After Two Years Of Being Stuck In A Shelter, This Dog Finally Caught The Scent Of Someone Familiar

Pakita was familiar with her carers; after all, she’d been with them at the shelter for so long. For two years, the stray had watched other dogs go home with their new humans, but she was always left behind. Then one day shelter staff took Pakita to meet someone who had a very familiar scent.
In 2014 someone took a dog called Pakita to the Arca Animal shelter in Mar Chiquita, Argentina. The person explained to staff working there that they’d found the stray dog on the street. Apparently, locals considered the pooch a bit of a nuisance as she was always getting in the way of their bikes.
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Image: Michell Zappa
In fact, the person who brought Pakita in claimed that disgruntled cyclists had been throwing stones at the dog. Presumably concerned for the hound’s safety, then, the person left her in the care of the shelter. But it soon became clear that, in addition to having stones thrown at her, Pakita had another reason to be unhappy.
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On its Facebook page, Arca Animal states that its ultimate goal is to provide comfort to our furry friends. “Our main objective [is] to ensure the welfare of the suffering animal,” it wrote. Clearly, then, it must have pained staff to be charged with looking after a resident seemingly beyond help.
That’s because, despite being well cared for, poor Pakita was timid and distant to the point of depression. Not only did this break volunteers’ hearts, but it also had another effect. Pakita’s demeanor was part of the reason why potential adopters passed her over in favor of other dogs.
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Moreover, Silvia Ferreyra, an Arca Animal volunteer who grew close to Pakita, explained that the dog’s age also counted against her. “People prefer puppies, so for two years she stayed with us,” Ferreyra told The Dodo on October 20, 2017. But Pakita’s withdrawn manner didn’t seem to improve much over time.
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Initially, Ferreyra couldn’t even stroke Pakita without the dog cowering away. But as time went by, so Arca Animal’s determination to find a loving home for Pakita increased. And with this goal in mind, volunteers tried to take a photo of the pooch to post on the internet.
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Since Pakita was so withdrawn, though, getting a clear picture of the pooch proved trickier than staff imagined. But they stuck at it, and eventually their persistence paid off. Passable snap in their possession, then, they set about uploading it. However, nothing could have prepared them for what happened once the image was online.
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Image: GirlInLimbo
“Immediately, we get a message from a woman,” Ferreyra told The Dodo. “[She said] the dog was her son’s and that he had been looking for her!” Given that staff had thought that Pakita was a stray for the two years they’d had her, the news must have come as a shock.
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Image: W3155Y
The woman described how Pakita had vanished without a trace from her son’s backyard. Apparently, her son, Ariel Naveira, had subsequently searched high and low for his beloved pet – but to no avail. And it’s likely that, after two years, Naveira had given up hope of ever ruffling his dog’s coat again.
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Understandably, Naveira was keen to be reunited with his dog, so he arranged to meet Pakita the very next day on August 6, 2016. But after 24 months apart, neither Naveira nor the Arca Animal volunteers could be sure how things would go. Consequently, all parties braced themselves for possible disappointment.
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And, at first, disappointment looked to be absolutely on the cards. Captured on a video uploaded to YouTube, the reunion took place on a piece of land next to a car park. The footage shows an initially apathetic Pakita moping around behind her handler. By all appearances, the dog seems to be her usual depressed self when she first claps eyes on Naveira. But then the hound catches a whiff of her estranged owner’s scent, and things slowly begin to change.
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Pakita approaches Naveira warily, as if the dog can’t quite believe what her own nose is telling her. But then her tail starts wagging furiously, and after that her pain and sorrow seem to just melt away. Pakita pushes her nose into Naveira’s face and leaps into his arms.
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Pakita appears to be so ecstatic to see her human after two long years that she can’t stop kissing him. In fact, she only ceases when she rolls on her back to allow Naveira to rub her belly. And when the pooch eventually gets back on her feet, she literally jumps for joy.
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“It was beautiful,” Naveira later said of the reunion. “I was sad to lose [Pakita], but to get her back was spectacular. There are no words to describe it.” And from the pictures of the two together, it’s clear that Pakita thinks so, too.
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It’s likely we’ll never know the full story of exactly why Pakita was handed in to Arca Animal. Interestingly, though, the center claimed that it was Naveira’s neighbor who brought the dog in. A post on its Facebook from August 6, 2016, asked, “Why [did] the neighbor [do] what he did?”
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Image: The Dodo
“We don’t know,” the post continued, “but his wrong judgment deprived Pakita of the love of his family [for] too long. However, the truth is far away from [his] version: she had a family and was happy!” Whatever the answer is, at least Pakita finally found her human.
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And although Arca Animal had to say goodbye to Pakita, they were thrilled things ended so well. The group even penned a touching farewell on Facebook. “Dear Pakita,” they wrote, “your [foster] moms (Susana and Silvia) …love you, and now we are happy for you!”
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Speaking of Silvia Ferreyra, she shared an update from Pakita’s home on November 1, 2017. Happily, the dog looks transformed. Gone is the sad pooch that stayed at the Arca Animal shelter; these days she’s the picture of happiness and wears a huge grin on her face.
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Image: The Dodo
Pakita’s family must be so grateful to Arca Animal for looking after their pooch for so long. And now, pooch and owner can make up for those two lost years, content in the knowledge that they are together again at last. Ariel Naveira is a happy man – and then some. “We are super happy,” he says.

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