Merrilee Salo/Samouelian MI

UPDATE – November/December 2013

Jack and Merrillee rescued a 2-year old chocolate lab on July 4 whom we named JD. Merrillee picked him out! They are best buddies. She is just becoming taller than him, although it could be because she has such a mass of long waves of shiny black hair! She weighs 55 pounds and JD (Jack’s Dog) is 60 pounds of solid muscle. They seem to be soul mates as well as racing around buddies. Each sleep in their own canvas large crate in our hall of toys. Grandchild Henry adores them and they love him because he loves to play fetch with them. One afternoon they were up on our white livingroom couch gazing at the water fowl in the lake and Henry joined right between them asking, Granma what are the dogs looking at? This conversation turned out to be quite a learning fun time.
Actually we should have named him MD (Merrillee’s Dog) because she actually selected him from the Livingston County Animal shelter. They were instant friends. He is a chocolate lab. Although he is 68 pounds and two years old, she is 58 pounds and almost one year. He was also very well trained and is yet a natural runner and swimmer after the geese and ducks, so, having our entire yard electronic fenced has been a blessing as Merrillee has become quite the swimmer too. They have enjoyed our pontoon rides. We take them to the island on Thompson Lake where they love to run in the water shoulder to shoulder and play fetch.
Merrillee is absolutely delightful, mischievous and the alpha dog. JD actually comes back and barks to tell us when she is digging another hole or eating up something. She has destroyed most toys and shreds all fabric. ‘sour apple’ spray has been our helper.She has just become taller than JD by a smidgen.

She too likes the barn and horses. Up at our cabin kitty corner from our ‘treehouse’ is a horse farm which she likes to sneak off to. We have to be on high alert as she loves everyone with such enthusiasm. 

They sleep in their canvas crates at night, they are sleeping around on our floors and their pillows by 8pm every night. They are not crated during the day. Jack stopped accepting consulting projects to help me through my medical needs last year and therefore was able to be Merrillee’s constant companion. Yes there are times when we put them out in their outside kennel area for a few hours. It has an inside the garage room with an outdoors 10’x10′ slab which is fenced in with chain link so they can enjoy the out of doors without ramrodding around the yard. We also board them at Brady Kennels in Fowlerville when we go out of town. They love it there.

They love to wrestle in one particular spot in the side yard; and then love to race around the house like on a track, therefore have dirt grooves worn, I am so pleased. Merrillee loves to lick the dew off the leaves of the shrubs in the morning as they walk me to my car as I go off to work. I receive lots of jumping kisses and hugs upon my return, which means the world to me. I really recovered beautifully because of Jack and Merrillee and now JD.

They are a handful and Jack, a gentle disciplined man, is fit to be tied some days with all her antics. But we love her/them so.

They are also gentle and so playful with our grand children. Lately we have noticed the dogs being less frantic when the children are around. The pups love to jump into little Henry’s tent. When I call them out, Henry exclaims, “No Granma its alright I love to wrestle with them.” He is 4 years old.

We will send pictures soon. Merrillee has remained black thus far with huge wavy curls and cherry red hairs on her nose and below her ears. There are white hairs sprinkled through her black wavy shiny coat and white chest.. No tan or caramel thus far.

As you can see I could go on and on. 

Sincerely, Lark and Jack

Below: Merrilee and her new best buddy, JD

Below: Don’t let this little angel fool you…I was greeted enthusiastically with paws and licks. Jack has been doing a lot of work with her, though, teaching her to mind her manners.

Below: Of course, where treats are involved, Merrilee and JD will sit all day…maybe not.
Below: Jack even taught her how to “give paw.”
Below: “Dad loves me!”
Below: Once outside, Merrilee engages JD in a game of tug.

