Archive for Author merlinshope

Surrendering A Dog

image004 May_9_2012_Beatrix 011 Yumiko_rescued


Our prime focus here is on dogs who are seized from puppy mills, abusive situations, abandonment, neglect  or death of family, incarceration, etc.

If you are trying to surrender a dog because you’re having a baby, or fear for your toddler’s life, or won a trip to Bora Bora, please don’t expect us to offer you assistance, other than to remind you of your role in this decision.

Please take responsible measures to kennel your dog if you are going away, or to re-home your dog in the event you can no longer keep it. You should also contact the breeder who sold you the dog and let them know you can no longer keep it.  Breeders of merit will take back their dogs.

If we do accept your dog into our re-homing program, you will have to prove ownership of the dog and you will have to surrender all medical files and paperwork including registration paperwork if they exist.

It will be up to you to get the dog to us at one of our holding facilities, and you will have to sign a legal document assigning away all and any future rights to this dog.
©Merlinshope 2016

Surrendering An Aggressive Dog

1940805406_n IMG_9602_2 IMG_9789


To the best of our knowledge, there is no such thing as a sanctuary for aggressive dogs, and Rescue is not a dumping ground for dogs with behavioural issues.

We wish we could say that we don’t get contacted by many people with behavioural issues with their dogs.  Unfortunately we do.  Even more unfortunate,  is that had the owner spent some time educating the dog when it was young, chances are very good that you wouldn’t be reading this page today.
Dogs with aggressive tendencies or aggressive behavioural issues cannot be realistically re-homed into another home unless those issues are addressed, which is your responsibility – and essentially have no place in the Rescue system.
Also, it is important for you to know that dogs who demonstrate aggression have no possible chance of adoption from a shelter, and most likely they will be euthanized.
Rescue is for homeless dogs, and dogs that really require assistance.  Rescue is not a dumping ground for dogs with temperament issues. If it was your expectation that a Rescue can train this dog, then frankly, so can you. Rescues are operated by volunteers who have jobs and families and little time on their hands, so if a rescue can find the time and the finances to correct temperament issues, so can you.
You only have 3 choices.
– you can live with the problem
– you can be responsible and work with someone to solve the problem
– you can have the dog destroyed.
We are urging you to do right by this dog and find the time and the means to work out his issues.  Often it only takes a few minutes daily to effect a change.
The more educated your dog is, the more sound the character and the freedom both of you can enjoy together.

Why Adopt From Us?

1asmallIMG_0764_1 20110402_0741 672040781209_5_BG

We don’t, “broker” dogs.   Given the nature of the two breeds we work with, all of our candidates are actually in our physical possession by virtue,  and  legally surrendered by the owner/ or attending shelter. Rescue is much more than just making a pile of phone calls for a finder’s free and placing a dog from one home, directly into another, without taking the time to discover, know and understand the attributes and characteristics about the dog. We take the time to get to know our dogs, and obtain a professional, concise character and ability assessment, so that we know what our dogs are like as much as possible. Experience has also taught us that when a rescue doesn’t have physical possession of the dog looking for a home, all kinds of things can go dreadfully wrong and potential adopters often become frustrated because they’ve spun their wheels for nothing. It has been our experience also, that many owners are sometimes so desperate to rid themselves of their dog, they often bend and sugar coat the truth about their dogs, and/or with hold important information from the prospective adopter.

smallIMG_1101 workingdogs_IMG_7647 workingdogs_IMG_7649

When you adopt a dog from us,  you know what you are getting and we know what we are giving to you to the greatest extent possible. Always make sure you insist on asking any rescue how long – or  “if”,  they have had the dog in their physical possession and if the dog has been temperament tested by a qualified individual. You can even ask to see a copy of the temperament test. It should be part of the dog’s dossier.

Temperament Tested – by professional and experienced handlers. Every chow or shar-pei is temperament tested over a minimum period of two weeks before it is released for adoption. This is a very important aspect of adoption for these two breeds because both breeds have histories of possible aggression and often end up in rescue due to the results of non-socialization.  During this time we evaluate aspects of the dog’s personality such as friendliness, stability, aggression, and shyness. This ensures that we know all about our animals and can tell you exactly what they are like. You will know right away how your dog interacts with the world around him. It gets even better; When you come to retrieve your new family member we work together with you to make sure you can carry on with the same cues and techniques we use here. In front of you, we demonstrate the dog’s abilities, we disclose any issues we are aware of, and we make sure you are comfortable with your newly chosen family member.

Highly Socialized. During their stay with us, all of our dogs receive lots of one-on-one time with people and other dogs. They are offered obedience training, walked, petted, and played with several times a day just as they would be in any home environment. They learn to live and function within  multi-dog environments. We try to instil a perfect sense of balance within our candidates, so that they can go on to new lives with confidence and skill.  They become part of our family until they become part of yours.

