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From Stray to Star: Mervin’s Happy Tail

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 11:00am
Chihuahua wearing sweater on a walk

With three dogs and a cat, Joey T. is known to his friends and family as a “foster failure.” Every time he takes an animal home for “temporary” care, they end up becoming a permanent fixture in his life! Such was the case with Mervin the Chihuahua, a very special special-needs dog who’s made a major splash in Joey’s life—and on social media! Here is their very Happy Tail.

Mervin came to the ASPCA as a stray in November 2013. He was emaciated and had major kneecap damage that required surgery. Beyond that, he was suffering from a very severe dental disease that required full removal of his teeth. Toothless and moving slow, the lil’ guy was having a hard time getting adopted.  So Joey T., who works in the ASPCA Adoption Center, agreed to take him in as a foster. With four rescue animals in his home already, Joey says that “most people in my life just kind of said, ‘Here we go again!’” Joey tried to remain strong, but when he brought Mervin back to the Adoption Center and went to put him in his kennel, he simply couldn’t bring himself to do it. Sure enough, he adopted Mervin.

Back at home, Mervin settled in nicely with all the other animals. Though the initial adjustment involved some growls and guarding, Joey says, “After a few days of patience and lots of love, they all now get along great. He and my oldest dog Moose actually cuddle together!”

Though he will be on soft food for the rest of his life, Mervin doesn’t let his past get him down. In fact, he’s become an Instagram star thanks to Joey! He posts pictures of Lil’ Merv as @MervinTheChihuahua, and he currently has over 4,000 followers. It seems that Joey’s not the only one who can’t get enough of this precious pup.

When Mervin is not busy starring on Instagram, Joey says “His favorite thing to do is burrow under the covers, and when we play he likes to nibble my nose—which is fine since he has no teeth! He really has had a big turnaround, and just lives his little life to the fullest. I couldn’t be happier.”

We bet Mervin feels the same way.

Do you have a Happy Tail you’d like to share? Email your story to happytails@aspca.org and we might feature it on the blog!

Chihuahua getting back scratched

Young man holding a pomeranian and chihuahua

Chihuahua standing on park bench




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Kim Sether

Way to go Joey !!! Wish there were alot more people in this world like you. Looks like you have an absolute wonderful little boy there.

Anna Marie

What a great story!!!

Anna Marie

What a great story!!!

Melanie

Bless you for taking in this little love. You all look so happy!

Julianne the Xa...

Two handsome fellas! What's not to l♡ve?

steve lowen

This is a wonderful example of reaching out to do the right thing. Sometimes this is not easy, or predictable….but, it is necessary. As a long time 'friend' to those Chihuahua's in need we feel good
in doing well.

Lee Graham

I love Merv...thanks Joey.

Mary Jane

Thank you for having such a kind heart! Joey, you make this world a better place to live in, with your selflessness and generosity. What a lucky little guy Mervin is!

Anonymous

Just when I start to lose faith in mankind, a story about "Joey T" comes along and I am grateful for his kindness, love and devotion.

Thank you Joey T for evening up the unbalance in the world.

Brenda B

Joey, you're a great man!! I wish there were more caring and compassionate people like you in the world. What a great story! Mervin is a rock star!

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