DALLAS -- Dallas Alteration Center has been devastated by the loss of another of its unofficial employees.
Merlin, a 12-year-old Australian shepherd and customer greeter, was put down last month after suffering from heart problems and cancer.
A pet passing is hard enough, but this is the second dog owners Clara and Mony Nimmo have recently lost. Another dog, Tuli, who was an Australian Shepherd just like Merlin, passed away Jan. 10.
"(That) Tuesday (Mony) made the appointment and told (Merlin) he was going to join Tuli," Clara said. "It's just hard losing two dogs in six months."
Merlin and Tuli were in charge of greeting customers at the downtown alteration shop on Mill Street, where Clara works and which she owns. Customers got to see Merlin grow up as he was featured in the "Who's Who" advertising section of the Itemizer-Observer nearly every year since 1996.
Clara said Merlin's favorite things were the wading pool he would splash into during the summer heat and getting children to pet him at work.
Last March, Merlin's owners noticed his eyes and gums were pale. The veterinarian said Merlin had an irregular heartbeat and a tumor in his rib cage that made surgery too dangerous. Clara and Mony were told Merlin only had four to six weeks to live.
"He said to enjoy the time we have," Clara said.
Merlin survived expectations and lived an additional three months. He was having a hard time lying down and taking pain medication, and Clara said at 7:45 p.m. on June 21, Merlin knowingly walked into the veterinarian's office, where he would often resist before, and let the vet shave his paw and said goodbye.
The Nimmos still have an Australian shepherd named Shorty and a new three-month-old puppy. Shorty now goes to work with Clara alone.