Archive for Author merlinshope

Jack & Jill

Jack and Jill came back to us when their family had an unexpected life change. Fortunately there was a fantastic foster home available with a large welcoming family. All the extra attention, walks, and healthy treats helped them settle in quickly and comfortably. Soon they were playing and “talking” like they’d lived there forever. The foster family’s grandson was thrilled to have TWO REAL LIVE teddy bears! The rest of the family felt an instant connection with Jack and Jill, like they had always lived there. No one could imagine the home without the sound of their paws scampering around the house. Jill’s pure joy for endless strokes and Jack’s adorable chatter have definitely found a place in everyone’s hearts….and made it their home. Congratulations Jack and Jill and to your new family for a future full of love.


An adoption waiting to happen….and it did!

Poor old Ethel was in rough shape when she was picked up and brought to the shelter in Sarnia. For the next 2.5 months they nurtured her back to health, dealing with typical shar pei medical issues. When she was finally healthy enough to list for adoption, we were notified and immediately reached out to help. We assured the shelter staff our rescues go to the very best homes a dog could ask for.
On the morning of her scheduled transport, the shelter contacted us because Ethel woke up very ill. She could not be released and the vet was on the way. Later that day, our suspicions were confirmed, she suffered from Shar Pei Fever. Being at least 6.5 years old, and having ongoing medical issues including skin, allergies, ear infections and the inability to produce tears, she required a special home who could afford, cope, and care for her ongoing medical needs…and be willing to give an old girl a chance. We knew exactly who fit that bill! One of our biggest supporters has fostered countless dogs and adopted a total of 10 (ten)..YES..10 Shar peis from us. She readily helps the dogs often overlooked because of age, disabilities or exuberant medical needs. We made her aware Ethel was coming into rescue and she immediately stepped up to foster. Since provincial boarders were closed, Ethel had to go straight there. A baby gate was ordered and sent to help separate the resident male, Homer and the new girl if there was trouble.
Once our girl was well enough to travel, transport arrangements were made. She finally arrived and met her new foster mom who already loved her from afar. A safe introduction was made during a walk with the two peis and it was pleasant and politely smooth. That changed once they got home….it was party time! The rest of the evening was spent flirting or showing off for each other! Over the next couple days, they shared dog beds, toys and space. Always laying close to each other. It was an instant connection that nobody would have the heart to break apart! Ethel, you are one lucky Shar pei! You landed in an amazing shelter, found a great rescue, moved into a fantastic home and found love from your new mom and the handsome irresistible Homer! Well done Ethel!
Congratulations to Homer & Ethel and of course, our one and only Inez

Harry & Sally

Harry and Sally were found in Quebec on the side of a rural road looking lost and confused. Nobody claimed or inquired about them during their stay at the shelter… which was a good thing considering the pitiful shape they both were in. We were alerted about them and committed knowing the challenge we would face trying to home two dogs together. Fortunately we had an experienced foster home ready and eager to help. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for the distressing shape they were in. A trip to the vet revealed they both had ear infections, they both needed entropion surgery, full blood work, and heartworm tests. Harry had an ulcer in his eye and major skin issues. His uncomfortable looking patchy itchy coat might account for his grumpy, snarly attitude. He was also a bit protective of his girlfriend Sally whenever we approached. Sally on the other hand was shy and cautious. She definitely wanted to trust you as long as you had patience and move slow. It was clear the pair relied on each other for comfort and security. Their foster family was super supportive and took their time especially with Sally. Mr. Grumpy Pants started getting regular spa treatments otherwise known as medicated baths. He began to feel better and honed in on some of the attention Sally was enjoying. Both dogs transitioned from skinny, scared and skittish to happy, healthy and playful. One might believe they intentionally played tug of war with their foster parent’s heart strings…and guess what?! They won! Foster parents couldn’t imagine them leaving and made it clear they were part of their family now. Well done Harry and Sally! Congratulations, another foster success!


When living arrangements changed for Gucci’s owner, she entrusted Merlin’s Hope to rehome her young female Chow Chow. As soon as she was surrendered, the tiny-but-feisty Gucci made it clear she was unhappy with this new arrangement. Her insecurity was expressed through growling and fear-snapping at her first foster home. To keep everyone safe and transform Gucci into an adoptable dog, it was decided that she needed to return to our most experienced foster family and spend some time in “Chow Chow boot camp”. In this home Gucci lived with several other Chows and was carefully managed with a daily routine of long walks, plus new rules and boundaries that helped build her trust.
Gucci is a smart girl and responded very well, quickly bonding with her second foster mom – however it was too much of an attachment – she became very anxious if foster mom was not always in sight. Even though Gucci had made great strides, we were fearful that she was developing separation anxiety. The thought of transitioning her to a new home seemed risky; we didn’t want her to revert to old ways and forget her new manners.
We were looking for someone who had experience working with an insecure, strong-willed Chow. One applicant met the criteria and stood out with all the right answers and persistence. Growing up, her family rescued a chow from a bad situation, then had to manage unfavourable and intimidating behaviour. Because of our applicant’s patience and tenacity, this dog has become a great family member who will even perform a portfolio of tricks – something that most Chows are not known for!
From the start, this applicant was confident that Gucci was to be her dog. She believed that she could address the situation if Gucci became overly attached or reverted to any past bad behaviors. She convinced us that she would not be deterred by anything that might occur.
This home sounded very promising for our sweet, but tough little Gucci. We prepared her new family for the absolute worst… and so far, they have only gotten the absolute best! Gucci instantly felt comfortable in their presence. She’s enjoying the spoils of undivided love and attention, long walks ending in big naps, and is even relaxed enough for puppy snores! Gucci, now renamed Mochi, will thrive being challenged by new tasks and tricks (as will her new mom when Mochi displays her stubbornness)! It’s a fun, stimulating, adorable and an absolutely perfect match! We’ll look forward to updates on Mochi’s progress and seeing some of those tricks!
Congratulations Mochi & your new family!


