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The Girl and the Merle

I am the companion, the entertainer, the chef, the escort of, and the Uber for Petey, a double Merle Mini Aussie X.



Sometimes two beings are lucky enough to find each other in the world, both at their lowest and swallowed up by the negativity of life. Through trial and error, perseverance, and time, they can learn to lean on each other and heal together.

A mutual understanding blossoms.

Burdened by Clinical Depression with Psychotic Features, there came a time when I wondered what the point of living was?

Everyone experiences depression at some point in their lives. Some are fortunate enough to come out of it unscathed. Others, it’s a battle with anti-depressants and cognitive therapy for the rest of their lives. Luckily the little dog in this story came in the nick of time, though he would probably beg to differ.

This is the story of a double merle born into disadvantage but hit the lottery in his senior years.

This is the story of a double merle who came to me and every day gives me a reason to get up in the morning.

He was the pet of a family member, who, when the novelty wore off, lost interest in him and cast him aside, where he wandered the length of a big house by himself every day. How lonely it must have been, to only exist and never receive the care and comfort of companionship he desperately craved.

What is Double Merle?

Petey is a Double Merle Mini Aussie/Chihuahua at our best guess.

Merle is a form of genetics noted by their coat pattern. This gene can affect skin pigmentation and create mottled patterns in solid or piebald coats, and the dog will have blue or odd-colored eyes. When two merles are bred together the litter has roughly 25% chance of being double merle.

Petey is mostly deaf and partially blind. His eyes are nothing like anyone’s ever seen if you can get close enough to tell. Two different shades of blue, a dark royal blue encompassed by ice blue, you can't help but be held captive by them . Despite the beauty, every year his sight diminishes more, isolating him, a sad reminder his existence is a perfect example of humans playing god.


He “ruled the roost” once in his former home, knowing if he had a big enough tantrum he would be left alone.

But his unruly behavior had serious consequences.

His back right leg is stiff, an old injury, the knee troublesome some days. A front right toe healed crooked, broken at one time. There is a permanent puffiness around his left eye, an educated veterinary guess proposing he had a head fracture once.

When he was finally removed from the household he was a broken, angry, little dog.

He slept all day long, only waking to grudgingly learn potty-training and occasionally eat. His food drive was and still is low as he was used to going without food for days.

He was dull and lashed out at the slightly perceived insult.

He was a dog who was isolated, who had gone through two homes before he was a year old, and was removed from the only home he knew nine years later.

He didn’t know where he belonged.

Four years later, in my company, he still waits for the day when he will be left alone again. I see it every time I take him out of the house, his anxiety explodes, he doesn't like being left in the car but leaving the car is just as scary. He clings to me, a silent plea to not leave him behind.

I was pulling myself out of the deepest depressive hole I had experienced when he came to me.

Two angry and wounded beings finding each other. A dangerous mix.

At the time, his rage angered me, his unwillingness to leave the isolated bubble he created, a defense mechanism. My highs and lows impacted him as he grew more and more bonded to me. Whether I’m irritated or incensed, sad or happy, my moods affect him and his behavior for the day.

Eventually, I realized my annoyance stemmed from that fact I was looking at myself in the mirror. And I didn’t like what I saw.

I was him and he was me.

That was 2017.

2021, he is happier.

He no longer sleeps the days and nights away. His tantrums are less frequent and end quicker.

He gets his quiet time, especially during stormy days when the weather affects his arthritis most. He has good days and bad, but he’s learning to take it in stride.

He tolerates grooming, even finding he likes it, if he’s in a good mood. He allows his ears to be rubbed, his feet to be played with.

The dog that couldn’t learn anything can sit, wait, lie down, and live again. He has also excelled at Nosework, though I will never be able to compete him. Nosework works well enough at home, we don’t have to go anywhere unfamiliar.

As for me, some days can be a struggle but with one mini aussie X and two demanding German Shepherds, I never focus for too long on the darkness.

Just like him, I take each day as it comes. And that's all we can do, but at least we can do it together.


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