One day a man walked into the Rocket Dog Rescue in San Francisco to look for a dog to adopt. He quickly fell in love with a three-year-old pit bull named Merrill. When it was time to pick her up, the shelter ran into a bit of a problem. Merrill wouldn’t leave her best friend behind.
The volunteers at Rocket Dog Rescue dedicate their time to save unwanted and abused dogs from overcrowded shelters. Their mission is to stop dogs from getting euthanized. They regularly rescue dogs that don’t have the best luck getting adopted. In 2014, the rescue took in a sick pit bull and an older Chihuahua. The two pups wouldn’t leave each other’s side.
Merrill and her eight-year-old Chihuahua friend Taco were brought to Rocket Dog Rescue together. The volunteers knew nothing about the dog’s owner, but they did know that the two dogs were best friends. They were together all the time, and if they ever got separated, they would cry. Soon enough, the shelter truly understood how deep their bond went.
At the time of their surrender, Merrill had a horrible urinary tract infection and needed a surgery to save her life. Taco was restless and anxious the whole time Merrill in surgery. When Merrill got out of surgery, the volunteers tried to put her alone so she could heal faster, but it would prove to be extremely difficult.
The two dogs wouldn’t stop crying for each other, so the volunteers put Taco in the recovery room with Merrill. Taco was loyal and attentive the entire time he was with Merrill. The volunteers couldn’t believe how committed the dogs were to each other. But they also couldn’t help but wonder if their bond would harm them in the long run.
From past experiences, the volunteers knew that dogs that were bonded were harder to adopt because most people aren’t able to adopt two dogs at once. Hoping to find homes for the dogs, the shelter listed Taco and Merrill separately on the shelter’s website. Older dogs tend to be a lot harder to adopt out, so no one seemed interested in Taco, but Merrill was an entirely different story.
One day a man walked into the shelter hoping to adopt a dog. He immediately wanted Merrill as soon as he saw her. After filling out all of the paperwork, it was time to bring her home. But as soon as Merrill was taken out of the cage, while Taco was still inside it, she began howling and wouldn’t stop. The man was obviously confused.
That’s when the volunteers told the man that Taco and Merrill were the best of friends and didn’t want to be away from each other. The man understood their situation and agreed that they needed to stay together. Sadly, the man couldn’t take in two dogs, so he chose another dog instead. The shelter realized they needed to change their strategy.
Eventually, the staff came to the conclusion that it would be best for both dogs if they were kept together. They updated their listing on the website and an amazing volunteer named Jodi offered to foster them until the best friends found a home. It wasn’t long before the answer to their prayers showed up.
A family from San Jose stumbled across the shelter’s website and fell in love with Taco and Merrill’s story. They went to Jodi’s to meet the pups and instantly wanted to make them family. It was time to bring them to their new home and they couldn’t have been more excited to leave together. But their journey wasn’t over yet.
Because of his age, Taco had quite a few health problems. He had asthma, and dental disease which left him with only four teeth. Those were just little things that the family could handle, but once the family brought Taco to the vet a month later, they realized that things weren’t looking so good for Taco.
The vet informed the family that Taco’s heart was enlarged and his lungs were filled with fluid. If something wasn’t done for Taco, his heart would eventually fail him. Immediately, Taco was put on medications while he was scheduled for a visit with a specialist. The family hoped for the best, but ultimately, they prepared for the worst.
Taco’s family knew because of his age, he may never recover. But they gave him a fighting chance and showered him with lots of attention and love. Just like Taco, Merrill wouldn’t leave her best friend. Soon enough, Taco began feeling a lot better.
Taco’s health became stable and he was no longer at risk for heart failure. Taco still has respiratory problems and will need to take anti-seizure drugs and steroids for his lungs for the rest of his life. But don’t you think for a second that that would stop Taco from playing with his best friend and human family.
Since Merrill is a young adult, she is really energetic and active. She enjoys rolling around in the grass and running around in her family’s yard. Even though he can’t play like Merrill, Taco finds his own way to join in the fun. Taco loves being carried around by his human siblings to wherever Merrill is playing. But more than anything, Merrill and Taco are just grateful to be together.