As the curious cowboy-in-training Tate Dutton, young actor Brecken Merrill has won over the hearts of Yellowstone fans.
Away from the Yellowstone set, Brecken is your normal pre-teen kid who is soaking up youth as best he can. He recently took up an unusual hobby in dissecting owl pellets. It may seem disgusting to some to open up owl vomit, but Merrill seems to be enjoying his new hobby.
He and his family also recently got a puppy — a Jack Russell Terrier they named “Betty.” Often active on social media, Merrill loves showing off his new pet with photos and videos on Instagram. He recently took to the social media site to show fans how he is “acclimating” his pup to other animals on the farm.
“Acclimating Betty to livestock,” he writes in the social media post. “She’s already had a better first experience than Jimmy!”
Merrill is referring to the struggles of Yellowstone Ranch hand Jimmy, who had a couple of rough training days while learning to cowboy. Played by Jefferson White, Jimmy’s story has been one of the most interesting story arcs on the show.
The brief video shows Betty examining a toy horse. The pup isn’t sure what to think when the stuffed pony begins moving its head. Perhaps the next step for Betty will be interacting with a real horse, but for now, the toy will have to do. The Yellowstone actor expresses gratitude for the toy horse in the social media post.
“Thanks, @vanessabednar for the little pony,” Merrill continues in the Instagram post. “My mom says he reminds her of the animatronic animals at Chuck E Cheese when she was a kid.”
The weekend Instagram post took in more than 1,900 “likes” and dozens of comments only hours after going live.
With the new season of Yellowstone quickly approaching, it will be interesting to see what becomes of Tate Dutton. Merrill appears to be growing taller by the day, meaning his character will also be maturing in the new season. Tate has become a fan-favorite on the show and is quickly coming into his own. Perhaps young Tate will have an even larger role on Yellowstone Ranch in season four.