Courtesy of Saint Frances Animal Center
Even Ashley S. Miller, the South Carolina center's lead adoptions coordinator, says she and the staffers aren't sure why Cami was overlooked for so long.
"She is a super sweet girl who loves getting belly rubs," Miller tells Daily Paws. "She spent most of her days here at the shelter sunning on a play yard, going for long walks, and giving kisses to staff."
Even with her affectionate demeanor, Cami spent 1,248 days at SFAC, the longest any resident has stayed at the shelter. That is, until Addie Nelson stopped by Oct. 15—initially, to meet other dogs.
Thankfully fate stepped in, and Nelson crossed paths with Cami during her visit.
"As soon as Ms. Nelson saw Cami, she instantly fell in love with her," says Kalanie Player, an adoptions counselor who was working the day Cami was adopted. "We did a meet and greet with her and Cami, and not even five minutes later, Ms. Nelson told me she was the one."
Since adopting Cami, Nelson has connected with many of the staffers on social media and is constantly posting new photos of her for them to see.
"[Cami] has settled right in and is enjoying her new life!" Miller says.
Animal control officers brought Cami to the shelter in May 2019. Center staff member Shallon McConnell was at SFAC when Cami first came in and recalls her being a "reserved and nervous girl." But as time went on, her true personality shined through.
"She enjoyed long walks, comfy blankets, and all the belly rubs," McConnell says. "At the peak of our enrichment program, she also enjoyed playtime in our yards."
At first, Cami didn't trust easily, but she eventually won over the hearts of all the staff with her "goofy" and "fun-loving personality," McConnell says.
SFAC constantly featured Cami on social media throughout her stay in hopes of getting her adopted. It would take nearly three and a half years for her to meet her perfect match.
According to Miller, Cami was typically more reserved from new people at first—with one life-changing exception. "When she met Ms. Nelson, she ran over and rolled on her back for a belly rub," she says.
Player says everyone was ecstatic when Cami was adopted. "Everyone cried happy tears when she finally found her fur-ever home," she says. "We could all tell that Cami and Ms. Nelson had a very special bond, and they chose each other."
After living the majority of her life as a shelter dog, Cami now knows what it's like to be in a real home filled with unconditional love and companionship.
"[Cami and her stay] taught us that there is a family out there for every dog; it just takes time for them to meet and fall in love with each other," Player says.