This Pit Bull Has a Heart of Gold and Couldn’t Leave Her Furry Friend Behind

We all know that a dog is a man’s best friend. Dogs are arguably the best pet to have because of their loving nature and incredible loyalty to their owners. If you’ve spent time around dogs, you know they will do anything to protect their master. However, dogs can create a connection with other species other than humans. This incredible story illustrates two puppies who formed an unbreakable bond. We can all learn something from this heartwarming story.

Merrill and Taco and sleeping in bed all sprawled out
Source: Facebook / Merrill & Taco

Compared to Pomeranians or Golden Retrievers, Pit bulls can be considered a scary dog. However, that can be disproven by these best friend pups. These two dogs have a special connection that is difficult to understand. Their bond helped shape their lives in unbelievable ways. Both doggies were in the same shelter, and when they looked home a home for this sweet tiny bulldog, she proved that she wasn’t about to abandon her little friend.

An Odd Pair

In October 2014, a female Pitbull terrier, Merrill, and her male Chihuahua friend, Taco, were sent to the Rocket Dog Rescue Shelter. Nobody really knows why, but their owner dropped them off at the San Francisco animal shelter. The staff working at the shelter quickly realized that these two abandoned dogs were far from the ordinary. It was clear that they grew up together, but even the shelter staff was surprised by their bond.

Merrill and Taco walking in the backyard
Source: Pinterest

The dogs refused to be apart, despite several attempts to split them. They obviously needed to be adopted together, so the staff was looking for a home that would want a Pitbull and Chihuahua. Unfortunately, it seemed impossible, and the dogs needed to be separated to find homes.

Stuck Like Glue

The staff at Rocket Dog Rescue didn’t know much about the dogs or their owners when Merrill and Taco were first dropped off. What they did notice was that the dog didn’t like to be separated and were best friends. An employee took one out to groom for a few minutes, and both puppies cry out for each other. They were miserable when they were apart.

A sad-looking Pitbull and small Chihuahua sitting on a blanket at a shelter
Source: Pinterest

The staff decided to take a picture of the Pitbull and Chihuahua together to help them get adopted as a pair. What kind of person would want to separate dogs who look so cute together? The staff even captioned the photo explaining that they couldn’t handle the thought of splitting them up and if there’s anyone that would take them both?

One Sick Doggy

The vets at Rocket Dog Rescue take great care of the animals at the shelter. When they looked at Merrill, they noticed she wasn’t in the best condition. They said she is about three years old and found out she might have been previously used as a breeder. The poor pup had a horrible urinary tract infection and was in desperate need of medical care. Luckily, she ended up at the perfect shelter to get it.

The Chihuahua sitting on the Pitbull
Source: Pinterest

That’s when the volunteers understood why the owner wanted to get rid of her. First of all, the infection was life-threatening and required and expensive surgery. Secondly, the surgery meant the dog would be incapable of breeding. If she was used as a breeder, the owner didn’t really need her anymore. But what happened next was shocking.

Going Under the knife

Vets moved quickly because Merrill needed immediate life-saving surgery. Taco was getting anxious because he was separated from her. He cried as he was nervously waiting to see his friend. The staff said if the Chihuahua knew what was happening, he wouldn’t let her suffer alone, and would never leave her side.

Merrill sitting in the dirt
Source: Flickr

Right when Merrill woke up from surgery, she immediately started crying for Taco. Taco was still waiting for her. The vets said it would be better for Merrill to heal on her own, but neither dog was calming down. The staff at the shelter needed to do something about the separation, but they also didn’t want to endanger the dog who needed to recover from surgery.

Recovering Alone

After listening to the dogs cry for hours, it was time to do something. They couldn’t stand the noise, or watching the dogs suffer any longer! They finally brought Taco to see Merrill so they can both just relax. It was essential for Merrill’s health and recovery to stay come, and letting her see Taco seemed like the only way it was possible.

