Friday, January 15, 2016

Her 'merri' way...

We call our back deck 'Merriworld' because it's where she loves to sleep, play, eat, destroy and disobey.

If she's down playing in the back yard and hears one of us open the back door she leaps up the stairs two by two to be sure we're not visiting Merriworld without her...

...but as many of our herbs and all of Mr E's bonsai also share lodging on the back deck, we visit it often.

Merri's part Labrador, part Staffy and part Kelpie (we just discovered the Kelpie thing) which makes her very loyal, very muscly, very strong, extremely stubborn, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (true!).
High energy doesn't really describe her nature accurately. 
In fact, I have begun working out with hand weights each morning to strengthen my upper body because she requires super human effort to keep her under control if she sees another animal or human, and also to help me hold my balance when she barrels me at the top of the front and back stairs.

For example, we arrived at the Vet's to have stitches removed from her ear after surgery to remove a cyst.  Our wonderful veterinarian opened the door to her office and looked down on Merri being restrained with the greatest effort on my part and said, "Oh Merri, how many helpers am I going to need with you today?" 
Many helpers and a half-bucket of doggies treats later the three stitches were removed and all of us declared we needed a three day cruise doing absolutely nothing to recuperate. 
I asked the Vet "is this normal for a 6 month old pup?"
"No", says she. "Merri's special, way beyond the average puppy enthusiasm and energy. You might want to work on building your own muscles." (hence the hand weights each day)

She also rates high on the licking-scale.
Her nickname is Icy-pole. 
One climb up the stairs from the laundry to the back door in shorts and I am covered from thigh to toe with slobber. You cannot pat her without being washed with that long pink tongue over every inch of your hand and lower arm.
This Merri-girl drinks all day long, probably to refill her licky slobber tank.

She's removed about twelve palm trees from the yard at last count; can jump five feet off the ground and at the same time stretch herself over Mr E's workbench to snatch his garden shoes; found a way to open the laundry door after deciding the back yard looks great covered in a rainbow of underwear, socks and towels - nothing else, just underwear, socks and towels; and can jump so high on all four paws that Mr E's carefully tended bonsai growing on the deck table now live in danger of extinction. 

Merri set her sights on his beautiful fig tree two weeks ago and snapped it in half. I felt so bad that I've propped it up with a can of Aeroguard because the slim trunk was not completely severed. There was a tiny string of green trunk still holding both halves of the tree together so I'm tending it in hope it will knit and heal. Many of the leaves have since dropped off or shriveled, but a few new leaf buds have also begun to form.

Mr E's other bonsai (the ones he propagated last year) are now set to the rear of the deck table, which sits against the deck rails, and so far they remain safe...

All the fruit from the mango tree is gone and lamenting the depletion of her favourite snack (the ground was covered in fallen mangoes each morning which she quickly devoured)  Merri decided pulling up my pineapple plants was fair diversion therapy.

Three pineapple plant destruction missions later and a fresh approach was needed, so we potted a new one on the back deck table beside the bonsai and the aloe vera (also in residence there to avoid desctruction)...

I sit back in my chair most mornings and thank God the garlic chives remain free from her hit-list...

...before heading back inside to bake.

Baking seems to make everything okay, even the certain clean-up of Merriworld and a search and rescue mission for shoes, socks, undies and towels within the hour.
 Can't wait till she's a teenager.

But there's this other side of Merri, too. 
Put her in Mr E's Jeep for an evening drive by the beach and you'd swear this was a different dog. She's calm, quiet, and all grown up. We can interact with her without being pelted and pushed with her muscly body and licked insanely.
Those evenings are when we all relax and simply enjoy what may be a foretaste of the future.
I live in hope.



  1. You are certainly being entertained by Merri in Merriworld. My last fur-child Kitty was quite the jumper and I remember her vet telling me to keep her from jumping while she had a cast on her leg. I looked at him wth despair and asked how am I to do that? His reply with a smile, "Tie an anvil around her neck!" We learned to merely enjoy her wonderful antics while they lasted. She was with us 18 years and I can honestly say I was vey sad when she was no longer able to jump up on things. Enjoy Merri and all of her quirks!

  2. I had a labrador kelpie cross...Toby...for many years. He was a real scallywag and quite wild when he was young, but he did calm down eventually, so there is hope. It is wonderful Merri loves you so much. Maybe you could find someone else with a playful dog and the two of them could go for an off romp lead each morning to tire them out. And those Kong toys, where you put a treat inside are really good, keeps them occupied for hours trying to lick out the treat. I think Christine uses peanut butter with her little scamp, Molly.