Fully Vetted. Upon admission to Merlin’s Hope, every dog is spayed or neutered, entropian issues are repaired, elongated pallets, stenoic nasal canals, cruicates, and any other apparent illness/injury that we are aware of.  Our dogs brought up to date on vaccinations,  tested for heartworms. Each dog receives any needed medical treatment and is completely healthy before being made available for adoption. In fact, with particular emphasis put upon the Shar-Pei, both breeds are more than often dumped off at shelters because of breed specific medical problems, such as entropian,  elongated palates, or tight lip syndrome. People purchase these puppies from questionable breeders, sometimes at very high prices, only to find out within a few months, that they need to spend hundreds, or thousands more to deal with serious hereditary breed issues. A great reason to adopt, is that our rescues have all  these health  issues corrected.   All you have to do is love your new family member!!

Our Dogs Are Matched to Your Home Environment. This is our MOST important area that help guarantee a successful placement. We take the time to get to know each dog that comes through our doors, so naturally, we think it’s important to know a little bit about you, too. We ask loads of questions and get a feel for the personalities of the people who will be living in the home, what their lifestyle is like, and what they hope to find in a canine companion. We need to know how much dog ownership experience you have and if you are able to handle the dog you want to adopt.  It’s a little like a matchmaking service, but it really works. We have brought hundreds of dogs into happy homes all over Canada and the USA.

Obedience Training: An untrained dog, no matter what breed, size, or age,  is a liability in today’s society. For their own safety, all dogs require some form of obedience training, and chows are shar-pei are not the most readily trained. In fact, many of them end up in shelters on Death Row,  because their previous owners failed to address their need for obedience training or socialization. Any medium to large sized dog  has the potential, not matter what the breed or the breeding, to become a formidable weapon.  YOU need to acquire appropriate dog training skills to live in harmoney with your new family member, and to always be in a position to take charge of their behaviour at all times.

All of the dogs who come to Merlin’s Hope go through basic obedience training from the moment they arrive. They are taught basic manners,  how to walk properly on a lead how to behave in homes, and how to effectively respond to basic commands. Our dogs are toilet trained, and any vices ( if any), are corrected or modified, and any serious quirks, ( if any),  are always disclosed to the adopter.   This training not only helps us better evaluate the dog’s temperament in great detail but of course, helps us better analyse their future potential.  Also, it  helps guarantee placement into the appropriate new home.

The rest is up to you to keep that training in place.  We are always upfront about all of our character assessments, because it does not serve us any good purpose to place any dog in the wrong environment. We encourage our adopters to seek out a continuing education with their new family members. The more educated your dog becomes, the more pleasure and freedom you both enjoy together.

©MerlinsHope Rescue 2016

Our References


Over the many years we have fostered fabulous relationships with SPCA’S, Animal Control, and Shelters across Canada and the USA.  Our references are available upon request.

Member of Responsible Dog Owners of Canada

We are certified Red Rover Responders



Let us know if you would like to receive a list of our references.

Sponsoring a dog


We are always is need of help. Please consider becoming part of the Merlin’s Hope team of caregivers, make a one-time donation to help sponsor Chows and shar-pei in need of our help. Please click on the sponsorship button above to help us continue our mission.

new mouse


The BEST news!
KARE Q-8, a trusted rescue we have previously worked with, picked Pilot up when they spotted him living on the streets of Kuwait. They immediately took him to a groomer who had no choice but to shave off his filthy, badly-matted coat. Pilot was in rough shape and was next taken for some much-needed vetting and to be neutered.

Arranging the flight to Canada was a daunting task because flights were halted both because of COVID-19 and the death of the Kuwaiti Prince. We’re grateful to KARE Q-8 for their diligence with all the arrangements and the good loving care they provided in the meantime.

When Pilot finally arrived in Toronto, he was the epitome of aloof – a very typical Chow Chow. However it didn’t take him very long to settle in and show his true, happy go-lucky colours. Pilot is a sweet, sucky boy, and loves attention. He happily meets people and pups alike and soon adjusted to the routines in his foster home.

Applications poured in, but when one special adopter reached out, we knew it was the right fit for Pilot and for her. Earlier this year, Lucy one of our rescue chows had saved her owner’s life during a dog attack, but in doing so, sadly lost her own. The incident was grossly tragic and had long-lasting effects. Our previous adopter has done everything in her power to recover from this nightmare… but it has been an uphill battle.

Now that this brave lady is ready to welcome another chow into her heart and home. We feel certain that Pilot’s gentle nature, relaxed personality, and willingness to love will help fill the void and bring much happiness into her life. It will be a new beginning for both of these sweet souls and we know they will help each other heal from their past difficulties. We’re super happy about this special adoption because dogs do make as much a difference in our lives as we make in theirs! Congratulations Pilot, you have no idea what a fantastic life you’re in for! Congratulations Lyra, his delightful nature and unconditional love will guide you to much happiness… he is your Pilot now. 


