Barley belonged to a young girl who was killed in a tragic accident.  We don’t know what Barley was like before, but after his girl died, Barley was a terror.  He was impossible to handle and erratically aggressive.  His grieving family did not know what to do.  They contacted our friends at Home For Life® Animal Sanctuary, who contacted us at Mutt Mutt Engine.  

Mutt Mutt Engine and Home for Life were aligned that this devastated family should not be further traumatized by what to do about their deceased teenaged daughter's now very aggressive dog.  Together, we agreed to take Barley in.  Mutt Mutt Engine and Home for
Life both believed Barley could be rehabilitated.  And if Barley could not be turned around, at least we’d spare his poor family the burden of an impossible decision about what to do with a highly reactive dog their beloved daughter had so dearly loved.  

We’ll be honest, we came very close to that impossible decision ourselves a few times over this year-long journey.  The first trainer we engaged felt she didn’t have the necessary tools to handle Barley.  During an extended board-and-train, the second behaviorist
deemed Barley incorrigible, and recommended euthanasia.  Next Barley went to a healer, a special foster used to working with very difficult dogs.  But love and patience could not keep Barley from physically expressing his terrible anger.  

At this juncture we said to ourselves, “If we can’t help Barley, at least it will be us having to euthanize him and not a mother or father already grieving the loss of their child. They’d been through enough.  At least it will be us to bear this pain, not them.”  

But we’re not ones to quit … not Mutt Mutt Engine, and not Home for Life.  

Home for Life had an idea … a different sort of trainer, an exceptionally compassionate and determined one. Home for Life pulled some strings and made some calls.  Your Dog's Best Friend of Minneapolis, Minnesota was our Hail Mary.  

When our relationship with Barley began, we knew he’d have a home at Home For Life – an incredible sanctuary specializing in the long term care and support of dogs and cats that other rescues can’t or won’t help - if we at Mutt Mutt Engine couldn't place him.

We can’t begin to tell you how many dogs Home for Life takes in from other rescue organizations, especially in cases where a given rescue has told their own adopter to euthanize a dog adopted from them.  You’d be shocked how many rescues won’t welcome a dog
back, or won’t offer support in difficult times or situations, even in cases of an adopter’s death.  That’s a whole other tragic story.  Today we’ll stick to Barley’s.  

So … we knew Barley would have a home for life at Home for Life, if only we could get him to the point of being safely handled.  Sounds simple enough.  It wasn’t.  

Not simple, not easy … but achievable.  And now, achieved!  Home for Life welcomed Barley last week!  

So our year ended with a tragedy built of tragedy squarely avoided, and a broken little dog being able to live on, and live well.  We worked so hard to save him, and we did ... for his family, and for his girl, now an angel.  

Mutt Mutt Engine is graced with a litany of breathtakingly kind partners.  You are one of them.  Thank you.  

To Barley, to life, and with special thanks to Home  For Life Animal Sanctuary for their unique and soul-saving dedication to so many otherwise unmoored dogs and cats.


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