Miss Merci's Guest Book

Friday, November 14, 2008

Merci had a breakthrough this morning!! She has mastered the stairs and is pretty proud of herself. I swear she looks like she is smiling! I was upstairs watering plants and turned around and she was there. So I showed her how to do one step at a time going down. She was very apprehensive and panting quite a bit, but she did it!!

So I grabbed the camera and ran upstairs and look who came up behind me! I told her I'd give her a gold star if I could... but she settled for a training treat. She has come such a long way in such a short time!

On this morning's walk she was a big girl, so Chris and I decided to let her have the run of the down stairs and now the up stairs too I guess. I have all doors closed off except our bedroom where I have a bed set up for her. I guess we'll have to just see how this little experiment works today...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yesterday Chris went on an errand and when he came home, he couldn't find Merci... called for her and went upstairs, and guess who comes out of our bedroom? YEP... she's a bit of a con artist we think. She refuses to go up stairs for us, but obviously doesn't have much of a problem doing it when we're not around!!

Cheryl emailed me today and attached photos of Merci and Nolan when they were at the mill. This is Merci before she was rescued. They called her Queenie. I think Merci suits her perfectly now. Her photo (left) hardly resembles my sweet girl. It shows how much love and care Cheryl and Dr. Frost gave Merci. I'm as thankful as she is.

Merci is really enjoying her walks and is doing incredibly well. Chris and I look forward to it as much as she does. She met a dog on the bridge going over the ponds tonight, and this owner was much more sociable. They both sniffed each other out and she was so excited!! It was fun to see that thrill in her. Chris and I talked again about the possibility of having another dog in our lives. For now, we're just happy with it being just the three of us. It takes a lot of patience and trust building with rescue dogs.
She was pretty wet after our walk this morning and I had to dry her off. I've learned to show her and let her sniff everything before it goes near her. She let me dry her paws off which is so different from Zoey - who would hardly let us touch her feet.
Chris finally went back to work after a few days off and worked a 1/2 day today. He let Merci stay out of her kennel for 4 hours and she was a good girl!! He said she got up and came to the back hall when he walked in and seemed really glad to see him. They were both tired, and were on the couch watching "Cash Cab" when I came home at work!
Merci getting her neck scratched while watching "Cash Cab" with Chris

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last night I came home from work and Meri got up and came over to me with her little stub wagging. Chris and I took her on a walk. She did so well, and had a lively spring in her step! She could hear a dog barking in the distance which really perked her up and she wanted to see where it was coming from. Someone walking three Shelties appeared, and boy is she our "little miss social." Unfortunately, they did not want much to do with her. Their owner needs to work on social skills! Chris and I agreed that she is missing all her companions at rescue. We're really hoping she has fun when Dukie shows up at Christmas. He does very well with wires since he visited both households where resident wires, Mac and Zoey lived. Dukie can be a bit frisky and wants to play, play, play... but we saw Merci hold her own at rescue and he might have a bit of adjusting to do once they meet. Time will tell. I spent the better part of last night on the computer - blogging about her and she was waiting for me at the top of the stairs when I finished.
Chris and I felt bad about leaving her in her kennel all night, so last night we decided to bring up her little bed and put it in the chair in our bedroom to see how she did. I think she was like... "what is going on here?" But soon settled down and slept through the night. It was probably the first night in her life of never sleeping in a crate.
We're slowly working on the stairs. She is fine with one, but that whole flight put her in a bit of a panic and she stalled out on the bottom one. She finally ate some food last night which was a relief! It's really funny watching her drink water. It's like she's a pelican and scoops up the water!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Checking out her new bed

Rescuing an adult dog is like teaching an older dog how to do pretty much everything most dogs learn as young pups. For instance, her name. I talked to a trainer who said teaching her what her name is will probably be one of the harder things to teach. But it can be done. Just teach it to her as you would anything else with praise and treats. So when I call her or say her name, if she turns her head or comes to me (usually with me patting my legs), I praise her and give her a training treat. We've already made some headway in that area as she came out of her kennel this morning, and came up to me with her little stub wagging and kissed my out stretch hand... I need to remember.... baby steps.
Where I really noticed remarkable improvement was her going up the single step we have from our family room into the kitchen area. Yesterday I had to put her front paws up and then give her little rear a boost to give her the idea of how to accomplish the small task of a stair. Today, she must have gone up and down that step a half dozen times by herself!!
She is showing little interest in her food this morning. Maybe because of the Nylabone she demolished yesterday afternoon??? I have her on the same type of food that Cheryl did except it is the "lighter" version, as we girls must watch our figures!! I did coax her by holding out a piece of food to her, and showing her where her dish is. I think she is also a little depressed without all her friends around her from rescue.
Merci isn't too sure about the leash and wants
to play tug-o-war with it!

Chris and Merci out on a walk

The leash... that was rather interesting. It was more of a toy at first! But seeing her get frisky with it made me so happy. She caught on very quickly, hardly pulling as we coaxed her out the front door because the garage door had too many steps. She was very happy on her little shopping excursion to PetsMart to pick out her new pink plaid jacket when she ran into a couple of rather large dogs. Her little stub went crazy and as little as she is, she went right up to them and sniffed them out!

Not too sure about this coat thing, but it keeps me warm!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

From Mill Dog to Merci

If it wasn't for the efforts of Cheryl Collins who started Wire Fox Terrier Rescue Midwest, dogs like Merci would live and die at puppy mills. These sweet dogs have never known the love and companionship of a human family. When we lost our sweet Zoey, I thought my heart was broken. At my daughter's insistence, I visited this rescue website and immediately felt the need to give another wirehair the same love I gave Zoey. When I saw Merci's picture and read her story, there was an instant connection. I e-mailed Cheryl with my story, and within a month I was approved to rescue a dog and was driving to Iowa with my family to meet Cheryl and all of her dogs on November 7, 2008. When we first saw Merci, she tentatively approached us and I held out my hand and she licked it. I pretty much knew it was over at that point, but little Ike jumped all over us and smothered us with kisses so there were decisions to be made. After an hour of playing I asked Laura, Mom, and Chris who will we be taking home? The answer was unanimous- Merci! Although she was quieter than the other dogs, there was something in the way she looked at us that said, "take me and love me". Her new life and our new life with her began at that moment. This blog is Merci's and my journey in helping her become the dog she was always meant to be.

Please visit Cheryl's website: