Are you a fan of older pups? Most people would gloss over them at shelters in search of younger pups, but not Jennifer Hoyt. She met the adorable canine Pirate while stationed in Honolulu and fell in love. What happens next is the purest love story ever. Find out how a dog who lived in a shelter for seven years found its forever home with an Army servicewoman.
The Ulti-Mutt Challenge
Since 2010, Pirate sat at the Oahu Animal Shelter in Hawaii waiting for a permanent home. Seven years later, Army member Jennifer Hoyt was assigned to Honolulu for work. She had always been a pet person and longed to adopt a doggie of her own. However, the man that she was engaged to—Army member Dennis Shaffer—pleaded with her to hold off on pet adoption until he moved to Hawaii too. While she was waiting for Dennis to join her in a few months, she decided to volunteer at the Oahu Animal Shelter.
Day one at the shelter brought her face-to-face with good ‘ole Pirate. As a senior canine, Pirate was used to being ignored by many potential dog owners. She looked extremely sad, and Jennifer wanted to be the one to put a smile on her face. Dying to know more info about Pirate, Jennifer scrolled through the Oahu Animal Shelter Instagram page. That’s when she discovered that Pirate had been sitting at the shelter for almost a decade. Realizing that something had to be done, Jennifer decided that it was her job to rescue Pirate.
Anything Is Paw-Sible
Before she could move forward with the adoption process, she consulted fiancé Dennis about her decision. Happily, he told her that she should definitely meet Pirate and see if they clicked. The following day, Jennifer and Pirate hung out together at the shelter. The Army servicewoman was devastated when she saw how depressed Pirate really was. In an interview with I Heart Dogs, Jennifer shared, “She didn’t look at me; she didn’t look at anything. She was emotionally detached. That broke my heart.”
To cheer her up, Jennifer purchased some brand new toys and a comfy dog bed for Pirate. The doggo immediately got into her new bed and snuggled up. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the pair. Once Jennifer told Dennis about her bonding sesh with Pirate, he gave her the green light to adopt her. Sure enough, Jennifer gave Pirate a forever home on July 13, 2017. She renamed the grateful pup Pirate Marie!
A Far-Fetched Dream
When Dennis arrived in Honolulu a month later, he saw that Jennifer and Pirate were already super close. Although it took a while for Pirate to warm up to him, Dennis and Pirate became besties too. For the past two years, the fur family has been posting their adventures on their Instagram page @pirate_marie. The viral account already has 33,000 followers! We can’t wait to see what Jennifer, Dennis, and Pirate are up to next!
Social media reaction has been overwhelmingly loving!
Instagram user @scorpio.rayn raved, “Oh love that sweet face! Will you possibly have a meet & greet for us here? Would LOVE to meet her!!”
Instagram user @nashcalls_me_chilly swooned, “I love the Life Pirate has, thank you for giving her her second chance and showing her love everyday. 💕”
Instagram user @luannelee ranted, “I love every picture I see of pirate! Thank you for seeing something special in this special fur baby and making her yours! Your giving her so much love and joy and I know she gives the same to you! Happy fur baby Mother’s Day ❤️”
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