Unwanted Chihuahua Stuck At Shelter, But Pit Bull Refuses To Leave Him There

Unwanted Chihuahua Stuck At Shelter, But Pit Bull Refuses To Leave Him There

The Most Loyal Dog

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

When a man came into San Francisco’s Rocket Dog Rescue in search of a dog to adopt, he fell in love with a three-year-old pit bull named Merrill. Soon time came for him to pick her up, but the shelter ran into an unexpected obstacle: Merrill refused to leave her best friend’s side.

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Caring For Unwanted Dogs

Facebook/Rocket Dog Rescue

Rocket Dog Rescue is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to saving abused and unwanted dogs from overcrowded shelters. Their goal is to prevent dogs from being euthanized, and regularly take in dogs that have a hard time getting adopted. Such was the case in 2014, when they received a sick pit bull and a senior Chihuahua who were adamant on staying together.

An Extraordinary Bond

Facebook/Rocket Dog Rescue

Merrill and eight-year-old Taco were surrendered together to Rocket Dog Rescue. Little was known about the dog’s previous owners, but one thing was clear: these dogs were best friends. They spent all of their time together, and cried every time they were separated. Then shelter staff got a glimpse of how strong their bond was.

A Severe Infection

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

When the pair was surrendered, Merrill was suffering from a severe uterine tract infection and had to undergo surgery to save her life. The whole time she was in the operating room, Taco was restless and distraught. When she was finally released, staff attempted to isolate her to help her heal faster, but it proved a little difficult.

A Furry Nurse

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Both Merrill and Taco cried until Taco was brought into the recovery area with Merrill. After that, the little Chihuahua didn’t leave his best friend’s side. He was attentive and dedicated to Merrill the whole time she spent in recovery. Staff were amazed by the commitment these two dogs had to each other. But they were worried this might be a detriment.

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Trying To Give Them The Best Chance

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

From experience, staff at the shelter knew that bonded pairs of dogs are more difficult to adopt out, because a lot of people aren’t ready to adopt two dogs at the same time. So they listed Merrill and Taco separately on their website, hoping to find loving homes for each of them. Senior dogs are hard to find homes for, so there was little interest in Taco. Merrill was a different story.

Hope For Merrill

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

A man came into the shelter one day looking to adopt a dog. As soon as he saw Merrill he decided she was the one. He went through all the paperwork with Rocket Dog Rescue, and finally the day came for him to pick her up. But as Merrill was being led out of her cage, leaving Taco inside, she began howling and did not stop. The man had no idea what was going on.

Changing Strategies

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Staff told the man the story of Taco and Merrill, how they were best friends and did not want to be separated. The man understood and realized it was best for them to stay together. Unfortunately, he could not adopt both, so he opted for a different dog. The shelter then decided to change their strategy.

Letting Them Stay Together

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Rocket Dog Rescue staff concluded that it was best for Merrill and Taco to be kept together. They changed the listing on their website and got a wonderful volunteer named Jodi to foster them while the pair found a forever home. Not long after, the perfect opportunity came knocking on the door.

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Finding The Perfect Family

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

A family from San Jose saw the listing on the shelter’s website and fell in love with Merrill and Taco’s story. They visited Jodi to meet the pair, and decided they wanted to make them part of their family. When it was time for them to go to their new home, Taco and Merrill were thrilled to be taken together. But it was not a happy ending just yet.

Old Age Problems

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Being a senior dog, Taco had several health issues. He suffered from asthma and dental disease, and had only four teeth. Those seemed to be minor problems so far, until his new family took him to the vet a month after he and Merrill were adopted. The outlook was not good.

More Serious Than Previously Thought

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

The medical evaluation found that Taco’s heart was enlarged and there was fluid surrounding his lungs. Unless something was done soon, he would suffer impending heart failure. He was immediately put on medications and a specialist visit was scheduled. Though they hoped for the best, the family braced for the worst.

Wishing For The Best

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Taco’s owners knew that, despite being on medications, Taco’s advanced age meant he might not recover. But they gave him a fighting chance as well as lots of love and attention. Merrill, too, repaid the favor and didn’t leave her best friend’s side. Incredibly, Taco’s condition soon began to improve.

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Not Giving Up

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Taco’s condition was stabilized and his heart was no longer at risk. He still has respiratory issues and has to take several medications for life, including steroids for his lungs and anti-seizure drugs. But that doesn’t stop the little Chihuahua from having fun with his best friend Merrill and his human siblings.

Together Till The End

Facebook/Merrill and Taco

Being a young adult, Merrill is extremely active and energetic. She loves running and rolling on the grass in the family’s yard. Though he can’t quite keep up with her, Taco finds other ways to join in on the fun. He loves being carried by the family’s children and taken to wherever Merrill is playing. But most of all he and Merrill love spending each day and each night knowing they’ll always be together.

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