Lost Dog Depressed in Shelter for 2 Years. Until She Smells Something Familiar
Abandoned, abused, alone. All too often, words like these describe the frightened dogs who find their way to animal shelters.
Shelter volunteers are an incredibly dedicated group of people, and they do their best to make incoming pets feel safe and secure.
But respected welfare organizations like Maddie’s Fund note that unfamiliar noises, smells, and surroundings can cause anxiety in almost any canine.
Such was the case with Pakita. Volunteers at the Argentina-based shelter, El Arca Animal Partido de Mar Chiquita, did their best to welcome her when she first arrived from a harsh life on the unforgiving streets.
Of course, they wanted to help her find a loving forever home. But Pakita was showing marked signs of depression and withdrawal in an environment that she seemed to find largely unpredictable.
So whenever staff members tried to take a sweet photo of Pakita for social media, she would turn away or gaze sadly at the ground.
Meanwhile, two years went by, and potential adopters continued to choose younger, more outgoing pups.
With each passing week, shelter workers knew that Pakita’s chances for adoption were growing slimmer.
They continued to try for a suitable photo, and eventually captured an image they felt was good enough for the internet.
“Immediately, we get a message from a woman,” recalled volunteer Silvia Ferreyra. This woman claimed that Pakita belonged to her son Ariel Naveira, and that they had been searching for the dog everywhere.
The very next day, Naveira arrived at the shelter to meet Pakita. The canine’s initial greeting was somewhat hesitant: She hid shyly behind a volunteer, warily sniffing the air.
But a video snippet of the big event shows the incredible moment when Pakita seemed to pick up a familiar scent.
In that single heartwarming second, she recognized her human friend — and suddenly began showering him with affection.
Shelter volunteers are so committed to the animals they serve, and many explain that they live for joyous moments like these.
Some who have seen the video actually compare Pakita’s excited whimpering and tail-wagging to grateful tears of happiness.
Pakita rolled over for belly rubs, and jumped, and spun around ecstatically. Just like everyone who has since witnessed this touching reunion, her heart was totally full.
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