Friday, 6 June 2014


Merlin is originally from Romania, where he had the hardest of lives living as a street dog. Street dogs are at risk from starvation and dehydration as they have to scavenge for every morsel of food and drop of water they can find. Shelter is also hard to find, from the cold of the winter of the heat of the summer sun. And, with so many street dogs, if one is lucky enough to find those things that are so rare they are often attacked, sometimes fatally by other dogs. Merlin would have lived amongst this, probably suffering attacks himself and definitely hearing the terrifying sounds of others being attacked and killed.

As if this doesn't make life on the streets horrific enough he would also have had to deal with the local people, many of home will beat the street dogs, kick them and use them as target practise for all sorts of missiles and even guns. Many street dogs are murdered in this way, often lying terrified for days praying for help that all too often they won't get.

Merlin was one of the lucky ones, for whom help did come. People from a local rescue found him starving, weak and with no hope in his eyes, and yet in his eyes they did see love for human beings despite all he had seen and been through. He was taken to their shelter where he had wounds treated and for the first time was shown love and affection. At first he was nervous about his new friends and still today it takes him a while to trust a new companion. But with time and patience and gentle handling he will come around to new people just as he did at the shelter. As well as they could, with their resources the volunteers fed him to build his physical strength and worked with him to help heal the mental scars of what he had been through.

Life in the shelter, although safer than the streets was still very hard though and came with it's own risks. The volunteers try to help so many dogs but space and food is at a premium and often fights break out in the kennels. So Merlin was still not totally safe or happy.

Merlin at the kennels in Staffordshire
His luck changed one day when someone from the UK paid to bring him over to foster him. Sadly they had a child and Merlin seemed particularly unsettled by this making us think that in his area of Romania, as with so many, children form gangs to attack the dogs and he had suffered in the main at the hands of young people. Therefore it goes without saying that Merlin will only be suitable for a home with no one under the age of 16.

Merlin was in kennels in Staffordshire but is now in a foster home in Colchester, Essex.  He is very loving and playful .. and is also full of mischief. This comes with time though. Initially on meeting someone he is nervous and backs off. However, once he is in the paddock with them he starts to interact and show his character and from that point on his trust in that person grows. And once you have his trust he adores being shown affection and indeed returning it ten fold.

He is a young man who needs lots of exercise and mental and physical stimulation. But he also needs a warm, safe forever home where he can relax and feel at ease. So a quieter household would be most suitable. Merlin is fantastic with other dogs. At the kennels he has been used to put out with newer dogs to help bring them out of their shells and to assess how they get on with other dogs. Of course Merlin has loved this as it has given him a lot of opportunity for play and also brought him a lot of new friends. However, one by one those new friends found their forever homes and Merlin was finding it hard to keep being the one left behind.

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