Surgery won’t stop Kirk Yetholm’s Barney from going the distance

Barney with vet Robert Young, owner SimonNeil  and physio Heather Halton.
Barney with vet Robert Young, owner SimonNeil and physio Heather Halton.
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Cocker spaniel Barney is preparing for the final leg of a Scottish coast-to-coast trek – despite undergoing major surgery after snapping the cruciate ligament in his stifle joint.

At the age of 13, Barney has a spring back in his step, thanks to the skill of Kelso vets.

Along with owner Simon Neal, the dog had been walking, in stages, the 212-mile Southern Upland Way, from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath. But after just 50 miles, injury struck in November 2015 and Simon feared their chance of ever finishing the route was over.

But following the the success of the operation, performed by Robert Young, along with colleague Ann Anderson, plus regular sessions with canine physiotherapist Heather Halton, Barney was once again raring to go and he has completed a further 130 miles of his epic dog walk.

Simon, who lives in Kirk Yetholm, is optimistic human and canine will complete the final 40 miles by the summer.

He said: “We always intended undertaking the walk in bite-size stages. A couple of months after completing the first stage from Portpatrick, Barney was playing on open fields in Kirk Yetholm when he suddenly yelped and came limping over.

“I took him to the vet and there was a choice of an operation, or allowing it to repair by itself and him being left with a limp.”

Simon added: “We are keen walkers and the Southern Upland Way is probably going to be the last big walk Barney and I will ever be able to do together, but we have created some lovely memories together.”

z In the photograph are Barney, Robert, Simon and Heather.