Woman rescues stray dog, then realizes he resembles her deceased puppy.

When a food delivery employee said goodbye to her 14-year-old dog in December 2021, she never thought she’d fall in love with another so soon.

Then, a scared little shih-poo crossed her path weeks later, changing both of their lives forever.

“I see this scraggly dog darting across the road from behind the truck and in front of me,” the woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, told The Dodo.

She quickly parked nearby to find the scared pup.

“He was so little — and given my freshly wounded heart from the loss of my own fur baby, — I did not want to risk leaving him to be hit by someone,” she said.

When she finally found the little dog again, their connection was instant.

“When we locked eyes, I said, ‘Come here, buddy’ and he ran to me, nearly jumping into my arms,” she said. “It was a moment that felt almost like he’d been searching for me his entire life and he finally found me.”

The woman tried to locate the dog’s owner with no luck, and he wasn’t microchipped. A thorough vet checkup showed the 3-year-old dog, whom she named Stitch, was in mostly good health — except for his matted hair.

“After spending a week with Stitch, and no leads to his owner, I cut his hair,” she said. “That was the moment I realized how much he resembled Lela. I had to stop grooming him as I burst into tears and just held him.”

Despite the resemblance, it took some work for Stitch to feel safe.

“He was a little skittish and not sure how to play with toys,” she said. “Now, he absolutely loves to bring us his toys and play with us. He ended up turning into the most loveable dog in the world and brings so much joy to our lives.”

Though the woman still misses Lela, she’s grateful for the time they had together, as well as the second chance she’s getting with Stitch.

“I sit back and wonder if somehow, somewhere in this universe, it was Lela that made us cross paths at just the right time,” she said. “The resemblance between the two is uncanny. He was in desperate need of love and proper care, and I was in desperate need of help in mending an incredibly broken heart.”

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