Ela Okreša ?uri? was out looking for Pokémon with friends when she found something quite unexpected. The student and her gang had stumbled upon a sick creature in dire need of help, and he had chosen ?uri? to be his savior.
?uri? comes from the city of Zadar in Croatia. There she is a student and self-described “gamer.” So in the summer of 2018, she and her friends had been keeping themselves entertained by playing Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO is an interactive, augmented reality game. It makes use of a device’s GPS signal to reveal Pokémon hidden in a player’s vicinity. Different locations are home to different kinds of creatures. So players must go on the hunt to “Catch ’Em All.”
On one particular day in July 2018, ?uri? and her pals had ventured out in the search of Pokémon. However, on their travels, they stumbled across something much more precious. It was a real-life animal, and it was in desperate need of help.
The creature in question was, in fact, a curious canine. The dog had wandered up to ?uri? and her friends while they sought out Pokémon. And when he approached, the group gave up their game in a bid to help the poor pooch.
Even to the group of youngsters, it was clear to see that the dog was in a bad way. His thick fur was badly matted, and his body was teeming with fleas and ticks. To make matters worse, he appeared to be completely exhausted and sometimes struggled to stay alert.
However, despite the dog’s clear fatigue, he seemed to perk up when he saw ?uri? and her friends. As a result, ?uri? decided to go over and introduce herself. She reached out a hand for the pooch to smell and soothed him with kind words.
It turned out that ?uri? was a bit of a dog lover and had even considered adopting a canine herself. So she was more than happy to bond with this poor pup. Explaining what went down, in July 2018 ?uri? told The Dodo, “I just sweet-talked to him like to any other dog.”
Whatever ?uri? said seemed to do the trick. Because from that moment on, the dog decided that he wanted to be in her pack. “He followed us around the city. He was very calm and surprisingly well behaved,” the student later explained.
For more than an hour, the dog followed the group all around Zadar as they played Pokémon GO. And before long, ?uri? had fallen head over heels in love with the animal. As a result, she named the pooch Loki and decided to take him home with her.
Back at home, ?uri? gave Loki some much-needed food and water. Then, with the dog’s energy levels replenished, she took him back outside. She thought that he would maybe lead her back to where he belonged, perhaps back to an owner who was missing him.
But Loki went nowhere. Instead, he stuck right by ?uri?’s feet, no doubt wondering where she was taking him. But since she was still clueless about the mysterious dog’s origins, the student decided to call her local animal shelter for help.
Shelter staff soon arrived and scanned Loki with a special device that detects microchips. However, they did not find one. Loki was officially homeless, so the shelter offered to take him in and start the search for his new forever family.
But ?uri? simply couldn’t let that happen. Looking at Loki, she realized that the dog already had a new owner – her. So she decided to keep him permanently and politely declined the shelter staff offer. “I couldn’t even imagine him being locked up in a cage,” she explained to The Dodo.
Now that Loki was officially hers, ?uri? decided that a trip to the vet was in order. At the clinic, the dog was thoroughly checked over and went on to receive a clean bill of health. All that was left to do now was to get Loki chipped. That way, he would always come home in the future.
Back at home, Loki eased himself slowly into his new life. For the former street dog, becoming someone’s pet was a bit of a learning curve. But luckily, he’d found a patient and loving companion in the form of ?uri?.
From the way Loki acted in those first few weeks of his new life, ?uri? suspected that he might have been homeless for a long time. But it didn’t take him too long to settle into life with a roof over his head and his favorite human by his side.
After his adoption, Loki’s proud mom ?uri? revealed her dog was shaping up to be a pretty perfect pet, “He has a very calm personality so he is a great dog,” she said to The Dodo. “He started playing outside with a ball just two days ago and he is still learning.”
Reflecting on the way that Loki had come into her life, ?uri? believes that the fates played a part. She had been to the dog shelter many times before, but no animals had captured her heart the way that Loki had managed to.
However, it turned out that ?uri? had been looking in the wrong places all along. Loki had always been out there, but he was just waiting for the right person to find him. And when ?uri? wandered into his life that fateful day, he knew not to let her go.