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What's a Mama to Do?

This past week has been a whirlwind of sorts, but that is not uncommon in the Mountain Haven world. This past Saturday we welcomed in Meerie and her five puppies. The puppies are going to be six weeks old this week and are doing quite well. Meerie is a beautiful soul with watchful eyes that make you think of a wolf. At first you might think she is not friendly, but quite the contrary. Meerie is kind, quiet, a great mom, and somewhat all knowing. What do I mean by this? Well to be in her presence seems to be a gift to me. I speak to her of my concerns and she looks at me with that stare...and that stare is somewhat reassuring as if all will be okay. After all, life became okay for Meerie. She has endured a journey of unknowns to get to a place of safety and comfort. First to the Animal Society in Birmingham, Alabama, then to our friend Robin at Forgotten Tails in Alabama and finally to us at Mountain Haven. Meerie settled in almost immediately when she arrived, albeit she was sizing me up as I put a bowl of food and fresh water down for her to check out. She counted her pups, and immediately allowed them to nurse and cuddle with her. All the while she was watching and calculating my every move. I was calm and quiet as I moved gently around her, respecting the fact that Robin stated she is head shy. I decided the best route to take was to sit down on the floor and offer her something yummy straight from my outstretched hand. As predicted, she couldn't resist the temptation and she ever so gently began eating from my hand. She knew I was okay, I could be trusted, but she still remained somewhat guarded, after all everything was so new and different and she had come off a long ride just to get to us.

With food in their bellies and soft bedding laid out, I put on the television for Meerie and her pups. Immediately Meerie sat up, moved herself closer to the TV and was captivated by it. So began Meerie's new normal. The look in her eyes was of guarded gratitude. I felt centered, happy and blessed that she allowed me to share in her love for her pups, and her calmness.

Meerie has a bit of a long road ahead of her. She has tested positive for heartworm, and once she is completely done nursing her pups, we will begin her treatment which will take three months. I already gave Dr. Cody the "heads up" and know Meerie will receive the same loving care that Dr. Cody and her team provided to Viola during her heartworm treatment. It may be a long road, but she will never be alone and in fear again. That is our promise to Meerie, as it is with all that come through our doors.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. The summer has brought with it many challenges some of which seem insurmountable, but still I will push through. For the dream, for the animals, and for the future. Just as I was experiencing a low moment, Lisa sent me two photos...she managed to get a harness on Meerie and take her outside where she enjoyed the sunshine and several belly rubs in the grass. The angst I was feeling melted away for a few moments when I saw the photos.

So what's a mama to do? Revel in the good moments in a day, take solace in the kindness seen in another's eyes, understand and remind yourself that the journey will not always be easy but it will ultimately be what it is meant to be. So for this dog mama, I will take my lessons from Meerie who listens to my tales of the day every evening as if she is fully aware of all the details and stares at me with those all knowing eyes. She believes things will be okay, and I should do the same.

xoxo - Janine.

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Oct 03, 2020

Janine, I just re-read your beautiful essay about Miri, and, having met you, I am so moved by your words and your care. What great work you do rescuing dogs and getting them loving homes. We are ready to love Marnie (or whatever name we give her, though my daughter, Carly, loves the name Marnie. But she liveS in Rochester; her female havapoo - whom we have baby sat for many times - is named Harvey, so Carly will have to go with whatever name we give this sweet doxipoo, should we become her lucky “parents.”

I want to make sure we connect tomorrow (sent you an email to that effect) so we can talk about the next steps.



Sep 16, 2020

When will her pups be available for adoption, Janine? I am a Miri too - Miriam. We live just outside Stone Ridge (Lomontville) and are ready to share our love and lives with a dog. We have had both dogs and cats before. No pets now - just the two of us with plenty of tome to care for, play with, and love a dog.

My email is

Thank you,


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