When this dear dog named Ava arrived at the Hoke County Animal Shelter in North Carolina, she was the picture of downheartedness. She'd been surrendered by her former owner. The only life she'd known had come to a sudden end.
Ava was devastated — and it showed.
But in one happy moment, her circumstances changed for the better. And in the same instant, Ava's spirit did too.
Kristi Pylant, who works at the shelter, was there the day that Ava arrived. She tried her best to ease Ava's fears.
"She was absolutely terrified and sad, understandably," Pylant told The Dodo. "After spending time with her, we became buddies."
Ava's broken heart began to mend, thanks to the patience shown to her by shelter staff. Little did Ava know, however, that her happy ending was right around the corner.
Earlier this month, a visitor to the shelter met Ava and decided to give her what she needed most: a forever home with people who'll love her for a lifetime.
Ava's fortunes had changed. And she seemed to know it completely.
Pylant, who'd welcomed the formerly heartbroken dogs into the shelter, was there as an overjoyed Ava prepared to check out.
Ava, now all smiles, even paused to give "thanks" to Pylant — extending her paw in gratitude for all the love that had been shown to her:
"It was so sweet for her to offer me her paw when she was getting adopted," Pylant said.
Though being surrendered to the shelter may have felt like the end of the line for Ava, in reality, it was just a stop along the way to a happy new beginning — one made possible by Pylant and her coworkers and, of course, Ava's new family.
They all knew, even when Ava didn't, that the best was yet to come.