The story behind this priceless photo is as good as you’d expect! It’s about two best friends who’ve stuck together through thick and thin. They went through a lot, but they’ve always had each other. The best part is they found their happily ever after in the end.
It began when the two dogs, Merrill, a 3-year-old pit bull mix, and Taco, an 8-year-old chihuahua mix, met and became friends under trying times in 2014.
They were surrendered to a shelter, where they quickly found each other and bonded. It’s not unusual for dogs to seek security and friendship in the company of other dogs. Merrill reportedly had suffered a “lifetime of mistreatment.” She was also ill with a urinary tract infection and had to undergo surgery.
Good Morning from Merrill & Taco! This darling couple is waiting for a forever home… #bondedpair #adopt
Taco was there for her when she was recovering and never left her side. Dogs, known for their loyalty toward their human owners, are also loyal to each other, as friends.
But “bonded” dogs such as these two are harder to adopt out, and so luckily, San Francisco-based shelter Dog Rocket Rescue, who specialize in finding homes for difficult placements, brought them in from the shelter where they were staying prior.
Such unwanted dogs are most at risk of being euthanized. It’s very sad.
Thank you all for sharing Merill & Taco, the bonded pair at the shelter who are waiting for a forever home…We just…
Merrill, being 3 years old, would likely have no trouble finding a home. Eight-year-old Taco was another story. When a man came into the shelter one day and wanted to adopt Merrill, as soon as they removed her from Taco’s side, the dogs began to cry for each other. That’s when everyone knew they had to find them a home together—no matter what. Unfortunately, that man wasn’t able to adopt both of them.
Rocket Dog Rescue decided to post that wonderful photo of Merrill and Taco together on their Facebook page—Taco adorably tucked under Merrill’s tummy like a baby kangaroo in its mom’s pouch.
“We are NOT seperating [sic] these two,” the rescue wrote in the comment section. Meanwhile, a volunteer named Jodi agreed to foster them until they found a home.
Freedom photo!!! Merill & Taco just left the shelter and are on the way to Rocket Dog in San Francisco!! They are the SWEETEST dogs ever! Now let's find this bonded pair a forever home!
And, posting the photo proved to be a winning strategy. Soon, it went viral with literally thousands of people liking, loving, sharing, and commenting.
Not only that, but there were dozens of loving families posting offers for the bonded pair to live in their homes. It was then only a matter of choosing the very best home for the two to go live in.
Soon, they did just that; a wonderful family from San Jose, it was reported, was contacted, and soon they were whisked away to a wonderful new forever home … together.
Their new human family soon realized just how interested in the duo the public was. So, to keep the world updated, they created Merrill and Taco’s very own Facebook page.
However, their journey wasn’t over yet. Merrill would be given a chance to repay Taco for comforting her after her own surgery. Taco was put on medication for an enlarged heart and because his lungs had filled with fluid. The aging dog might not live through it, the vets said. But Merrill did not leave Taco’s side during his recovery. And he did recover.
Taco will have to take anti-seizure medication for the rest of his life, and he’s no longer as agile as his best friend. But that won’t stop them from enjoying each other’s company in their newfound happy home for the rest of their days.
The ultimate in silliness. I mean seriously, he needs to stand right there?
Update: In May 2018, the family informed the world that Taco had passed away. They shared a few memorable photos in their Facebook page as a beautiful tribute. The caption wrote:
Yesterday was a very sad day for us. Taco has passed away. He was a huge presence packed into a small package. When we adopted him we thought we would get a year. We got three. We feel so lucky to have had him join our family.
Yesterday was a very sad day for us. Taco has passed away. He was a huge presence packed into a small package. When we…