Merrill is lying in between cozy blankets
Source: Flickr

When Taco was allowed in the room, he sat next to Merrill and didn’t leave her side. His loyalty was so apparent that it concerned some volunteers that were watching. Could such a strong bond become dangerous over time? These weren’t ordinary best friends; they were stuck to each other. Is that really the best thing for them?

Are They Too Connected?

The Rocket Dog Rescue has been in the business for a while, and after years of rescuing dogs and adopting animals, they knew their stuff. They had a particular reason to be worried about the dogs. They have seen people adopt dogs and know how rare it is for two dogs to get adopted to the same house. It happened, but it was extremely uncommon.

Merrill and Taco are sleeping
Source: Flickr

In addition to his attachment issue, Taco was at least eight years old. Getting someone to adopt an older dog is difficult enough, let alone adopting both of them together. Although many people reacted to the photos of Merrill on the website, no one seemed to be interested in adopting the little aging Chihuahua. But something happened after Merrill’s surgery that changed how people saw these dogs and their upcoming adoption.

A Package Deal

Many people were interested in adopting Merrill. She was a gorgeous young dog with so much potential. Taco, on the other hand, was too old for most people to even consider adopting. Everyone was talking about Merrill; she was the perfect dog to attract possible families- Taco, unfortunately, wasn’t.

Merrill and Taco are sleeping on a cozy dog bed
Source: Flickr

That’s when someone came into the shelter looking to adopt a dog. He took one look of Merrill, and unsurprisingly, he wanted her. She was the perfect fog for him. What he didn’t know, however, is that she was kind of a package deal. She would leave Taco’s side- the much older and less desirable Chihuahua.

Suddenly There Was a Problem

The man was hopeful in giving the cute little Pitbull a loving home and decided to adopt her on the spot. The shelter was happy; she found a great place to live with an owner who would love and adore her. The new doggy daddy signed the papers and was ready to bring Merrill home.

Merrill with a muzzle on sitting on leaves
Source: Pinterest

Merrill was snuggling with Taco as she normally does when the owner took her out of the cage so that he can take her home. Immediately, both dogs started to cry. The man was incredibly confused and looked at the staff and volunteers for an explanation. He had no idea why his new dog was so upset.

Not Going Alone

It was clear the Merrill had no intention of going anywhere without her best friend. She wasn’t just going to leave Taco behind. She whined, cried, and basically caused a scene when she was being taken out of the cage. At this point, the staff had some explaining to do. They told the man that these dogs have such a strong bond and refuse to be apart.

Merrill with her tongue out and Taco drinking from the water bowl
Source: Flickr

The man wanted Merrill, but he really wanted the dogs to be happy. He was a huge animal lover and quickly realized that these two pups need to be adopted together. They wouldn’t be okay if they ever got separated; it would break their hearts. But the man wondered if he was the right person to give these two dogs a happy home.

Only Room for One

Unfortunately, the man who wanted to adopt Merrill wasn’t ready for the possibility of adopting two dogs. He ultimately chose a different dog to adopt- a dog that can come on his own. The staff was pleased that another dog found a loving new home. But they didn’t know what they were going to do about Merrill and Taco.

Merrill and Taco are sleeping together on a fuzzy blanket
Source: Flickr

They needed to come up with a different plan. Something needed to change. Unfortunately, the idea of them being adopted together wasn’t going very well. Adopting them separately wasn’t an option at this point. So how can the staff at the Rocket Dog Rescue ensure that both of these dogs would be chosen together?

Putting Them Up as a Pair

Instead of listing the dogs separately on their site, they put them up as a pair. They explained that the dogs were a package deal and needed to be adopted together by one single family, and that’s it. No one can adopt Merrill without taking Taco too. It was too heartbreaking to see them cry whenever they got separated.

Merrill and Taco are sleeping under a red blanket.
Source: Flickr

The Rocket Dog Rescue employees captioned the photo saying how the bonded dogs lost their family and their home. The shelter wasn’t going to let them lose each other on top of everything else. But could this idea really work? Is there a home willing to take two animals? One being an elderly Chihuahua?

