Last week, when José Eduardo Milani Ramos took an early morning walk near his home in Brazil, he had no idea the drama that would ensue.
Often, as Ramos sets off for his walks, his beloved dog, Ikki, trails a short distance behind him.
But that day, by the time Ramos returned home, the puppy was nowhere to be found.
Ramos and his family began scouring the streets for Ikki and asking others to keep an eye out for them—but to no avail.
“I felt bad when he disappeared,” Ramos told The Dodo. “I felt like a part of me had been taken away. I needed to know what had happened to him.”
After two days of fruitless searching, it seemed the family had gotten their answer. Ramos saw a post online that a lost dog had been rescued — and he recognized the pup’s telltale spots.
Ikki had been found! Where did he have it?
Ramos drove to find Ikki, and was overjoyed upon seeing his tail wagging again. Besides being dirtier than when Ramos had last seen him, the dog was in good health.
“I shouted his name and he ran towards me,” Ramos said. “He kept licking me.”
Back home, the dog quickly settled into his happy and loving ways, behaving the same way he always had.
“He kissed me. We played,” Ramos said. “I felt complete again.”
The only thing was, it wasn’t really Ikki.
After a few days with the dog at home, Ramos noticed that some of the spots on his back didn’t match the ones he remembered on Ikki.
Comparing the dog he had taken with pictures of Ikki, Ramos realized the truth.
This dog was an impostor.
Ramos and his family were shocked, but they weren’t upset. At that time, they adored this impostor dog, which they decided to name Paolo.
What it meant, however, was that the real Ikki was still missing. But he wouldn’t be missing much longer.
Ramos resumed his search online and found a message that another dog resembling Ikki had been found — and the spots on that pup all matched.
Again, Ramos went looking for his missing dog.
Only this time it was really him.
Everything had been settled correctly. But Ramos and his family found themselves all the richer for the saga.
They decided to keep Paolo and love him alongside Ikki for a lifetime.
“We decided to keep the impostor. Paolo used to be a homeless dog, but now he makes everything more complete,” Ramos said. “He’s not to blame. He also deserves a home.”
Best of all, Ikki has no trouble with the dog that has assumed his identity. In fact, he and Paolo act like they’ve always been together.
“They are friends now,” Ramos said.