Thankfulness Challenge: November 5, 2013

I’m thankful for…

…our dogs, and the daily joy and laughter they bring to us.

Merlin, our Plotthound Mix came from a barn in South Carolina.  A rescue worker was going through the barn with a list of dogs she had planned on pulling out and sending to rescue organizations.  Our Merlin was on a list, but not on her’s.  He was on a list to be put to sleep the next day.  He wasn’t even a year old, and there was nothing medically wrong with him.  The reason:  We think because he was completely unruly and likely put there by someone who couldn’t deal with him.  It wasn’t his fault…he had no training.

The rescue worker said that every time she walked past his cage, his tail wagged really hard.  She decided she couldn’t leave without him.  He made it to the “SAVED” list.   The powerful tail-wag saved him.

He came to us through Peppertree Rescue.  I won’t lie…he was more than a handful.  My friend Jill dubbed  him “The Devil’s Spawn”, and it clearly described him.  The name stuck for quite a while. Thankfully, for Merlin’s sake, my husband, Brian, and I are not people who give up easily, especially when an animal is involved.   We hired a drill sergeant and took him to boot camp.  (We really brought him to a dog trainer who we knew and trusted)  Within an hour at our first and only session, she had him respecting the leash and heeling.  He even walked nicely in a barn past a massive horse.  He was smart.  We just had to identify and harness his intelligence, and figure out what made him tick.

As time went on, he figured out that the battle of the wits was going to be won by me.  He became a great dog.  He aims to please, and loves to cuddle.  He still has his primitive moments.  I’m not sure he can completely escape that, nor would we want him to.  He’s a hunting breed and was bred for hunting bear, wild boar and lynx in the Carolina’s.  That instinct comes out when he sees squirrels, woodchucks, and my mother’s cat Dreifus.   But he knows his place in our lives, and turned out to be quite an angel.


His “sister” Averill also came from Peppertree Rescue four years later.  She’s a Whippet-Beagle mix and the cutest dog I’ve ever had.  Her tongue never stops, and she just loves life.  She was found as a stray in Georgia.  In her case, I assume it was her tongue that saved her, but she could have also been saved just by her natural friendliness and wholesome goodness.


Our first two dogs were our beautiful German Shepard, Michaela, and Tahoe, our Black Lab.  They taught us well how to be loving and responsible dog owners.  We miss them greatly, but they remain in the top-dog positions to us.


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3 Responses to Thankfulness Challenge: November 5, 2013

  1. Ann says:

    Diane,you KNEW I would love this one,didn’t you? Bless you and Brian for sharing your hearts and home with these two lovable pups! It’s a huge challenge taking on a dog who’s background is unknown. The understanding and dedication you have given to these two lucky dogs is an act of true compassion. Bless you,friend!

    • Diane Fiore says:

      Awww…thanks Ann. I can’t imagine life without them, and I’m sure you can relate. Your commitment to the kitties is above, beyond, and such an act of dedication and will. Blessing onto you too, my west coast sister.

  2. Jill says:

    He definitely started out as the Devil’s spawn, but has become a wonderful angel.

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