Merle spent the first 12 months of her life in poor conditions, caged by a breeder in Queensland. When the owners suddenly noticed Merle was deaf, she was dumped at the local pound.
Timid, scared, and with little experience of human contact, Merle was trucked from pound to pound in the hope of finding her a forever home, and was spotted by a rescue group five months later who found her a loving foster home.
Then finally, after six months of rehabilitation, Merle was ready to be listed on the PetRescue website for adoption, where her photo and description ‘a one one-in-a-million dog’ captured the hearts of Dawn and Wayne.
“I had only been looking at the pets listed in our home state in Victoria,” says Dawn. “But after a long day at work, I accidentally clicked the Queensland button and up popped a picture of the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. Merle!
“As I read the description and discovered she was deaf, something just resonated. Who would want a deaf dog? She will have less chance of finding a home!
“My fiancée is deaf, so we both fully understand the need for visual direction and felt that adopting a deaf dog like Merle would be a most rewarding journey.
Dawn applied to adopt, her application was successful and Merle was flown from Townsville to Tullamarine airport to start a new life.
“Merle’s foster mum had put a towel in the crate with her scent on it, so the dog had something familiar to keep her calm on the journey. When we collected her from the Jetpets transport hanger, she was shaking with fright. But we finally coaxed her out of the cage by removing the towel - she didn’t want to be parted from it.
“On the short walk to the car, and all the way home, she kept her nose buried in that towel. She was scared to let us touch her. It was such a pity she couldn’t hear us talking reassuringly to her.
“Things had very much improved by the second day at home. She had started to follow us everywhere. She didn’t let us out of her sight. And by day three, it was clear we had become her new safety blanket, and she constantly touched us with her nose or paw - just wanting to be patted.
“It occurred to us that maybe a deaf dog requires more physical contact than a hearing dog. Or perhaps we had just scored the most loving dog around. Lucky us!
“In the first few weeks, Merle would cower in the company of anyone who visited the house. But three months later, it’s a very different story. Now, she’s happy to rest her chin on anyone’s knee for a scratch on the head.
“We could not have found a more loving, gentle-natured dog. Thank you for bringing us together.”
There are plenty more homeless pets with special needs looking for a forever home on the PetRescue website today. If you have the time and love to give them the care they deserve, the rewards for your kindness can be extraordinary.