Can’t be Separated

Thanks to social media, the picture of the Pitbull and Chihuahua quickly went viral. Who can resist such a cute picture of Merrill with Taco slipped in between her legs? His cute little head popped out, making him look even more adorable. No person would want to separate these two bundles of cuteness.

A screenshot of the Rocket Dog Rescue's Facebook page with Merrill and Taco cuddling together in the backseat of a car.
Source: Facebook / Rocket Dog Rescue

The picture illustrated how attached the dogs were to one another. In the photo, Taco literally looked attached to Merrill, and if things went his way, he would be. The Pitbull felt the same exact way. The picture made these two famous, but did it help them find a new loving home together?

Viral Doggies

Just a few days after posting the picture, the dynamic duo went viral on social media. Within days the photo had more than 26,000 shares, 14,000 likes, and 1,000 comments. It was clear that people on the internet felt strongly about this pair of adorable dogs. I mean, it would be like separating siblings at this point.

Merrill and Taco are looking up at the camera.
Source: Flickr

But thankfully, with such a positive response, the Rocket Dog Rescue was confident that the right person would come along and adopt the two fluffballs. Multiple families started expressing interest, and they thought the right one is just around the corner. Were they just holding on to false hope?

Still Waiting for a Home

The rescue made sure to update their page frequently, letting people know that Merrill and Taco were still available. They were really hoping the perfect owner would come along and adopt both dogs, but was that going to happen? The last thing the rescue staff wanted was for to see them languishing in the shelter.

Merrill and Taco are getting a treat in the kitchen
Source: Flickr

To at least get them out of the shelter, Jodi, one of the volunteers, decided to foster the two dogs until they were adopted. They were just so different, one young, one old, one small, one large, but then something happened that gave the staff some hope!

The Perfect Family

The Facebook post was swirling around the internet for a while, but unfortunately, nothing really came of it. But suddenly, a family from San Jose came across the picture and decided that they were going to take both dogs and offer them a good loving home.

Merrill is lying on the cold tile while Taco is standing over her head.
Source: Flickr

Of course, they wanted to meet the Merrill and Taco first to make sure it was a good fit. The family headed over to Jodi’s house to see how the dogs would feel around them. They were surprised to learn that these dogs were even better in person! It seemed as though they finally found a loving home. But things weren’t perfect just yet.

The Problems Begin

Sure, the dogs had a family that loved them and allowed them to stay together, but it wasn’t really the ideal situation. Taco was getting older, which came with some health issues. Other than Asthma, poor taco had gum problems, which caused most of his teeth to fall out and make his tongue floppy.

Taco and Merrill are posing with the family who adopted them in front of a sign for 'Rocket Dog Rescue.'
Source: Flickr

Despite all the health complications and clear neglect that Taco suffered, the new family was happy to take them as they are and deal with any issue the dogs had. However, the dogs were only home for about a month when it became evident that Taco’s health issues weren’t as minor as they initially thought.

Health Complications

After a month of being with their new family, the owners took Taco to the vet for a checkup. Older Chihuahuas are known to be fragile, so they wanted to make sure everything was okay with him. Sadly, they didn’t receive the news they were hoping for.

Merrill and Taco are cuddling on a tile floor
Source: Flickr

When the vet examined Taco, he realized the dog was in heart failure. After running a few times, it became evident that there were bigger issues at hand. In addition to his other health complications, the Chihuahua had an enlarged heart and fluid around his lungs. His condition wasn’t looking good at all.

Anxiously Waiting

Taco’s new family was worried about him. The vet made it clear to them that Taco needs to see a specialist as soon as possible before his heart gave up completely. He gave them some medication for the dog, and they immediately scheduled an appointment with a vet specialist.

Taco is attached to a wall leash with a towel around him after he received a bath.
Source: Flickr

It felt like their appointment with the specialist took forever to arrive. Meanwhile, Taco was taking his medication and spent most of his time playing with Merrill. The family loved the dogs already and were hopeful that Taco would be okay. But they were also terrified that they might get some more bad news and have to put the Chihuahua down.

