Tina was searching for a suitable companion for her rescue dog, Barney
Poor Barney was found on the streets of Port Augusta on a pile of rubble (hence his name, Barney from the Flintstones) before he found his forever home with Tina and her husband, Al.
After a couple of years living as a solo dog, he was showing signs of separation anxiety when left alone.
It was recommended by RSPCA staff that Barney (an alpha male) live with a smaller, younger female.
“I have always believed in rescuing dogs instead of paying several thousand dollars to buy a purebred dog,” says Tina.
Barney meets Bella in a make or break moment
Bella came into RSPCA’s care as a stray animal, and staff immediately thought she might be the perfect companion for Barney. Their instincts were right!
Tina’s first encounter with Bella couldn’t have been more perfect, with her recalling, “It was the real deal.”
The next (and more nerve-wracking!) step was to see if Bella and Barney would get along.
Luckily, they spent most of their meeting time at the RSPCA Lonsdale shelter playing and chasing each other. “The staff said ‘we think they will be fine’ and then we took them home,” says Tina.
Bella and Barney now live with Tina and Al in their West Lakes home, with a beautiful view of the water!
Bella settled in quickly, with Barney showing her the ropes
“She was very open to sitting on laps and being picked up compared to Barney, who can appear a bit standoffish – even after seven years with us,” says Tina.
The two dogs have been inseparable since.
Every morning, Barney will “nibble” and “wash” Bella’s face and she loves this attention!
Tina likens them to “Lady and the tramp”
“Barney is older, he is street-wise, and the barker/protector in their relationship. He struts around sometimes as if to say – ‘This is my domain and I will protect you’. Bella is younger, quieter, and sometimes when she looks at him it is like, ‘Oh Barney, you are so handsome and wise,” says Tina.
Bella and Barney spend their days lounging in Tina’s office, going for walks and running around the local sports oval – what a life!
Rescue dogs deserve a fairytale ending
“No matter where a dog comes from, they will always give you unconditional love — so why spend thousands when you can spend hundreds or less, to get love?,” says Tina.
You might even find that a rescue dog at the RSPCA SA is a perfect companion for your current dog, like Bella is to Barney!