dog dealership viral story

After Stray Dog Lurks Around Car Dealership, Salesman Does the Unthinkable

Stories

| LAST UPDATE 08/09/2022

By Amelie Durham

The manager at a Hyundai dealership knew something was wrong when a strange dog sat outside the building for days without leaving. He finally decided to let the canine in - and there was no going back...

A Visit From a Stranger

It seemed like a typical day at the Hyundai car dealership in Brazil, where Emerson Mariano worked as a manager. Little did he know, however, that his work-life was about to change forever...

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

As he went about crossing items off his checklist of things to do for the day, he noticed a strange dog sitting outside of the building. He looked around, searching for any sign of an owner, but saw no one other than his employees and customers. He decided to brush off the bizarre encounter. Well, at least he tried to...

Brazil's 'Community Pets'

After all, it wasn't like stray dogs weren't a common phenomenon in Brazil. So, it wasn't too unusual to see the dog all by itself. In fact, not only are the citizens of Brazil used to these stray dogs, but they also have a name for them: they call them "community pets."

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

It's such a heartwarming name to give to these animals, but the sad reason behind it is that these animals are in great need of shelter, food, and love. Fortunately, many residents of Brazil go out of their way to help these stray pets, including the dealership manager himself.

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Accepting the Truth

It does seem a bit strange - perhaps even insensitive - that Mariano didn't pay much attention to the helpless dog sitting outside the building. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, the manager had previously taken in two other dogs that didn't have a home and opened his to them.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

But as empathetic as Mariano was toward these animals, he knew taking in this stray dog would be too overwhelming, especially with the two others he looked after at home. As much as he wished it weren't the case, the 30 million dogs in the country who were in need of a home were simply beyond his help...

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Giving In to the Puppy Eyes

So, Mariano decided it was best not to offer the dog any food to avoid the risk that it might return for more. But as it turned out, the dog wasn't planning on leaving anytime soon - despite all the manager's attempts to ignore it. For some reason, the poor little pup had taken a liking to the Hyundai dealership.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Nevertheless, Mariano decided to ignore the poor dog as best as he could. He came in to work every morning and went about his day, paying as little attention as possible to the canine sitting in the corner. But pretty soon, he found himself giving in to the puppy eyes that seemed to follow him wherever he went...

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Lending a Helping Hand

He considered feeding the dog but wasn't sure if allowing it to come into the store was the best idea. After all, he couldn't afford to have the canine scare away all his customers if it decided to bark loudly or behave aggressively. The satisfaction of his customers came first and was an important part of his business.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

He tried to lure the dog away a couple more times but soon realized that his attempts to get rid of it would likely never be successful. He eventually surrendered to the pup's pleading eyes and decided to lend yet another helping hand to a community pet in need.

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An Instant Bond

The manager's plan was to offer a home to the stray dog for a couple of days until he was sure it had a safe place to go. But when Mariano made this decision, he was quite unaware of what would happen when he let the dog into the car dealership that was under his management...

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

After making his decision final and welcoming the dog into the building, Mariano realized the dealership needed to be warmer for the dog to live in it. He headed out toward his car to look for an extra blanket for the stray pup and was glad to find one. But things were about to get a little more challenging than that...

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Blending In

It was still early in the morning when the stray pup settled into his new home, and the Hyundai dealership's employees were just clocking in for their shifts. Each worker that arrived was greeted by a toothy smile and a wagging tail that followed them around the dealership.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Mariano was happy with how well his employees were getting along with the nameless stray. But pretty soon, things began to get a little complicated as the customers began to arrive at the dealership. One person had brought along their own dog, and the employees suddenly wondered how the stray would behave.

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An Unexpected Reaction

But the two canines gave the employees little reason to worry - after getting to know one another, they quickly became friends. Seeing how well the stray dog was behaving around others of his kind, Mariano let out a giggle of relief, thinking of how concerned he'd been before.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

The customer who brought his dog with him asked Mariano who the stray dog belonged to. The manager explained that he wasn't sure who the owner of the dog was and that he had refused to leave the space around the building for days. The customer then looked at the canine rather strangely and began shaking his head.

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Overwhelmed With Emotions

The store's salesmen stood by and watched the exchange between Mariano and the customer, confused as to why he was staring at the stray dog like that. But they soon found themselves even more perplexed when the man's eyes suddenly filled with tears as he looked at the dog.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Mariano was completely shocked by the customer's reaction. He took a step back and wondered if the customer could have possibly recognized the dog from somewhere. The manager asked the customer if something was wrong, and his response was a swift apology. Still, Mariano was unsure what to do...

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The Story That Changed Everything

For years, Mariano had come to work every morning, knowing exactly how to do his job. There had never come a time when he stumbled upon a situation that left him questioning what he should do. He decided to start by grabbing the customer a glass of water, hoping it would help calm him down.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

A couple of minutes later, the customer wiped his last tears and took a deep breath. He finally began to explain to Mariano and the bewildered employees what was going on. As his story goes, he had been going through personal struggles for a while and seeing the stray dog had overwhelmed him a little too much.