Holding on to Hope

Given Taco’s age and condition, his chances weren’t looking too great. His new family grew to love him completely and didn’t want to lose him. They were determined not to give up on Taco and make sure he knew how loved he was. I mean, this dog got more attention in his short time with the family than he had his entire life.

Taco is lying under a white fuzzy blanket with leaves on it.
Source: Pinterest

However, it was Merrill who came to aid her best bud. Taco looked after her when she was sick and recovering, and now it was her turn to help her poor friend. She made sure he was cared for all the time, and she didn’t leave Taco’s side for more than a minute.

Taco’s Miracle

While anxiously waiting for Taco’s appointment with the vet specialist, the family was surprised to see him getting better. Maybe it was all the love he was showered with, maybe it was his special bond with Merrill that kept him going, or maybe it was nothing more than a miracle. Whatever the reason, Taco was looking better.

Taco is being held
Source: Flickr

When the specialist finally met with Taco, he gave the Chihuahua a few medications to help him recover. He got steroids to help prevent fluids from going into his lung, plus some anti-seizure medicine. Taco made a full recovery from his heart issues, but unfortunately, his lung problems didn’t end there.

Living the Life

Even though Taco had health complications, they didn’t slow him down. Sure, he might look tiny compared to the Pitbull, but the little Chihuahua was a ball of energy. Merrill even gets tired before Taco does. The fact that an old, sick dog can keep up with a pup like Merrill is incredible.

Taco is lying on his back with his tongue out.
Source: Flickr

Taco was living a pretty wonderful life. Since the two dogs got adopted together, they have been living happily with their new family. Taco is loved and surrounded by people who care about him, and of course, the Pit bull, who has stayed by his side all along. The family even made a Facebook page for their two pets.

Facebook Updates

The family chose to stay anonymous, but they do run the Merrill & Taco Facebook page. They share the beautiful and unbreakable bond the dogs have, and the page is pretty popular. So many internet users were interested in the pair after the viral post from Rocket Dog Rescue, and now, they can follow them online.

Taco and Merrill walking along a pathway
Source: Flickr

The pictures show how happy the pets are in their new home and how well-adapted they are to their new family. Although the dogs appear to be content, they still can’t be separated. They will still cry if they are apart from each other even if it’s just for a minute or two.

Energy Ball

Merrill is a young bouncy pup and spends a lot of time playing and running with her family in the yard. The way she leaps and rolls makes her look like the happiest dog in the world. It’s not surprising, considering she found a wonderful place to live with the perfect family and her best friend.

Taco and Merrill are posing on a carpet.
Source: Flickr

Taco has energy, but he is not as fast as his Pitbull friends because of his tiny little legs, but his family loves to carry him around. All the dogs want is to not be separated. A long as they are close together, Taco and Merrill are content.

Doggy Baby

Taco loves to be carried around and cuddled up. He has fun running around with Merrill, of course, but he loves being wrapped and swaddled. He is literally picked up like a newborn baby and is happy when he is being snuggled.

Taco is being carried around in someone's shirt.
Source: Flickr

When Taco is not being carried around, he is in close proximity to his buddy Merrill. Even though the Pitbull is obviously bigger and stronger than Taco, Merrill never exerts her dominance. She is more than happy to allow taco to climb on her, jump on her back, and basically use her body as a huge pillow. Their love for each other is unbelievable.

Snuggle Muffins

The Pitbull and Chihuahua obviously spent most of their time together, but now they were getting attached to their human family as well. Both dogs love sleeping next to them and can often be found on a bed, snuggled up with one of the family members. If someone is watching TV, Taco and Merrill are right beside them curled up.

Merrill is snuggling up with one of the children in their new home
Source: Flickr

Their Facebook page featured pictures of the two doggy’s cuddling up with one another after playing. You can also find several photos of them cuddling with their favorite humans. They are surrounded by so much love and care with the family.

Holiday Season

Ever since the dogs were adopted from Rocket Dog Rescue, they have been happy. They never have to be worried about being abandoned and left without a family ever again. Their social media documents the special moment with the family, including their first Christmas in their new home.