We were contacted for help by Abby’s owners who were moving and had to give up their dogs. It was the best thing that happened to this little girl and here’s why: During her initial assessment, we saw her bottom lids completely curled inward, which is a painful condition that can cause ulcers, and lead to blindness (called entropien) Also, they walked her on a pinch collar to control her reactivity when meeting another dogs. It was clear her owners didn’t need our help as much as Abby did, so we committed to take her. She came into rescue and immediately the pinch collar was removed and a vet appointment was made. Not only did she have entropion surgery for her weepy soar eyes, but her nares(nostrils) were enlarged up to help her breath easier.

Abby still gave dogs big attitude but at least she felt better doing it. Her foster mom was determined to teach this 5.5 year old girl, the coping skills she needed to be around other dogs. Abby tolerated all the changes including the new rules and eventually, with lots of coaching, her temporary doggy siblings became “friends”

Meanwhile, past and pre-approved applicants were rapidly sending in inquiries. One couple visit with her and we got to see a whole other side of Abby. To our surprise, she showed off how smart, cute and loveable she can be. They left, and so did the dancing dog…Abby was back to her stoic self. On their next visit, Abby poured it on even thicker! With love in her eyes, she constantly stayed close to them, and made sure they knew how amazing she can be. Little did she know, they already knew, and felt the same way.

We’re not sure who chose who first, but we’re positive it’s a perfect fit! Abby will have it all…a loving forever home, continued training, all the attention she deserves and best of all, not one, but two cool moms!
Congratulations to these 3 lovely ladies
Happy Adoption Day


HAPPY CANADA DAY! It is most definitely a day to celebrate! Marley’s profile… Marley’s story -10. When Marley was surrendered to Merlin’s Hope, I wrote an accurate profile for her based on the information received. Normally I share it here to all our supportive followers, then post it on our website for the world (because the whole world is interested in us – LOL). Currently, we have a few very good applications on file from wonderful people waiting for that special dog to welcome into their family. Whenever accepting a dog, planning for that chow, and fostering in rescue, these are the people I think of first. In Marley’s case, I can honestly say, I had not thought that far ahead because I was that worried about her surviving anesthesia for her needed dental work. My heart would have been broken had she not made it and I certainly didn’t want anyone else to feel the same loss. I posted a plea for help with transport for her dental surgery and thankfully many people stepped up. (I know many more would have if they could!). A lovely couple offered to pick her up from Montreal and drive her back to Mississauga. For them, this meant taking a day off work, driving from Toronto for 5.5 hours there and at least 6 hours back. This generous offer was indeed from one of those fabulous applicants waiting for the right dog. The intention was to help… however, after several photo updates of their journey, I received a text message that read, “10 minutes meeting her at Dawn’s was enough time to know” … they wanted to be seriously considered for Marley’s forever family. Their vet had provided an exceptionally good reference based on the care of their previous chows. This means Marley would not lack for any of her future medical needs. She also would be only 20 minutes away, so we would definitely keep in contact. I cannot think of a better home for this special little girl, other than with the two people who offered to help her prior to meeting her. Of course she melted their hearts right away… that’s what she does! Indeed it took less than 10 minutes for confirmation, and in that long six hour drive, they established a blissful connection. Without further adieu, congratulations to Marley’s new parents, and to Marley who moved out of a dark lonely garage to a bright beautiful home where she will definitely be spoiled with love and attention!P.S. I’ll miss you little girl. You touched so many hearts with your round, soulful eyes. I’m thrilled that your new parents are equally as sweet as you! I won’t worry because I know you’ll get the best care possible and you shouldn’t worry because you will get all the treats, water, toys, and your very own bed! Your story here may be coming to an end, but your future is just beginning! I’m so happy for you, knowing you’re going to be very well taken care of and fussed over as you so enjoy.


Diva didn’t deserve to be dumped at the shelter, nor did she deserve to be abandoned in an empty apartment. She arrived with 15 pages of medical history, undoubtedly very costly.  At least her last rescuers tried their best before giving her up.  We committed to her knowing she may have severe allergies and gut issues. Immediately we put her on a controlled diet and gave her supplements. Her tummy was fine and her coat appeared healthy. only a year and a half, Diva proved to be a smart little girl.  She learned commands relatively quickly and with strict supervision, managed to have fun with her temporary rescue family’s other shar pei.  Every day was an improvement in both spirit and health. Stability was going to be a key factor in her future well being.  We knew just the family who would devote time, patience, love and a wonderful home.  A few months earlier, their beautiful boy Oliver crossed the rainbow bridge.  We had no idea that they were ready to open up their heart and home to another dog in need. Unknowingly, we listed Diva the same day they began their search. The next day, we were thrilled to receive their application. Amazingly, everything was falling into place…she was destined to be theirs!  We were very excited and they were absolutely “all in”……LOVE!  From now on, Diva will bounce around with joy, but never again from place to place.  Congratulations Diva, you have a forever home, and forever parents who will treat you like the beautiful diva you are!  

« Older Entries Recent Entries »