Favorite Walk: He expects to be carried, likes riding in a shopping cart
Best Tricks: Outwitting me or his vet, changing the TV channel to some shopping network
Arrival Story: Meneken belonged to an older woman who died. She had two, him and his biological sister, who had been together since birth, nine years. For some reason, they were left with their groomer. Despite the fact that this was a wealthy woman, the estate never claimed them. The groomer didn't want them and, though they would have been so easy to place, he planned to have them euthanized! A client ended up taking them, but he only wanted one and kept the sister, the leader. Meneken ended up being adopted by a man (he originally had issues with men) who he didn't like, nor did he like this guy's beloved other dog, so this guy planned to have him euthanized!
I had lost my beloved 18-year-old cocker spaniel the previous month. My other cocker was very agitated and, though I now know she had Cushing's Syndrome, I assumed she missed Barney and, one night, in desperation, I answered a newspaper ad about another blond male cocker who was up for adoption that my friend in rescue, who had placed two cockers with me, over the years, had sent me. The person who answered told me that she had placed that dog long ago, but she knew of another little dog that was in real trouble. This guy who had the dog had said that he was only keeping the dog until Tuesday, and it was now Wednesday. She had offered to place a newspaper ad for him, as she had for the cocker, but he didn't have a pic and couldn't be bothered. So I called him, just to make sure he knew that someone was interested.
I made several calls over the next few days, to my friend in rescue, who gave me advice, to both of my vets, and to the person who I had called, who I now know was hoping against hope that I'd adopt this dog, and to his vet, who was able to tell me his health history over the phone. I was told a great deal about him from both his vet and my new friend in rescue, so that by the time I finally met the dog, I knew more about him than the guy who had previously adopted him, and had had him for several months. I also kept in touch with him, and he was very anxious for me to take him.
We arranged to meet on Saturday, him coming North and me going South. My friend in rescue said to be sure to have the dogs meet "on neutral ground." So a friend drove me and I brought my cocker, Sheena. It was lucky that I had this guy's cell number, since we never found the meeting place, and we met in a Hanneford parking lot where I'd found a phone. He asked me if I'd brought a carrier, but I said no. I had planned to put such a little dog on my lap, another reason I hadn't driven. He couldn't get the dog to come out of his carrier; poor thing was hiding in the back. Meanwhile, my Sheena stuck her entire head in there! So he had to take the carrier completely apart and I finally reached down and, with one hand, picked up this frightened little dog. He immediately snuggled against me as if he knew that I'd come to rescue him.
One advantage that I had was that I knew his real name, Meneken. The guy who'd adopted him hadn't bothered to find out the name he'd had for nine years; he called him "Bill."
He bonded with me immediately. We stopped at PetsMart to get supplies and have him examined by my vet, who has a second practice at Banfield, one stop shopping. My friend said that if it looked as if I was going out of sight, my new dog became anxious. He bonded with me, but mostly with Sheena. My vet had said that he thought it could work, but it was incredible. That first night he was sleeping with Sheena on her bed, curled up next to her. He had found the sister he had lost and Sheena had found a new companion who worshipped her. It was a happy ending for everyone, all too rare in dog rescue, and his rescuer, who has become my good friend, likes to hang on to this, as one of the good stories.
Bio: Meneken is just so unusual that he attracts attention wherever he goes. Perfect strangers stop me to ask about him and the only reference I can make to his breed is to the 1997 movie, "As Good as It Gets" with Jack Nicholson. He's quite the little conversation piece! Recently, we finally saw another Brussels in real life, another client of his vet, who had told me that he'd acquired a second one. Both of us stopped dead, for a few seconds, since she had never seen another one in real life, either. As for Meneken, he goes most places with me because he insists on it, and he's welcome at many places that wouldn't allow most dogs, because he's so good. Because of this, I believe that he was used to always being taken. Fortunately, he's very portable, LOL! He's become used to being with me and I don't know what I'd do without him.
I have learned where he got his name, Meneken. He is a Brussels Griffon and, in Brussels, Belgium, there is a very famous statue called the Manneken Pis. It's of a boy-child urinating. His previous owner may not have been able to spell, but she must have had a sense of humor!
Meneken was also chosen as the Nestle "Pet of the Month" for November 2006:
http://www.nestle.com/Interest_Are as/Petcare/Pet+of+the+month/This+m onth+s+choice/All+pets+of+the+mont h/Meneken+USA+Your+pet+choice+for+ November.htm