  3. oh boy, my daughter and I had such a laugh at the antics of Merri - we had a red cattle dog x kelpie for many years and she too was a slobber machine!!! Her name was Spot, chosen by my daughter who at the time was a big fan of Spot on TV. Spot was obsessed with chasing balls. As soon as any of us stepped of the house, the slobbery ball would materialise and if we sat down the ball would be dropped in our lap, drool and all!!! I remember one day, Spot was so desperate for the ball to be thrown that she dropped it in front of the cat. She then kept looking from the cat to the ball hoping the cat would get the hint and throw it for her!! She had such a beautiful nature, I miss her very much.

  4. Oh my! Don't you have your hands full?! Although the starving dog I took in two years ago is not the incredible athlete that Merri is, I understand your plight. My entire home is now "Peppermint's World". I will pray for you and Mr E as Merri grows and think of you every time Peppermint proves that I am incapable of outsmarting her. Lord bless you! Jamie

  5. Merry must not be that destructive--your wicker furniture still has wicker on it. Mine is only a frame thanks to my dog, Bella! :0)

  6. Merry is a great work. But, she's a great joy too in your home. It is not true? Merry is now a lucki dog because has a family who love her . With slobber too :)
    Your cupcakes are perfect. Have a good day.

  7. OMGosh, I could have written this story about Boscoe. Good luck. He turned 2 in October...when do you think his Teen Years will begin? LOL
    xx, Carol

  8. Merri sounds a rather adorable bundle of mischief, hopefully in time she will grow up and become less hard work. I wonder if you will miss the 'toddler' Merri then?!! I hope she doesn't take a liking to your fabric stash!! Have lovely weekend Jenny. x

  9. Ah, the memories. I love reading your stories of Merri, but just remember........this TOO shall pass. She will calm with age but I'm sure right now she is holy terror - - sounds like :)

  10. Sounds like our new puppy this year.... he is part hound, part demon spawn and part hamster.

  11. You might try a "thunder-shirt" for those times when you need a little calming influence. While they are made to help dogs that get stressed during thunderstorms, my youngest daughter, Olivia, found that her dog is calmer in general while wearing one. Her dog, Maya, is a slightly neurotic chihuahua-pug mix. She licks (especially her own paws and carpeting) when she is stressed at all. While wearing a thunder-shirt, she relaxes and doesn't lick much! Olivia doesn't keep the shirt on her all the time, but just in times when Maya seems particularly stressful. If you can't get a thunder-shirt or don't want the expense, my other daughter, Kate, has found that her dog, Nova, benefits from a regular doggy shirt that fits rather snugly. Nova IS a fearful girl, although not of loud noises, but of things like cardboard boxes (??). When she is wearing her shirt, she seems to be less stressed about the scary things in the house!

  12. I enjoyed reading about Merri. Thank you for sharing. By the way we have neurotic cat. She leaps and bounds into the air with the greatest of ease. And I have heart failure when she does that. She brings us joy.


  13. Your post made me smile, and also glad I haven't succumbed to the idea of a puppy around here. I think she will grow and mature into a lovely calm creature, though, and probably still keep you jumping from time to time. I know there's no measuring the love she gives you, and I am so glad you have a sense of humor!

  14. Little Miss Merri certainly landed in clover with you! I'm laughing imagining the hunt for sock, undies and towels in the back yard!! Growing up our Beagle, Muffin, would eat socks (only the dirty ones) so when cleaning up after her I would frequently find the missing mates to my knee high socks! Nope, didn't wash them, just put them in the bag with the rest of the "bombs". At least Merri doesn't clean off your counters of food! Perhaps your plants need chicken wire cages to protect them from her!! Hopefully she will calm down a bit soon!

  15. Regardless of size and weight, your dog can be trained so you do not need super-human strength to control her. Dogs need leadership and exercise. You need to be the pack leader. Perhaps you can find some help on this web site...have you heard of Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer? Maybe you can find some of his CDs on ebay. She is a cute dog...good luck creating a successful pack.

  16. I missed this yesterday morning Jenny; but, I sure had a magnificent trip down memory land with Miss Dodger while reading your post. Often through the puppy and teen years we do wonder and ask ourselves why we ever wanted an 80 pound beast so full of energy and slobbers! But then those moments present themselves where we laugh so hard and long, we almost have an accident...the moments that just take our breath away and we have to stop and pray and thank the Lord...those precious moments of facial expressions and so forth.
    They end up making our life so much more "everything". Have a fantastic creative day!

  17. i had a great laugh here, sorry, i know puppy training has it's hazards & i've trained many, might i suggest wire mesh across some of your garden til she is out of the phase of destroying the garden? the pot plants will just need more firmness & discipline, she is probably a tad jealous of the attention the potted plants get? obedience training perhaps with other people might help her calm down a bit more or find her a play friend to meet up with once a week?
    hope the bonsai recuperate.
    good luck!
    thanx for sharing


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