Millions of people don’t feel their lives are complete without a dog in it, and Jessica Williams is one of them. Sadly, throughout her adult life, Williams was never able to have a dog due to her living arrangements. She generally lived in an apartment or home that did not allow pets, so she found herself longing for the day that she could bring a dog home. As fate would have it, a dog was out there waiting for Williams, and she had no idea.

Williams and her boyfriend, Jared, moved into a new pet-friendly apartment. The couple decided to bring a dog into their lives for Jessica’s birthday later that year. The excited woman went online and began looking at dogs in need of a home at different shelters. Her eye was immediately drawn to a forlorn pooch named Benji. Benji was all alone in the world, sad and depressed, and living in a shelter six hours from Jessica’s home. He had been passed over time and again due to his serious behavioral problems and physical appearance.

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Benji was found roaming the streets of Los Angeles, filled with fleas, and missing a lot of his fur. In addition, he was sad and angry so he would growl and snarl at people who passed by. Since Benji spent a lot of time on the streets, he probably became defensive because he had to stick up for himself and forage for food. Shelter workers weren’t too fond of the dog, and they told prospective adopters he wasn’t a cuddler.

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As soon as Jessica saw Benji’s face, she told her boyfriend they were going on a road trip. It took six long hours from her home in Sacramento to meet Benji, but Jessica had her heart set on the forgotten pooch. Shelter workers would not allow the couple to spent one-on-one time with the dog for fear he would be reactive. Jessica knew if they left Benji there, he would surely be euthanized. They signed the official adoption papers at the shelter and took the long trip home with Benji.

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Over time, his true personality began to emerge. All the precious boy needed was love, attention, and someone to show him that human beings can be kind. These days, Benji’s parents say he loves car rides, gives them kisses, and is a very affectionate dog. They take the pooch everywhere they go, so he is getting socialized and becoming very outgoing and kind to others. Congratulations on your new home, sweet Benji! For more about this happy story, press play on the video below.