When Pakita was first rescued and brought to a shelter in Argentina, she was very obviously distraught. Try as they might, shelter volunteers simply couldn’t get her to open up. She wouldn’t play, she wouldn’t wag her tail, she wouldn’t smile. There was nothing anyone could do to help her be happy again.
The shelter searched and searched for a forever home for this special animal who needed someone to really love on her, but it was rough going. For starters, Pakita was already an adult, and adult dogs are much harder to adopt out than puppies and young adult animals.
“People prefer puppies,” Silvia Ferreyra told The Dodo. “So, for two years, she stayed with us.”
The shelter workers also couldn’t get a good photo of Pakita because she always looked so miserable, so it was tough to get any interest in her.
One of the shelter workers decided to foster Pakita in the hopes that she would appreciate the change of scenery and open up a little more if she were away from the stressful environment of the shelter, where there were constantly people and animals all around her making noise. But she continued to be the unhappy dog she’d been all along.
After a while, Silvia began to suspect that Pakita was so dreadfully unhappy because she missed the people she used to live with. She tried one more time to post a photo of Pakita online in an attempt to reach whoever Pakita’s old owners were.
Lo and behold, this time, the strategy worked. “Immediately, we get a message from a woman saying that the dog was her son’s and that he had been looking for her!” Silvia says.
The woman’s son, Ariel Naveira, had been heartbroken when he lost his beloved dog and had been looking for her for the entire two years that she’d been missing. He came to the shelter right away to claim her.
Shelter workers filmed Ariel and Pakita’s reunion. At first, it seemed that Pakita had no interest in this man and obviously didn’t recognize him, at least not by sight. However, when her handler led her up to him and Ariel squatted down to let her sniff him, she immediately knew who had finally come for her.
“It was beautiful,” Ariel recalls. “I was sad to lose her, but to get her back was spectacular. There are no words to describe it.”
You can clearly see the sudden change in Pakita’s sad demeanor in the video below. This is one of the most touching reunions between an animal and a human that we’ve ever seen. Check it out for yourself!