Have you ever been so drawn to something that you’ll stop at nothing to get it? Or, perhaps you know what love-at-first sight feels like. It isn’t just people who experience these intense feelings. When a stray dog named Sisu found a purple stuffed unicorn in a Dollar General store in eastern North Carolina, he did everything he could to get it. He even risked going to canine custody.
One-year-old Sisu was caught breaking into the store, running straight to the toy aisle, and nabbing the $10 stuffed unicorn. The staff apprehended him and put him outside, but the determined dog didn’t just attempt the heist once. He went back five times, beelining for the unicorn each time. The store called Duplin County Animal Services, and Animal Control Officer Samantha Lane was sent to the scene. When she got there, Sisu was in the parking lot waiting for his next chance to rescue his beloved unicorn.
Lane, who has a “soft spot for sad stories,” couldn’t stand to see heartbroken Sisu separated from his one true love. She went into the store and bought the unicorn for him, set it in the front seat of her truck, and Sisu happily followed. The cute pair was together at last.
Lane brought the dog to a Duplin County Animal Services shelter, where the staff members gave him the name Sisu, after the dragon character in the Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon. The shelter posted a picture of the pup and his unicorn on Facebook with the caption, “This is what happens when you break into the Dollar General consistently to steal the purple unicorn that you laid claim to but then get animal control called to lock you up for your B&E [breaking and entering] and larceny but the officer purchases your item for you and brings it in with you.”
Sisu spent the following five days at the shelter cuddled up next to his unicorn. “It's so sweet. It's amazing. I mean, he's obviously super smart, and even when we got him to the animal shelter, he's been very obedient. He sits, shakes. Someone should be looking for him,” says Joe Newburn, department head for Duplin County Animal Services. “I don't know of any other reason why he would focus on the unicorn other than he had one at home. If the store had called and said he tore open dog food, that would make more sense but not hunting for a purple unicorn.”
Sisu’s heartwarming story caught the attention of local animal lovers interested in giving him and his unicorn a loving home. And on Friday, March 26, the shelter announced that Sisi was adopted! However, the good news doesn’t end there. Dollar General spokesperson Crystal Luce decided to send “a few extra purple unicorns for the adoptive family,” so he’ll never be without one. And the store even sent a pet food donation to Duplin County Animal Services as a thank you. Luce says, “We are glad to see Sisu is happy with his new toy!” We are too.