Lifestyle & Human Interest

Parents Surprise Daughter with Shelter Dog She Fell in Love with While Volunteering


An Oklahoma State University student had been begging her parents to let her get a dog, but her parents were pretty adamant that she shouldn’t have one until after she graduated college.

So Hallee Fuqua began volunteering with the Human Society of Stillwater shortly before Thanksgiving, and it didn’t take long for her to form a special bond with one particular dog named Rambo.

“Rambo and I just hit it off,” Hallee told Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal. “He was the mellow dog in his pen when all of the others were overly excited and barking. We went for walks and all he wanted to do was snuggle up against me.”

As Hallee and Rambo’s bond grew, the excited college student sent pictures and videos of the beloved pup to her family.

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Eventually, all of the videos and pictures made it clear to Hallee’s parents, Lance and Jessica Fuqua, that Rambo needed to become a part of the family.

“She just continued to go on and on about how much she loved this dog,” Lance Fuqua said. “Her mother just told me one morning that she felt like Rambo needed to be in our family. So I called the shelter that day and got the ball rolling.

“It was just something about the bond that Hallee and Rambo had in the videos she sent us. Jessica and I just felt in our hearts that he needed to be in our family.”

Lance and Jessica Fuqua decided to keep the adoption a secret, so they enlisted the help of the shelter to keep everything as discreet as possible.

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The shelter made sure that Rambo was marked “available” for as long as possible online. Hallee soon found out that Rambo had been adopted, but she didn’t know who had adopted him.

Hallee said that she had mixed emotions about Rambo finding a family. “I was glad he had a family to spend Christmas with but was sad that I wasn’t the one that got to provide that for him,” she said.

Just two days after learning that sweet Rambo had been adopted, she received the best Christmas surprise.

In an emotional video Lance Fuqua posted on Facebook on Dec. 18, 2018, Hallee was able to embrace Rambo once again, but this time as his official owner.

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“It took me a few seconds to process it,” Hallee recalled. “I didn’t realize it was Rambo right away because I knew he already had a home. Then it started to make sense what was happening.”

The video quickly went viral and the family is hoping that people will feel compelled to donate to the humane society where their story first began.

“Rambo is settling in fine,” Hallee said. “He is the center of attention at our house and he fits our family perfectly.”

Rambo and Hallee were reunited just in time for the holidays and it made this a Christmas they’ll never forget.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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