Dogs can remember a lot – through their noses. Smells seem to lodge into dogs’ brains and stay there for a long, long time. Perhaps longer than almost anything else. Canines seem to build their memories around smells. That’s why dogs can tell where they are and who they’re with even after years of separation. The smell still lingers in their minds like memories that have not faded with time.
It took Pakita, a sweet dog living in Argentina, two years before she found a home. Because she was not a puppy, she struggled to get someone to adopt her. People want young dogs when they’re looking to add a pooch to the family brood. Nevertheless, Pakita was the sweetest thing you’ll ever see, which made it hard for her rescue shelter volunteers to understand why she was not getting picked up for adoption.
The dog had originally been dropped off at Arca Animal refuge by a person who found Pakita wandering the streets as a stray. Although a volunteer took Pakita into their home to foster her until she could find a forever home, Pakita was withdrawn and sad. She clearly missed her previous owners. Had she gotten lost or separated from them? What was her story? Too bad dogs can’t talk.
Volunteer Silvia Ferreyra was the generous soul to take Pakita into her home to foster her while she awaited progress on her adoption story.
“People prefer puppies,” Ferreyra told The Dodo. “So, for two years, she stayed with us.”
Because Pakita was sad all the time, people didn’t want to adopt her. Not only was she not a puppy, but she was also miserable, which made possible owners and families sad themselves.
Ferreyra and her colleagues began to put the pieces together. Pakita was so sad not because she was alone, but because she was separated from her true family. She didn’t want to find a new home, she wanted the one she had before, and little did she know they would again be reunited – in time.
Eventually, the team tried again to list Pakita for adoption. It was hard to get a good photo of her because she was so sad. But as soon as the image went online, someone responded. This time it was different.
“Immediately, we get a message from a woman saying that the dog was her son’s and that he had been looking for her!” Ferreyra said.
The son’s name was Ariel Naveira. He had given up on finding Pakita after she went missing two years prior. And when Naveira arrived the next day to claim Pakita, she did not seem to recognize the young man – until she smelled him.
As soon as his familiar scent connected with the memories in her brain, Pakita lighted up like a firecracker. She was so happy to have found Ariel Naveira, her true owner, once again.
“From that moment there was no doubt,” Ferreyra said.
“It was beautiful,” Naveira told The Dodo, looking back on that moment. “I was sad to lose her but to get her back was spectacular. There are no words to describe it.”
What do you think about this special moment?