Taco is standing in between two light-up doggies that are dressed for Christmas on the front lawn.
Source: Flickr

The family dressed the dogs up to celebrate the holiday and showed them off for the internet world to see. When they posted the photo, the family made sure to thank Jodi and Rocket Dog Rescue for helping them find their beloved pets. It was a long journey, but the dogs were finally exactly where they want to be, and they are together.

One Year anniversary

Another celebratory day was Taco and Merrill’s one year anniversary of coming home. The plan was to have a fun day, going for a walk with the family, and some other friends the dogs liked playing with. The family celebrated the dogs and surprised fans when they posted another picture.

Merrill and Taco with the Rocket Dog Rescue ladies
Source: Flickr

It was a photo of the Merrill and Taco with Kim- the Rocket Dog Employee who originally posted the photo of both dogs together in the shelter. She was the reason the family found the two precious canines in the first place. Thanks to her efforts, they were finally exactly where they belong.

True Friendship

The bond Merrill and Taco have was formed during difficult times, but it created something special for the animals to share. For them, age, health, and size differences didn’t matter. All they wanted was to be together, and they were. So, they were happy.

Merrill is sitting on the grass with Taco lying over him.
Source: Flickr

When you take a first look at the Pitbull and Chihuahua, it might look like they are in love, but their beautiful relationship goes far beyond that. No one knows what exactly happened to these two before they were abandoned, but it must have been terrible. They are attached to one another like glue and take care of one another.

Happy Ever After

Since Merrill and Taco’s case garnered so much interest around the internet, Rocket Dog Rescue decided to share a picture of the beloved doggy duo. The picture was of the two sweet canines snuggling up next to a fireplace, and illustrates how happy and content they really are.

Merrill and Taco are lying by the fireplace
Source: Flickr

Under the picture was a caption that read: “Merrill & Taco are doing wonderful in their forever home. They are enjoying hanging out by the fire snuggling up after another long, fun-filled day.” It was certainly heartwarming and made fans ecstatic to see how happy the precious fur balls were with their loving family.

New Buddies

Merrill and Taco will be together until the end, But Merrill started to branch out and make some new friends. She is open to more companionships, and here you can see her with a new favorite friend, PJ. This picture was taken the first time the two dogs ever played together.

Merrill and his friend, PJ, playing together
Source: Flickr

The canines were having a great time running around and playing. It seems like PJ matched Merrill’s antics and high energy more than little Taco. Many people wondered why Taco wasn’t there that day, but don’t worry. He was fine but had other plans for the day.

Taco Chills out

After the dogs spent a few years with their wonderful loving family, they were able to be separated every once in a while. That means that Merrill can play outside with her doggy friends, while Taco chills in the house. The older Taco is getting, the more he would rather relax then run around.

Taco is sitting with his paw up being held by his owner.
Source: Flickr

Someone commented on a photo asking why Taco wasn’t included in Merrill’s play date, and the owner replied, saying it was getting rough out there. “This like clash of the Titans stuff.” They decided to keep Taco out of the intensity, and the Chihuahua was totally okay with that.

Spa Day

The dogs were having a fantastic time with their new family and finally felt safe and secure. The family knew exactly what to do to make them feel great. In this picture, you can see Merrill and Taco having a fun spa day at the groomers- but they don’t look particularly thrilled.

Taco and Merrill are sitting in the doggy spa showers
Source: Flickr

The owner admits that the doggy duo aren’t the biggest fans of bath time, but at least they enjoy the walk to and from the groomers. Plus, after their not-so-relaxing spa day, the groomer gives them a treat! It’s just another activity that Merrill and Taco can do together.

Nail Paw-lish

The precious canines get more than just a bath when they visit the groomers. Merrill gets a pedicure as an essential beauty ritual. Even dogs want to look great! After trimming her nails, the groomer applies Pawlish, which is a special OPI-brand pet polish. It gives the Pitbull a girly look.

Taco and Merrill are cuddling on their doggy bed
Source: Flickr

The nail polish takes a little while to dry, so after she gets her paws painted, Merrill chills out and takes a nap. She seems to be comfortable in this new fancy life that she never had before. Fans were just curious about Taco. What color nail polish did the Chihuahua get?

