My Dog Barney | Sortin’ My Life Out

In case you didn’t know, my dog Barney is a big part of my life.

And, since welcoming him to the family in 2016, he’s been a big part of a lot of changes in my life. Both good and bad.

Barney, while one of the biggest positive things in my life right now, wasn’t always that. He was the opposite. Back in 2016, I was struggling with work. My only shed of light was that I got to go home after my shift. But then, my parents had an idea. They wanted a dog.

Of course, I wanted a dog too. But at the same time, I didn’t think my family realised what having a dog meant.

For starters, no one was home during the day, and it upset me to think that this hypothetical dog would be home alone and passed onto some daycare place where he wouldn’t even bond with us. It got worse when we looked after my grandmother’s dog; I would get stressed because I thought they weren’t looking after her properly.

To me, you can’t wing looking after a pet. You have to be prepared, just like you would be a baby.

Because I was not in a good place, the thought of bringing in another responsibility into my life felt terrifying.

my dog barney

My family weren’t ready. I wasn’t ready. Nobody was ready.

So, I was now in a job I hated, and coming home to an environment I hated. Barney barked, a lot. He peed in the house, he jumped at us, tore up the furniture. He was basically a full sized puppy that was too quick for us. After a pretty traumatic attack which involved us both being home alone (and us both being afraid of each other), I left home for a while, hoping by the time I got back, Barney would be gone.

He wasn’t.

But honestly? I am so grateful to the world that that didn’t happen.

After a couple of months, Barney settled down. He became more loving, more respectful and more chill. And now? He is the sweetest doggo you will ever meet. He smiles, wags his tail at everything, and loves to just be near you and know you’re there.

For the most part of this year, he has been my only line of interaction during the day.

I’d wake up, and he would be there to greet me. We’d go on long walks, eat lunch together, he’d sleep while I read, and of course, sit still while I took many a photo of him. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen the Barney photo spams!

It’s only been the last few months that I’ve started saying ‘my dog Barney’. For a long time, he was my dad’s dog, or the family dog, but never mine too.

I guess Barney became my unofficial therapy dog, without any training and without doing any ‘techniques’ that therapy dogs get taught. He was just there when I felt completely alone, and a lot of the time, was physically alone too.

My relationship with my dog Barney has been a complicated one, but one I wouldn’t change for the world. This is my little tribute to a good boy (who turns 4 this month!).



  1. tasya @ the literary huntress

    November 13, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    This is a lovely post Hollie! I totally understand what you mean. I got a dog this year and I think my family didn’t realize what does it mean too. Yes, my mom had her own dogs when she was a teenager, so she’s more chill with leaving him alone and stuff. My dad and my sister didn’t really love him though, so it’s down to me. The first few weeks were so rough as he barked every night and I couldn’t sleep, it feels like your baby crying?? But eventually he settles down. Now my dad is more tolerant and I think he secretly enjoyed my dog’s company, so it was better than before 🙂

    1. Hollie

      November 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Oh wow! I relate to that so much! Except it was me not loving him and everyone else being obsessed (but not looking after him properly). But I’m glad we’re all in a place where we can all ourselves a family with Barney included 🙂 I’m glad things are working out with you too!

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