Kiara Annable rescued a Siberian husky named Merlot

Kiara Annable rescued a Siberian husky named Merlot

Husky has bright future thanks to Red Deer woman

Dogged determination helped Kiara Annable save a neglected Siberian husky – and herself.



Dogged determination helped Kiara Annable save a neglected Siberian husky – and herself.

The 24-year-old Red Deer canine trainer was desolate after her husky Meeko was struck by a car and killed near Penhold two years ago.

“I went into depression for eight months,” she recounted, adding that as a 12-year-old she’d saved $600 to buy Meeko as a puppy and the two grew up together. Although the pain was eased through Sabie, one of Meeko’s female puppies Annable kept to raise, it didn’t erase it.

“I loved Meeko with all my heart. She was the kind of dog that people who don’t like dogs liked.”

In the midst of melancholy, she came across jarring online photos of Merlot, an unwanted male year-old red husky near death due to malnourishment, dehydration and mange.

“I’m a fairly spiritual person and I came across his picture and I felt Meeko beside me and the feeling in my stomach and my head said, I have to get this dog.”

She contacted Husky Camp, the rescue agency outside Hesperia, Calif., where Merlot was under care, to adopt him.

“She said no because I was from Canada,” Annable explained, saying the refusal was based on a prior case of an out-of-state client who gave up her adopted dog inside a week.

After two weeks of thought, Annable obstinately decided not to take no for an answer.

Through two months of patient yet persistent email, she overcame the non-profit agency’s doubts, even altering her backyard kennel and run based on their standards.

Annable and a friend made the 25-hour drive to the San Bernadino area to get Merlot last May.

Volunteers who cared for him believe his terrible condition arose from the pup growing up in a too-small kennel amidst his own urine and feces.

“His feet were all infected from standing in his own pee and poop. They had to wait for his nails to grow back in before they could start treating them,” she said.

Once in Red Deer, he showed his “true funky colours.

“The playful essence of a husky came out. He let loose. He’s got a zest for life.”

So, too, did Annable, the trip and negotiations replacing her despondency with new purpose.

“Once I got him home, I wasn’t depressed anymore. Everything seemed to get better.”

She continued the drug treatment for mange and put him on a high-quality dog food to ensure he’d gain weight.

“He’s about 52 pounds (23 kg) now compared to the 40 (18 kg) when I got him,” she said, adding his coat has grown out to be glossy, soft and red on top.

She also had to work on his eating and drinking.

“He’d scarf all his food and drink a large bowl of water at a time,” she recalled, blaming the behaviour on the lack of food and water from his previously neglectful owner.

Most importantly, Merlot’s personality has fully emerged, revealing a talkative, playful pet.

“He sounds like Chewbacca from Star Wars. He loves everybody and is so friendly. He’s definitely come a long way.”

Merlot and Annable will travel to Ohio this summer so Annable can receive a trick dog trainer’s certification and Merlot can become a trick dog. She’s also working on a curriculum to use Merlot and Sabie to work with at-risk youth.

rfiedler@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lieutenant Commander Nicole Robichaud welcomes members of the Liberian Coast Guard aboard the HMCS Moncton for training with Royal Canadian Navy off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia, Africa. (Contributed photo by Corp. Ryan Moulton)
Red Deer-raised woman finds her sea legs as commander in the Royal Canadian Navy

Cdr. Nicole Robichaud started out as a local sea cadet

Rode
Feddema adds size and grit to RDC basketball Queens

Iris Feddema has known for several years what she wanted her future… Continue reading

A local photographer captured the contrails of two planes that crossed in the sky over north Red Deer on Wednesday. (Photo contributed by Eric Fischer)
Photo: Planes criss-cross over Red Deer

A local photographer captured the contrails of two planes that crossed in… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

A man injects hydromorphone at the Providence Health Care Crosstown Clinic in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday April 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
NDP lawmaker tables bill to decriminalize drug use as overdose deaths soar

NDP lawmaker tables bill to decriminalize drug use as overdose deaths soar

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Low-carbon bucks: Conservatives pitch consumer carbon pricing through savings account

Low-carbon bucks: Conservatives pitch consumer carbon pricing through savings account

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo responds to a question about vaccines during a weekly news conference, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 in Ottawa. Njoo says a faster vaccine ramp-up alone would likely not have thwarted the third wave of COVID-19 in many parts of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine point man aims to ensure more predictability for shipments

Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine point man aims to ensure more predictability for shipments

Evan Siddall is pictured in Ottawa on September 21, 2017. Former head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Evan Siddall has been named as the next chief executive for Alberta Investment Management Corp. He will succeed Kevin Uebelein. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AIMCo names former CMHC head Evan Siddall as next chief executive

AIMCo names former CMHC head Evan Siddall as next chief executive

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canadian home sales up 76% year-over-year, set new March record: CREA

Canadian home sales up 76% year-over-year, set new March record: CREA

WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims addresses the airline's annual meeting in Calgary, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
WestJet CEO Ed Sims finds Air Canada aid package ‘bittersweet’ as talks drag on

WestJet CEO Ed Sims finds Air Canada aid package ‘bittersweet’ as talks drag on

The TMX broadcast centre is shown in Toronto on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
S&P/TSX composite, Dow Jones and S&P 500 set record highs as mood rises on economy

S&P/TSX composite, Dow Jones and S&P 500 set record highs as mood rises on economy

A man wearing a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 checks his phone as the sun sets in English Bay in Vancouver on April 5, 2021. Canada's existing mobile phone services and consumer groups will get a landmark ruling from the CRTC this afternoon. The regulatory ruling could shift some of the market power held by Rogers, Bell and Telus, which collectively have more than 90 per cent of the country's subscribers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
CRTC to allow smaller wireless players better access to national networks

CRTC to allow smaller wireless players better access to national networks

Most Read