Archive for Happy Endings

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.


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!  

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