“Foster Fail” is NEVER a label we want to hear. It puts a negative spin on something positive. It’s even more offending when volunteers work so hard to rescue dogs only to be called a failure. So….that brings us to Diesel. This boy has been with us for three months and is still throwing us curve balls. We’ve worked one on one with trainers to help with some of his issues which include, separation anxiety, assertiveness, leash manners, dog reactivity, dog selective, and occasionally challenging authority. The tough part is…he’s really trying to be a good boy. Unfortunately he screws up once in awhile and by the time he realizes it, it’s too late. No matter how much we prepare someone, adopting out a dog like Diesel would be a risk we’re not willing to take. There’s too great a chance for him to fail and be returned either with a bite against him, or set back farther than when he first arrive. We are doing our best to help and support this strong minded boy and keep him out of trouble. We both agree, Diesel’s in the best possible home for Diesel. Admittedly Dawn loves him and doing a fantastic job, but it is exhausting and at times frustrating. However, we are confident that keeping Diesel in Dawn’s care, ensures he has a chance and stays safe… because no matter that he throws at her, she can handle it! So before I congratulate Dawn on her new family member, I’ll share Diesel’s real happy ending….. This rough and tough bull headed power house of a dog, melts for Raisin. The two are literally inseparable. They play hard and constant, and when they do shut down, they remain connected. Either their paws are touching or their bodies are leaning against each other. Never have we known for two dogs so engrossed in each other day and night. Separating these two BEST friends would be crushing. Diesel has play bowed on one knee, and Raisin has taken his paw in hers…It is with pleasure we announce, our congratulations to Diesel and Raisin on your forever life together so long as Dawn can stand it!


This is 100% a foster success story!
Homer had a rough start to life bouncing in and out of two different homes, both did not have the means or ability to properly care for him. He was surrendered to Northern Reach Rescue, an organization that helps dogs in northern communities. The rescue knew this short haired breed didn’t belong in the frigid cold area, and connected us.
Unfortunately there wasn’t an open spot for a Shar pei, but the commitment was made since there was room with the chows! A huge stroke of luck for a non-chow Homer!
Homer came in growling and looking boney thin. He had trust issues but decided foster mom might not be so bad. He quickly grew attached to her and struggled when she wasn’t around showing signs of separation anxiety. He was a bit destructive, anxious and super needy. We feared his insecurity was going to make a future transition super difficult. Homer definitely needed some help. It was decided he would be better understood in a Shar pei savvy home where he could get the support he needed.
It was unlikely he would stay there permanently as this foster reserved openings for all the special need cases. Homer was young and healthy, just a little messed up behavior-wise so likely would move on.
However, Homer was home the moment he arrived. He respectfully met his new sister who eventually warmed up to her new companion and even seems perkier and playful again. Mom felt an instant connection and was able to manage him without hesitation. He quickly learned the rules and routine and did whatever it took to impress her and secure his spot. Already He was blossoming into a stable, relaxed boy. It was unthinkable to move him out for his sake and Nena’s the older Shar pei. When we heard the words, “yes he’s going to stay here forever, I love him” it was a relief combined with excitement and pure joy! A foster SUCCESS! It was by fate he ended up in our rescue under the circumstance, and fate helped him find his way home.

2020 Year End Round Up

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first…. 2020 has been a trying year for many.
It will be remembered for the pandemic and how it’s impacted our lives and the rolling effects of our future. 2020 made helping dogs across the US boarder impossible. It was also the year we had two owner surrenders we could not accept into rescue. In both cases the dogs were beyond what we are qualified or comfortable to handle. Finally and heartbreakingly, Lucy, a young chow was lost in a tragic dog attack.
So here’s the GOOD stuff we NEED to remember in 2020….
*Chow Chows & Shar Peis found their forever homes!
*Sweet Holly didn’t have to go to a shelter when her parents relocated and breed restrictions forced them to give her up.
*Rosie got relief from her eye lashes painfully scraping against her corneas!
*A lovely family and previous adopter welcomed two new additions into their lives this year…. puppy Odessa, and their new baby girl!
**Jet scored the attention and lifestyle she’s always dreamed of and Diva’s feeling and looking better with her loving family who keep her safe and well.
*That brings us to Marley who’s free from living in a garage and now enjoys the premium life-style of comfy couches, off leash parks and spa days.
*And Abby! Free from the pinch collar! Free from painful entropion and now she can even breathe easier!
*Diesel was saved from being euthanized!
*Homer found his way home despite the odds against him!
*A rescue in Kuwait saved Pilot from the streets, a very dangerous place for animals! He is here and blissfully enjoying good care and cooler temperatures.
*Best of all… Lucy’s broken-hearted Mom is definitely healing with gentle Pilot’s loving help.
To You, our Followers, we thank you for all your kind words and support. A big thank you to the volunteers who help fundraise, a crucial part rescue. Thank you adopters for giving a dog in need an amazing home!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year!


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Over the past few years Merlin’s hope has been fortunate enough to have many wonderful people,organizations, and businesses support us by donating proceeds from their sales….please take a few minutes to view some of their work:

ThinkArtisan            website:
Denim and Rags      website:
Scented Sundries    website:
Pawsitively Nutritious & Delicious Dog Treats           website:

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