Shelter dogs are a treat to take care of and it seems this man felt the same way. He was just casually visiting San Francisco’s Rocket Dog Rescue in hopes of finding the perfect dog to bring home to his family and he instantly fell in love with one!
A lovely pitbull named Merrill caught his attention, as he was getting ready to sign papers to bring Merrill home, the man received an unexpected surprise.
It seems that if he wanted to adopt Merrill, he had to agree with one condition. He also had to take Merrill’s best friend, a senior chihuahua named Taco. It wasn’t the shelter staff that gave the condition, but it was actually Merrill herself. Merrill didn’t want to leave without her best friend and the man didn’t have a choice but to take both of them home.
But how did this unlikely pair even end up together?
Friends from the start
Merrill and Taco first arrived in the San Francisco Rocket Dog Rescue back in 2014. They were really close to each other and refused to be apart. They were surrendered by their previous owner for unknown reasons. Not much is known about where they came from but it is undeniable that the two dogs share a strong bond.
But there was a time where Taco had to be separated from her best friend Merrill…
Tiny but mighty, the veterinarians at the clinic believe that Taco was already around eight years old when he was first surrendered at the shelter. He had asthma and several dental issues as well. But despite having only four teeth, this adorable dog is determined to protect his best friend Merrill.
The veterinarians at the shelter estimate that Merrill was around three years old when she first arrived. They also speculate how Merrill must have been bred once before which led her to develop an illness. Her previous owner must have surrendered her due to this life-threatening condition.
Merrill got sick, the staff from the shelter got worried so they had her checked. She was examined and the vet from the shelter discovered that she was suffering from Uterine Tract Infection (UTI).
Merrill had to undergo a delicate operation in order to get better. Although Taco could not speak, it was clear that he was severely distraught through his actions. Often acting anxious most of the time while he was separated from his best friend.
The operation was successful and Merrill was on her way on her road to recovery. She had to be isolated in order to avoid developing any complications and in order to heal faster as well. But the shelter staff had a difficult time isolating Merrill.
Both Merrill and Taco would cry out for each other and the staff couldn’t handle their restlessness.
It seems the staff could not resist the cries from the two dogs. Defeated, they let Taco into the recovery room and he immediately lied down beside her. It was a sweet gesture tried to be as attentive as he could towards Merrill.
But could this bond be harmful to both of them in the long run?
Shelters already have a hard time getting one dog adopted but it takes the adoption process to a whole new level when the dogs come in pairs.
In hopes of getting Merrill and Taco adopted faster, they listed the two dogs separately on their website.
A potential fur-parent
One day, a man visited the shelter and showed interest in Merrill. He filled in all the necessary paperwork and was getting ready to take her home but there was one problem. Merrill began to howl uncontrollably as if she was whining about something.
Confused, the man asked the shelter staff about what was happening.
The staff at the shelter then told the man honestly about the nature of Merrill and Taco’s relationship. The man finally understood what was going on and ultimately decided that it may be best for Merrill and Taco to stay together.
Unfortunately, this means that he decided not to adopt Merrill as he was incapable of taking care of two dogs at the time. Nonetheless, at least Merrill and Taco were back together. But the shelter staff knew that they had to come up with a new strategy if they wanted the dogs to get adopted.
Changing it up
The staff then decided that it may be best for them to list the two dogs together on their website in order to let potential adopters know that Merrill and Taco are a pair. Not long after, a kind foster parent named Jodi volunteered to take care of them while they wait for their furever home.
After being fostered by Jodi, it seems things were looking up for Merrill and Taco. A family from San Jose saw the lovely pair on the shelter’s website and they immediately fell in love. They immediately coordinated with Jodi to set up a schedule to meet the pair.
Meeting the family
Both the family and the pair of dogs were looking forward to their meeting. When the day came, the pair surprisingly got along really well with the family. Merrill and Taco immediately warmed up to the family and it seems they have finally found their forever home.
The pair were eventually adopted by the family and everything seemed to be going well, but unfortunately, complications suddenly started to arise.
Since Taco was a senior dog, it was expected that he would develop illnesses along the way. His body has become weaker as he grew older, but his spirit still remains the same. At first, Taco’s asthma and dental issues seems to be minor problems but after a month of adopting them, they took Taco to the vet to be examined.
It turns out, Taco also had other health problems aside from his previous ones.
After bringing Taco to the vet, they discovered that he was at risk of heart failure. It was devastating news for both the family and Merrill. His results showed how his heart had swollen up and his lungs were surrounded by fluid.
They immediately met up with a specialist and Taco was put under medication.
Fighting it out
Taco is clearly not going down without a fight. With all his might, he tried living normally despite his condition. He would still spend as much time as he could with Merrill and play with her whenever he can. Merrill and Taco’s new family were hopeful that Taco can recover from this.
Miraculously, Taco slowly got better.
Taco the fighter
Taco’s heart gradually stabilized and the doctors were happy to report that his heart was no longer at risk thanks to the continuous medication and patience of Taco’s new family.
But his medication didn’t stop there, he had to consistently take his anti-seizure medicine and steroids for the rest of his life.
Despite being a senior dog, Taco seems to have a lot of energy left to play with his best friend. The pair has been through a lot together. But no matter what life threw at them, they still managed to stay together.
But what will the future have in store for this strong pair of dogs?
Since Merrill is a young adult, she has a lot of energy to spare. She would run around the front yard and roll on the soft warm grass. With Taco’s old age, it seems he’s having a hard time keeping up with Merrill’s energy but it’s apparent that he’s doing his best.
Along with their new family, it seems Merrill and Taco will never have to be separated again and will live the rest of their days happily together.