The thought of not having our dogs around is utterly heartbreaking – something we couldn’t even bear to imagine.
But with their lifespan much shorter than ours, at some point it’s a reality we’ll have to face.
And although this is devastating, some owners decide to use this painful time for the good of other animals by donating their dog’s body for research.
This is exactly what Barnaby owner Sharon Rose did when she sadly lost her beloved Great Dane.
Sharon and her husband have been giving a house to Danes since 1972, Barnaby being their eighth. He was the largest of their dogs, weighing 87 kg.
Sadly, Barnaby had lost his fight against GDV – aka bloat – earlier last month. He was almost four years old.
Sharon said: “To say I’m devastated is an understatement.
“My heart was broken. I know it sounds dramatic, no matter how many dogs you’ve had, it’s always hard and it’s getting harder and harder.”
Although only there for a few years, Barnaby has had a huge impact on Sharon. She described him as loud, friendly and in love with people.
Describing their connection, Sharon said, “He idolized me. He loved my husband but he was mine, all of our dogs are mine.
“He was amazing, his memory was amazing. He would come back from anywhere if I called him… he couldn’t do enough for me.
“He loved people, like all Great Danes. He was a clown and he looked big and maybe scary, but all he wanted was hugs and stories and playing with. “
Barnaby lived a busy life, he was a regular at the small screen and also placed third in his class at Crufts.
In fact, throughout her time owning the giant breed, Sharon’s dogs have taken her to fantastic places and meant hanging out with a few celebrities.
She said, “Do you know someone’s dog that goes to the Savoy hotel?
“These are the kinds of places our dogs take us to. I mean, obviously we went to parks and everything, but they had an amazing social life.”
Sharon and her dogs also participated in various charity events, doing their part to give back. And wanting to do her part for the other animals, Sharon decided to donate Barnaby’s body to the Royal Veterinary College.
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This is not the first time that the animal lover has donated the bodies of his dogs, she has already done so with two of her dogs, although Barnaby is the first to attend the Royal Veterinary College.
She said, “Everyone cries for their animals in different ways. Some people may find comfort in having the dog buried in a garden, where they have the ashes, and they keep them.”
“It’s not us. For me a dog’s body when he dies, his mind like ours hopefully goes to a better place and it’s just the shell that’s left. So I don’t never had any ashes after any of our animals died. “
Explaining why Barnaby’s donation was important to her, Sharon said, “Because in their life they give people so much.
“If I say I don’t want the ashes to come back, they kind of get thrown in the trash, their bodies are useless.
“That way they could find something, if it was bloat for example and they found something they didn’t know, it could save hundreds of dogs, if not thousands.”
She added: “I think if instead of being thrown in the trash it helps what could be my next dog. And even if it’s not to find a cure, it could be training others. veterinarians. “
Barnaby was also a blood donor for the Royal Veterinary College.
While Sharon is clearly a huge fan of the Great Danes, this is not a breed she would have imagined she possessed.
“We never expected to own the Great Dane,” said Sharon.
“But I am so happy that they are a part of my life.”
Barnaby leaves Great Dane Brooke behind, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be her only dog for too long.
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