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A Tragic History

Mariano and the other employees listened intently to the customer's tale, which would soon leave them in disbelief. The customer's mother had sadly passed away a few weeks before, and his life had become exceedingly worse with time. Still mourning his loss, he now had to deal with his late mother's estate.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Despite being in a state of grief, the responsibility of putting his mother's belongings away in brown boxes had fallen into his lap. He spent the few days following his mother's death packing up her life and storing it in a few bags and boxes. Since he couldn't keep it all, he gave a lot of it to charity.

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Signs From the Universe

All that was left of his mother's possessions was her car - the very one he'd driven that morning to get to the Hyundai dealership, where he now found himself sharing his sad story. According to the customer, as he waited at a stoplight on his way there, unsure of what to do, he asked the universe to give him a sign.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

He truly felt like he'd hit rock bottom and had no one and nothing else to turn to - until he drove around the curb and found himself in the parking lot of the Hyundai dealership. He had no idea how he'd wound up there, nor did he realize how much it would change his life...

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A Life-Changing Decision

It was a shocking coincidence to the customer that his late mom, Rose, had her very own dog, who looked almost exactly the same as the stray dog he ran into at the dealership. It was precisely the signal he'd asked the universe to give him that morning.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

But Mariano and his employees hadn't heard the end of the story yet. After her husband passed away, Rose found herself living quite a lonely life. She then had the idea that if she rescued an animal, she'd have a buddy to cuddle with and who would keep her company. It turned out to be the best decision she could have made...

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The Perfect Partner

So, after deciding to adopt a dog, Rose headed to the shelter, where she spotted one canine in particular that caught her attention. When she asked about his story, she learned that the dog had been abandoned. The workers at the shelter explained that they weren't quite sure to whom the dog had belonged to.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

All they could tell her was that the puppy was mute. Rose decided the mute dog could be a perfect living companion for her since she'd just moved into a new apartment building and wouldn't want to disturb her neighbors with a barking dog. It sounded to Mariano like a sweet story - but he turned out to be mistaken...

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Something Was Wrong

The same evening Rose took her new rescue pup home, she felt a migraine begin to hit. Her throbbing headache wasn't getting any better, so she decided to go to sleep early - but not before checking up on her new dog. She finally crawled into bed, thinking all was well - but she was so tired that she overlooked something...

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

The poor canine had trouble sleeping that night, having sensed something was wrong in the house. Unfortunately, Rose hadn't picked up on her dog's strange behavior through all her exhaustion. The next morning, she woke up to the local news channel reporting on what had happened...

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One Fateful Night

As the story goes, the apartment building Rose had recently moved into had gone up in flames in the middle of the night. It wasn't long before the entire complex had turned into ashy ruins. But fortunately for Rose, the canine she had brought home with her that day was smarter than anyone expected...

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Milos Bicanski / Stringer via Getty Images 

Sensing the imminent danger, the heroic dog sprinted over to Rose's bedroom and nudged the sleeping woman with his nose. Luckily for Rose, she wasn't a very heavy sleeper and woke up just in time to rush out of the building with her dog. We don't even want to imagine what would have happened if the dog hadn't been so alert.

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Alone Once Again

Eight years went by, and Rose and her living companion were as happy as ever. He meant the world to her, and she took him with her wherever she went. That one fateful night had brought the two closer together than Rose had ever thought possible - until one day, he sadly passed away, and Rose was alone once again...

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Mariano couldn't hold his tears back as he listened to this tragic part of the story. But what he didn't know was that the most shocking part had yet to be told: when the customer first spotted the stray dog at the Hyundai dealership, his eyes immediately went to the car behind him.

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Just a Coincidence?

The stray canine had been lying beside a Tucson Prime Hyundai model. Rose's late dog had also been named Tucson - a coincidence that led to an overwhelming feeling of emotions for the customer, who then started to cry. Not only did the dog look exactly like his late mom's, but he was sitting next to a car with the same name!

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Realizing the story he was telling must have sounded crazy to Mariano, he was determined to prove it was true. He asked the manager to follow him out to the parking lot, and they headed toward his car together. They opened the trunk, and Mariano peered inside with wide-open eyes.

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It Was All True

The car was filled with several boxes that had been packed up, each one of them loaded with items his mother left behind in her house. The customer reached into one of the boxes and pulled out a blue dog collar on which hung a metal tag. Mariano's jaw dropped to the floor when he saw what was engraved on it: the name "Tucson."

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

The manager headed back inside with the customer, planning to have a talk with him about what to do with the stray dog. He expected the customer to want to take the stray pet home with him - but to Mariano's surprise, the customer declined. He explained that he already owned three other rescues and couldn't take in one more.

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Determined to Help

Mariano knew he didn't have many options left to help the stray dog. But the customer's moving story made him determined to find a comfortable and safe place for the poor pup to live in. The way he saw it, it was fate that had brought the dog to his dealership a few days back...

