Anyone that knows Peter Calarco knows his love of dogs, and all animals for that matter. And anyone that knows him, knows his rescued Golden Retrievers, Barney, Rhett and Roxy.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Peter is a long time resident of Las Vegas Nevada, and a Hertz Rent A Car employee for over 30 years. He has rescued many dogs over the years, three of which are currently his family, with Barney being the center of attention. Peter changed their original names from Bailey to Barney, Red to Rhett (Red would bolt out the door when he first brought him home, like Rhett from Gone With The Wind) and Roxy, being the oldest (8 yrs.)
Roxy was rescued from Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas, www.animalfoundation.com / Barney and Rhett were rescued from The Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Nevada / www.grrsn.org
It was through Peter’s Facebook page I learned about Barney being a ham – clowning around for pictures anytime Peter told him to sit for the camera. A hat on his head, stuffed animals, bows, whatever Peter could find at any given moment, Barney is ready to strike a pose. Holding flags in his mouth, or a sign that reads ‘happy birthday’ or ‘get well,’ Barney talks to many of his Facebook friends through his pictures. I had to see this dog in action, so when I arrived at Peter’s home to take pictures, there was Barney, ready to take center stage. Peter still had Christmas decorations up, so Barney posed with some ornaments on his head, and I swear he was smiling the whole time. Rhett and Roxy didn’t seem fazed by their brother’s zealous acts of selfies, they just watched him, yawned and waited for some treats.
Perhaps Barney is grateful he was rescued, for someone caring enough to give them all a home of luxury, doggy doors, a warm bed and good food. Maybe this is his way of telling Peter thank you, by making Peter and others around him laugh. Gone are the days of a sad shelter life, where Barney, Rhett and Roxy might have been another euthanasia statistic. One rescue saves a life. Changes their life. Changes our life. For the good. Remember that.
After I take pictures, Peter tells me it’s safe to say ‘walk’ now. When I first arrived, he spelled it out to me – “don’t say w.a.l.k. or they won’t settle down.” Now, it’s safe to ask. “Ready for a walk?” They go nuts. Peter grabs the leash, and as I watch them take off, I see the dogs are actually walking Peter! He looks back and waves, saying, “my day is not complete unless I walk my dogs, they love it and that makes me happy.”
Barney is now on Instagram. Follow his adventures at MrBarneyRescueDog. You can also find a video clip on YouTube, search ‘my dog loves to take pictures.’