Former Puppy Mill Dog Wouldn’t Let Anyone Pet Him, Now All He Wants Are Cuddles

Former Puppy Mill Dog Wouldn’t Let Anyone Pet Him, Now All He Wants Are Cuddles

Emily Taylor thought the perfect way to celebrate her dog Merle’s third “gotcha day” was to share his brave story with the National Mill Dog Rescue.


This former puppy mill dog had a very rough start to life. By the time he was saved by the National Mill Dog Rescue, Merle was so neglected that a mere touch would cause him to lash out and bite. His face was matted so badly that rescuers couldn’t even tell he had blue eyes until after he was shaved.


On May 28th, 2013, Merle’s life changed forever when he was adopted by Emily Taylor and her boyfriend Aaron. Emily said, “When I first saw his photo, I knew instinctively that he was a unique dog in more ways than one,” and boy was she right. “It’s really an interesting thing to reflect on our early days with Merle, mostly because he was such a different dog back then.”


Because he came from a puppy mill, Merle was clueless and terrified of many things. He was confused by stairs and scared of door thresholds. He had some of the strangest fears, like hatred over guitar cases, and had many accidents in the house. Outside, he would not lift his leg to pee, and would throw up every time he went in the car. Despite this, the only thing he wanted was love and affection.


When she first adopted Merle, Emily’s boyfriend was out of town, so when it came for Aaron to come home, Merle thought it was his duty to be protective over his new mom. She said, “With great patience and practice, he has learned everything about being a ‘normal’ dog.” After six months, Aaron was able to win Merle over and now the pup can’t wait to see him each day. Merle even made a new furry friend, Juniper, who helped him learn what to do with other dogs.


Finally, Merle has learned to be happy, loving the outdoors and mastering his potty training. He has gotten over his fear of stairs and thresholds, but most importantly, he still demands as much attention as his tiny body can take.

He even took a fun road trip to Utah where his carsickness didn’t control him—in fact, this pooch has become quite the adventurous pup. He accompanies his humans on cross-country skiing and backpacking trips, and he even goes mountain climbing, where he loves to be the first one to reach the summit.


Emily wrote:

Aaron and I are so grateful to NMDR and ‘Harley to the Rescue’ for bringing this very special dog into our lives. Our little family is a pack that would never have been complete without Merle.

Thanks to NMDR and Emily’s family, this little guy has progressed so much that knows he owns the mountains.

Featured Image & H/T: National Mill Dog Rescue