Snack Time

Merrill was pleased to be pampered with some new nails, but Taco is focused on other things… like food. In this picture, from March 2015, you can see Taco slobbering up a giant bone. While Merrill likes her nails, Taco definitely enjoys a well-deserved delicious treat.

Taco is holding a large dog treat
Source: Flickr

Despite his incredibly close bond with Merrill, the Chihuahua didn’t let her touch his bone! Even though he doesn’t have that many teeth left, Taco is determined to chow down that massive bone without any help from the Pitbull. Watching Taco turning Merrill away from his snack had the owners cracking up. The canine has definitely evolved since his days at the shelter.

Another Christmas

In 2015, Taco and Merrill got to celebrate another Christmas with their family that they grew to adore. Luckily for fans. The owners didn’t disappoint with the pictures. You can see the festive pooches reluctantly wearing antler headbands, and it is adorable! The dogs, however, didn’t like them very much.

Taco and Merrill are wearing reindeer antlers with jingle bells on them
Source: Flickr

The family said that the headband because Merrill to stay still because she was worried the antlers would fall off. It was entertaining for the family, but the Chihuahua was the one who really stole the show. His head was way too small for the headband, so they put it around his tint body. As you can see, Taco was not amused.

Cone Heads

The canines started off 2017 with a visit to the vet. Taco and Merrill arrived with the notorious cone of shape around their necks. It wasn’t the best look or an exciting way to bring in the New Year, but their adoptive family these two ended up with are very careful about their health.

Taco and Merrill are wearing their cones of shame
Source: Flickr

The owners never revealed what medical procedure exactly the duo got done; it was probably for their own good. Thankfully, the humans around them were cautious about their health. They have taken excellent care of them until now, and it doesn’t look like that is going to ever change.

Free Range

Merrill and Taco got lucky enough to live on open land, and they are free to explore whenever they want. That is every dog’s dream, so these doggies really ended up in paradise. They can frequently discover new things, like here where Merrill met a horse and donkey for the first time.

Merrill is helping someone feed the horse and donkey
Source: Flickr

The canine was curious about the farm animals and followed her human buddy to meet them. While the Pitbull was out and about, Taco was perfectly content hanging out in the warm and secure house. The fact that the two weren’t glued to each other and can separate for a little while shows how comfortable they are in their home.

Morning Ritual

Merrill and Taco aren’t just mooches; they are part of the family and know how to make themselves pretty useful. A perfect example is when their human brother needed to get up early. The doggy duo gets to work and helps wake him up in the most adorable way possible.

Taco and Merrill are cuddling with one of the children who they live with
Source: Flickr

They first cuddle up under his blanket and then push his arm until he wakes up. In this case, he most likely woke up from the flash of the picture being taken by another family member who wanted to document their cute little ritual. These sweet doggies have a special place in the family’s heart.

Home Forever

Merrill and Taco suffered some kind of trauma in their former life, and it was a long journey to find a new family. They now have the love and care they always yearned for, and best of all, they didn’t get separated. The canines can just enjoy life, relax, and snuggle up with each other for a nap.

Taco and Merrill are cuddling on their bed
Source: Flickr

This charming picture was taken in early 2018. The dogs are curled up in a pretty fancy doggy bed- something they probably never thought they would get. They are still the happiest when they are side by side, and nothing can break their special bond.

Rocket Dog Rescue

Rocket Dog Rescue was the organization that ultimately brought the Pitbull and Chihuahua to their family. The shelter rescues abandoned pets or animals whose owners can’t take care of them. They also save animals that would otherwise be killed and gives them a nurturing place to stay while they are waiting to get adopted.

The Rocket Dog Rescue team posing together
Source: Flickr

No matter what age, what breed, or what condition the dog is in, the Rocket Dog Rescue volunteers strongly believe that there is a home out there for every dog. They certainly proved that when it came to Taco and Merrill. Although it took some time, they found the doggy duo, a family that welcomed both canines.