MerryLea Rescue

Our Adoptable Pet List

Click here to see our Dog Happy Tails! "Dog Happy Tails" are dogs who have already been placed in loving homes and are now living as family members and "lovin' life" . . . they are receiving the love they deserve and giving much love back to their families.

Who We Are

MerryLea Rescue is a small rescue taking in Cocker Spaniels - Cocker Spaniel mixes and Honorary Cocker Spaniels which come in all sizes, shapes and colors - but who grab us by the heart and refuse to let go.

These dogs have nowhere else to go - they have been passed over at the shelters by adopters and other rescues - they simply happened to need rescue at a time when every one was overfull and there was no space for them.

Dogs at MerryLea Rescue have been in danger of losing their lives simply because they had no home and no one to love them. We only take in dogs when the larger rescue groups are full and this is the last chance for the dog.

If you are reading this page - remember these dogs are in desperate need and we are a very small group, with very limited funds - but all that doesn't matter if you are willing to open your heart and your home to a dog that needs to be loved and is willing to give that love back to you unconditionally every day.

Email is the best way to reach us . . . we check our email frequently - telephone messages may take a while to be returned . . . we do not have easy access to our messages throughout the day.

Contact us at and we will send you an adoption application. This is the first step in the process - the application will give us some insight into your family and lifestyle to help determine a good match for you and the rescued dog. Please bear with us - we are all volunteers with work and family responsibilities also - we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

We do not use any extreme temperament tests administered in stressful situations on dogs coming into our rescue.. Our dogs are carefully evaluated in foster home settings, they are socialized and if there are any behaviorial problems they are addressed prior to adoption. Matching dogs and families that are compatible is our priority.

Intrested in adopting one of our dogs?

Rescued dogs are in foster homes or are being boarded - arrangement can be made to meet any dog you are interested in.

Foster Homes Allow More Dogs to be Rescued

Want a dog? Can't make the committment at this point in your life . . . fostering a dog is a win/win situation. You help save a life and you get a loving companion. Yes, you do have to say "Good-bye" but only because the dog moves on to a FUR-ever home. Then you can move on and help save another. It's a wonderful feeling and fosters are desperately needed by all rescue groups.


A Foster Home .

Little Pieces.

by Grace Saalsaa (Written for those who foster) .

Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be impossible. And tomorrow... it probably wouldn't be possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog that lay across her lap. .

When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day very well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into little pieces. .

The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had lived, had tried to save him because she was unable to watch this young dog find his own food in a dumpster outside the crack house where he lived. Nobody cared that he was gone. .

His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers down to feel his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again, they were coated in old dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be. But on that day he was beige and dust. .

He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward for he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He sat motionless, waiting and limp. .

But the thing that was the most disturbing was the look in his eyes. They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched her. They were alive with thought. He was waiting for her to do something "to" him. .

Little did he know at the time that, instead, she would "give" something to him. She gave him one of the little broken pieces of her heart. .

She reached out to stroke his head and he instinctively squinched his eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the heavy hand. With that little bit of movement she gave him another one of the broken pieces of her heart. .

She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and brushed some order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and even though his own heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet another piece of her heart, for it would help to heal his own. .

"Would you like some water, big boy?" She whispered to him as she set down a large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had been dehydrated for a long time and she knew it would take him most of the week to re-hydrate. .

He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah... that's how it is, he thought to himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to get. "Would you like some more?" and she gave him another bowl along with another little piece of her heart. .

"I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm water and a little piece of my heart." .

Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved. The heart full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits of her loving heart. And each little piece worked a very special kind of magic. .

When the warmth of love and gentle caresses are added, the little broken pieces knit together again and heal the container it resides in. That container becomes whole again. .

She watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog until his quiet eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You see, kind words gently spoken turn the little pieces into illumination for the spirit that resides within. .

He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had returned, his spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he had learned about love. .

Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go. There was another person who had another heart that was meant to be shared with him. .

So she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of her heart were with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your heart is not with you. She wrapped her arms around the dog that sat with tall, proud ears for her. Lean on me, he said. .

And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that would keep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on to live his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the pieces with a simple statement made from the ribbons of her heart. .

"I love you, Joe." .

And Joe lived happily ever after. .

Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be possible. And tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because her mind was busy thinking about this, the next dog that lay across her lap. .

Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask? .

Ahhh... it came with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart with them. And when the rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart, it quickly grows and fills the void left by the last dog. .

If this story moved you, perhaps you would enjoy reading Grace's new book A Perfectly Good Dog - available online at and Barnes & Noble. Link will be added as soon as a computer literate person shows me how to do it :-)


Contact us at and give a homeless dog a chance to make you happy. We can arrange for you to meet one or more of our wonderful dogs.

As always we appreciate any donations of dog food and stainless steel feeding dishes, collars, leashes, blankets, towels, grooming supplies, toys, and of course $$$$ to help with our rescue efforts.

MerryLea Rescue Frederick, MD 21703 Please contact by email


Click here for a list of pets at this shelter