No matter how prepared or spontaneous a gift-giver you are, sometimes the perfect gift takes time to find — but when you find it, and you know it’s the one, you’ll move heaven and earth to make it happen.
One mom in St. Louis by the name of Melissa had found exactly what she was looking for for her three kids. The problem was, she found it just days before Christmas and it was in San Francisco.
The gift? An adorable goldendoodle puppy that her sister in San Francisco had been able to locate.
“It was days before Christmas and Melissa, mom of three, was still in the hunt for that special surprise when got a text from her sister in San Francisco,” Southwest Airlines posted on Facebook to chronicle the heartwarming event.
She knew this would take some Christmas magic, but she was willing to try.
“She posted to Facebook,” Southwest wrote. “In a ‘hail mary’ plea to a local mom group, Melissa wondered out loud if anyone was by chance flying from Northern California to STL in the coming days. It was worth a shot, right?”
The plea made it to the attention of a Southwest Airlines employee, who was up for the challenge.
“Somewhere across town was Dan Menius, Southwest Dispatcher,” Southwest continued. “Dan was spending time with his family for the holidays when his cousin showed him a post from a Facebook group. A mom needed a way to get a puppy from the West Coast to the Midwest. Hmm … Dan, you have travel priveleges with Southwest, right?”
So the very next day (and after settling some important details), he set out from St. Louis to San Francisco, picked up the pup, and headed back, putting him at over 3,000 miles traveled in a day for the sake of Jack the goldendoodle and three unexpecting kids.
“After a quick exchange of messages, the details were handled, and bright and early the next day, Dan boarded a flight from STL to SFO, by way of PHX,” Southwest explained.
“He met Melissa’s sister and Jack the goldendoodle in baggage claim, and quickly returned to the terminal to board their flight home. A quick stop in DEN put Dan well over 3,000 miles traveled for the day.”
The pup made it to St. Louis safe and sound, and he made his big debut on Christmas via a root beer box — which successfully threw the kids off the scent.
In a video Southwest posted in the comments, it’s clear the three are in shock and the youngest states “this doesn’t make sense!” as the pup licks one of his new owners and wags his tail.
Dan said it was worth it, and based on a letter from the kids, they were surprised and in love with the new pup.
“Thank you soo, sooo much for giving YOUR time and probably energy to bring us our wonderful, extremely cute dog … Jack,” the letter read.
“Here’s to connecting people to what’s important in their lives,” the Southwest post concluded. “Especially when it’s Jack the goldendoodle.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.