Ruth Parada de Martinez and her daughters will never forget the day when their loving pup, Dante, went missing.
During one of his walks, Dante suddenly got off his leash and ran after the other dogs. He disappeared out of sight, leaving his family brokenhearted.
Dante was a beloved family member, and Ruth and her daughters couldn’t imagine their life without him. The pup meant the world to them.
They frantically searched for him, but he was nowhere to be found and nobody knew anything about him.
Trying To Move on
The family adopted him in 2017 when Ruth’s eldest daughter found out that she had lymphoma.
Dante was just a puppy and he brought so much joy to his family. He was a constant support to them until July 26th of 2022 – the day he went missing.
Ruth and her children had a hard time moving on. All they could think about was their loving pup who was no longer with them.
Deeply saddened, the family decided to move to another town in Virginia, 20 miles away from their former home.
Dante Ends Up In A Shelter
In August of 2022, a Good Samaritan noticed a sweet dog in Burke, Virginia, and she brought him to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.
The pup was a real sweetheart and he stole the hearts of the shelter staff.
They wished to find his owners, but unfortunately, the friendly stray didn’t have a collar or a microchip. They also searched lost dog reports, but nothing came up.
The staff named him “Soldier”.
They focused on helping the pup find a great home. Since the dog was adorable and friendly, the shelter believed that he would soon find a family.
“Soldier” met a couple of families who were interested in him, but the pup was reserved. He didn’t want to interact with them. At the time, the shelter staff didn’t know that Dante’s heart was filled with immense love for his family.
“… He shut down during all his meet-and-greets — there was just a little bit of a sadness about him. We kept talking about it in staff meetings: ‘Why isn’t this beautiful, playful boy getting adopted?’ We couldn’t figure it out. And then, of course, we realized he was waiting for his family,” Reasa Currier, the director of the shelter, told PEOPLE.
In October of 2022, Ruth, her two daughters, and her grandson arrived at Fairfax County Animal Shelter. They came to the shelter with the intention of adopting a dog.
The family looked at the adoption kennels, but they didn’t feel connected with any of the dogs. Just as they were about to leave, the most surprising thing happened.
An Emotional Reunion With Dante
While Ruth’s daughter, Kayla Martinez, was looking at the pictures of dogs on a wall in the shelter’s lobby, she noticed a familiar face. Her heart jumped with joy when she recognized that it was the sweet face of their Dante.
When she told her mom that the pup in the picture was Dante, Ruth couldn’t believe it. She explained to her daughter that the dog’s name was Soldier.
Kayla started crying. She was sure that it was their loving pup. Since her daughter insisted, Ruth asked the staff to see the dog.
The moment the pup saw his family, his whole body wiggled with happiness. He was over the moon to see them.
Ruth and her children cried tears of happiness when they saw their precious Dante in front of them. The pup started jumping with joy. His family ran to him and wrapped their arms around him.
Dante felt immensely happy. He never stopped believing that his family would find him.
Ruth showed the shelter staff Dante’s pictures when he was just a puppy, and she thanked them for taking care of their boi.
The next day, she took Dante home, feeling relieved that their nightmare was over. The beautiful pup was overjoyed to be back with his family.
Dante’s story highlights the importance of getting our dogs microchipped. If the delightful canine had a microchip, he would have been reunited with his family shortly after arriving at the shelter.