and a bit of stiffness that comes with old age. We were fully aware that these boys would have special requirements and the fact that we would not separate them it would have been far too upsetting for them, we realised that it would be extremely difficult to rehome them. We had to make a decision because it would have been difficult to uproot them again - after Jim and Evelyn discussed fully all the implications of having two oldies in their care they have kindly offered to look after them for the rest of their days. Realistically one will probably be left on its own and with Evelyn’s other flatcoats about it will not be so traumatic for the one left. Guiness and Murphy are very happy now and Murphy is a real water baby. They have a brook running through their play area and Rosie the Pot Bellied Pig to play with! What more could a flatcoat want?
We have sadly had to say goodbye to Logan who was the ‘founder’ of Black Retriever Rescue.
He was the first Black Retriever to come over from Ireland in 2002 and arrived on an antiques lorry. He had had several homes and quite a tarnished reputation! He was collected from the Severn Bridge on a wet April morning and arrived somewhat dirty and dishevelled. The thing I will always remember when he emerged from the back of the car were his big eyes. He had been advertised as a Flatcoated Retriever but he was more like a great big black bear. He became a wonderful ambassador for the Black Retrievers and thanks to him more dogs found homes. All who met him fell in love with him and wanted to take him home. He was a very special boy and we were very privileged to have had him in our lives. He will be greatly missed.