Mercy Jo by Lorna Blechynden / Mama Lorna

Mercy Jo
The Gentlest Dog Who Ever Lived
1995 to 10-17-2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Today, our beloved Mercy Jo left us to join our ever growing family in Heaven. Once again cancer is the culprit. But you need to hear about Mercy- for she is without a doubt the gentlest being it has been my privilege to have ever known.

Mercy’s story does not begin well. She was first spotted as a stray or abandoned pet in Idyllwild. One of the local residents reported seeing her with a broken leg and a metal choke chain wrapped around her head and wedged in the corners of her mouth. Other reports told that she was living under the floor at a particular building in town.

Without hesitation several employees of Living Free ( a wonderful animal sanctuary near Idyllwild) started scouring the town to locate her and to plan strategies to lure her from under the building. After several cold, late nights and failed attempts persistence and cunning paid off. It was a good thing too for winter had arrived and prospects were looking very grim. Delicious Holiday leftovers, turkey, stuffing, gravy were left for her- with a little surprise inside, a nice bit of sedative prescribed by the Living Free Vet. The ‘bait’ was devoured and a bit later the littlest volunteer scrunched up and wiggled under the building and
brought Mercy out to safety.

In great haste she was rushed to get an assessment of her condition. She had a crushed hip and broken right hind leg from being hit by a car, plus much damage to her mouth by the embedded choke chain.

Three surgeries, weeks of physical therapy, care and rehabilitation seemed to heal her physical wounds but the emotional ones were a different story. Thank God for Pam and Connie at Living Free who took Mercy under their wings and worked tirelessly with her.

So spectacular was Mercy’s story that Living Free told it in a pamphlet entitled A Holiday Miracle. That pamphlet was seen by Lorna who on the spot declared “that’s my dog!”.

She immediately contacted Living free and told them they had her dog. Two months and numerous trips to Idyllwild (their requirements) Mercy Jo came home with us in January of 1999.She was introduced to the house, she looked around for a minute or so then went and laid down behind my recliner and pretty much stayed there for the 6 months or so.

Eventually she stuck her head out, then part of her body, then her whole body, and then eventually she laid in front of the fire in the fireplace, then she claimed the couch as Mercy Jo’s couch. It was such a joy to watch her come out of her shell and frolic. Actually Mercy was never only my dog, you see Lacey, our Bichon Frazee (aka Crazee) quickly claimed Mercy as her personal pet. Lacey always made sure Mercy was in the bedroom before the door was shut for the night, if Mercy was stuck someplace you can bet it was Lacey who raised the ruckus until some one came to help. They were the best of friends. I worry what Lacey may go through as I am very sure she will suffer loss. When we brought Mercy home form the hospital to bury her, the other dogs would go see her- not Lacey. We buried Mercy a few minute ago and Lacey was invited, as soon as she realized what was happening she left.

I have a description for each of our dogs that have gone on, one was the most beautiful dog we have ever known, another was the best behaved dog we have ever known and so on. It is my honor to describe Mercy Jo as the gentlest dog I have even known. You sensed that as soon as you met her, that you were in the presence of gentleness, you knew it when you gave her a chew (her absolute favorite) and she took it so very, very, very gently that you would scarcely feel the chew leave your hand. She never was cross with anybody, oh that we could be
that gentle with one another.

She was, however. No, I should say she became one of the best watch dogs on the block. If the guy three houses down came out to get his newspaper- she told the entire block. She had a big voice. She would announce to all of Mira Mesa when someone was walking anywhere on the street, or at 3am when a mouse went into a tomato plant for a midnight snack we all heard about it. This was the creature who previously would not come out from behind the chair?

It was our privilege to have known her for these 7 years, she will be in our hearts forever. We would also hope that each of you would someday know a being like Mercy Jo (Bernese)- I wanted a Bernese but settled happily for Mercy). Farewell good and faithful friend


My Forever Friend,
Mercy Jo
Lorna Blechynden