Below: JD always seemed to let Merrilee win…then she would trot around with her prize!
Below: “I am strong…I am invincible…I am womandog!”
Below: “Do you really think I am going to give it to you, dad?”
Below: Rats! JD got hold of MY rope!”
Lynn says, “When I took this photo, I noticed a bright orb on Merrilee.”
Below: Merrilee and JD continued to play…and another orb appeared. This one was not as intense and is over the rope by Merrilee.
Below: Merrilee was finally the victor and paused long enough for us to see another orb over her back. We talked about this after coming back in and we agreed that it must be little Joy. It had to be.
Below: Then we came inside and Merrilee came up for a cuddle.
Below: Okay…so she couldn’t stay on the floor. She had to give me a bigfacelick.

Below: Jack gave me one of her favorite balls, but rather than come take it from me, Merrilee thought she would give me her paw and beg me for it. Merrilee has Charlotte’s flyaway ears.

Below: What’s that I hear? Your dad said that you and JD shredded a dog bed and left pieces all over the living room! That must be the Airedale part of you…how naughty!

Below: What’s that I hear? Your dad said that you and JD shredded a dog bed and left pieces all over the living room! That must be the Airedale part of you…how naughty!

Below: Merrilee put on her “aren’t I cute” face for the camera just before I left. Unfortunately, JC’s tail just happened to wag just as the one and only “best shot” was taken. Gotta love them.

UPDATE – March 7, 2013

Hi Lynn, Merrillee is such a love! She is very smart and is learning fast. Jack is her 24/7 companion and trainer. He takes her on adventures for walks along a lake path; downtown Howell where she sits automatically to wait for commands at the light intersection. Vets report her legs are long and she is in great health. She has just learned to catch and fetch her pink ball; can bound up on the couch on top of my lap; jump up and take over the spot where kitty-Snuggy likes to sleep! We have begun to attend a puppy socialization weekly class. Actually it is teaching ‘us’. She is very friendly with animals and people. We have found that frozen washcloths really help her need to chew. Hope all is well with you! 

Sincerely, Lark and Jack

UPDATE – February 8, 2013

Merrilee is doing wonderfully. We adore her. Jack takes her everywhere with him. I say she is 80% trained to go potty out of doors. Jack says 50%. She loves the snow! She sleeps in a crate in my bedroom. Wakes up at 3am for a trip outdoors, then goes right back to sleep. Up at 6am for snuggling in my bed. Our hands are covered with her loving gnawing. Family has visited in delight. She is smart.

Here is a little story: Jack called out to her asking her where his other boot was as he headed into the living room, leaving the one boot by the outside door. He saw the other boot on the carpet in the living room. As he strode to fetch it, Merrilee scampered in the other direction dragging the boot by the door into the living room, placing it right by his other boot and sat down and looked up at him. I watched this whole thing unfold and exclaimed, “My gosh Jack she understands you! What a good girl!”

She naps on her big pillow by the fireplace. In the car we bought another kennel. She settles down once on the expressway and is a wonderful rider. She is comforted by hearing us talk. We hear her toy squeaking. I bought her pink tennis balls. She knows how to roll them and bounce them herself as well as is delighted to interact with us. She knows how to sit and stay and settle down and kennel and sits as you put down her food. The rest of the time she ‘merrily romps around’ keeping her eyes out for an opportunity to play with the cats. Long haired Main Coon, Snuggy, enjoys parading around encouraging Merilee to give chase.

Lynn, thank you. She is also just what we needed. We are so pleased to be her home.


Merry got a bath and is “smellin’ good” to start her new adventure. How soon we forget all the mushy stuff. “There are so many cool cat toys to play with here! This little stuffed mouse is cool!”
Oh, look! Here is a bone!
Balls, stuffed bones, my stuffingless fox…it doesn’t get any better than this!
Whoa…wait a minute. There is something better than toys. It’s my new very own family!
My new mom really likes me!
It won’t be long before I have her wrapped around my little paw!
My new dad is so snuggley too! What fun I am going to have.

Read the beginning of Merry and her sister and her mother’s rescue story here.