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Since neither the Hyundai manager's home nor the customer's had any space for yet another dog to join the pack, he knew he'd have to think of something else. Suddenly, a wonderful idea popped into Mariano's head - there was a place he knew of that had lots of extra space.

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Giving the Dog a Chance

Mariano's company had been telling their customers they were pet-friendly for years. So, Mariano thought the best way to prove it was to allow a stray dog to live at the Hyundai dealership! The manager had hoped that the animal could stay and live at the dealership.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Had it been totally his decision, Mariano would have already begun to set up a corner for the dog to settle in at the dealership. Unfortunately, he needed the permission of his higher-ups, so he quickly made his way back to his office for the next part of his plan.

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Making It Official

When he got to his office, Mariano opened up his desktop computer and began writing an email to send to his bosses. He wanted to convince them to allow the dog to take up shelter at the dealership. When they finally responded, he heard a notification on his desktop - and their reply shocked him.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Mariano felt his heart lifted when he read the contents of the email. Not only did they allow him to do everything he'd asked for, but their permissions went beyond that. The manager was happy to hear they agreed with what he'd had in mind - otherwise, he would have been forced to look for another way.

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Their New Assistant

Mariano's bosses at Hyundai told him the stray dog could take up permanent residence at the dealership! He was allowed to have a bed, a food bowl, his own toys, and anything else that would make the store feel like home for the sweet canine. They even sent Mariano a check so he could buy anything the dog would need.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

They even built the dog a playpen house to use. The rest of the employees fell in love with the stray dog, and the dog loved them right back. He followed the manager and the other salesmen around the dealership during their shifts, almost like he was their little assistant.

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Part of the Family

Day by day, and thanks to the hard work of all the employees, the dealership started to turn into the perfect home for the stray dog. Not only that, but Mariano's bosses agreed to place a camera in the building so that they could watch the dog on the weekends and after working hours.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Slowly but surely, things were falling into place for the sweet pup - but there was still one essential thing missing. They needed to give the dog a new name! He was officially a part of their team now, and the workers all pitched in a few suggestions until they all agreed there was one name that fit the dog best...

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'Tucson Prime'

Each and every one of them had been touched by the customer's story about his late mother's dog, Tucson, and the coincidence that this stray dog showed up beside that car at their dealership. They decided to name him "Tucson Prime." Mariano was beyond happy with how things had turned out for the dog.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

But there was still one thing left he needed to take care of. Mariano went into his office and printed out a new worker's name tag for the dog that read "Tucson." He hoped the customers who came into the store and saw the name tag would understand how important the dog was to the Hyundai team.

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An Instant Celebrity

Not only were the customers coming in getting excited over the dealership's dog, but so were Tucson Prime's fans on Instagram! The dealership's page on the social media platform shared several pictures of their new dog. In some photos, he could be seen fake driving cars, while in others, he casually hung out with customers.

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Soon, the dog had gained a large online following - he had won a place in so many hearts! Pretty soon, Tucson Prime was the new Hyundai mascot: some fans sent him gifts and toys, while others visited the dealership just to meet him! Some customers actually looking for a new car asked for him to join them on the test drive.

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The Jaw-Dropping Opportunity

The dealership dog became an instant celebrity. Tucson even received a special invitation to go on a trip to the Hyundai plants! Mariano was speechless - even the manager himself had never been offered such an invitation! It was such an honor, he thought...

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

As it turns out, the bosses high up in the Hyundai company couldn't wait to meet the celebrity dog! The employees who worked at the dealership got straight to work, helping him prepare for the special day. They bought him an adorable dog tie, a new leash, and other things to make him look as professional as can be.

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Off to the Plants

When Mariano and Tucson finally had everything they needed, they set out on their trip to the Hyundai plants. It felt almost as though they were famous celebrities since many different people ran up to them during their visit in order to meet Tucson!

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Word of the "Pawfessional Consultant" at the dealership had spread far and wide, and people had been following Tucson's Instagram page for quite a while. It almost felt to them like they knew the dog. The marketing team was especially excited to meet the dog since he helped them bring in more customers.

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Kindness Goes a Long Way

The team loved Tucson so much, he was soon offered a chance to be the face of Hyundai and be featured in commercials across the country! Mariano couldn't believe the opportunity that Tucson was being given - the dealership immediately accepted the offer!

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

Who would have known that one tiny coincidence could have brought on all these opportunities for the Hyundai? The manager's compassion as he tried to find the stray dog a proper home led to doors opening wide open wherever he turned. A single act of kindness clearly goes a long way.

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Living His Best Life

So, where is our iconic dog today? He spends his days living happily at the dealership in Brazil. He has lots of love from the company's employees and customers, as well as an entire store to roam around in as he pleases. What more could he have ever wished for?

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@tucson_prime via Instagram

And for those like us who have become instant fans after reading his story: his Instagram page, @Tucson_prime, posts regular updates on his adventures! Not to mention, the super cool photos of Tucson cruising down the street in the dealership's cars...

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