Sisu, a stray Labrador mix, fell in love with a bright pink unicorn at a Dollar General store (Credit: Duplin County Animal Services Facebook)

The beauty of love is that it can happen with the most unexpected person in the most unlikely of places. In the case of a one-year-old stray puppy in Duplin County, North Carolina, that "person" happened to be a bright purple stuffed unicorn at a local Dollar General store. The good news is that this unusual love story has a happy ending!

It is unclear how the adorable Labrador mix, now called Sisu, first caught sight of the love of his life. However, once he did, there was no stopping the pooch from trying to snag it from the shelf in the store. On his first attempt, he burst through the doors and made a beeline for the toy aisle, only to be caught by the staff. Not deterred, Sisu made four more attempts, only to be gently shooed away by the vigilant employees each time.

"He actually had to go through the whole store to get to that unicorn. It was in the Easter section he went to that same unicorn and kept pulling it out," Joe Newburn, a supervisor at Duplin County Animal Services, told People.

Sisu has not left the unicorn's side since it was purchased for him (Credit: Duplin County Animal Services Facebook)

After his fifth failed attempt, the store owner called the Duplin County Animal Services, who dispatched Samantha Lane to apprehend the "thief." When she arrived, Sisu was sitting in the store's parking lot eagerly awaiting his next chance to try to get his beloved unicorn. The animal control officer, who has a “soft spot for sad stories,” couldn’t bear to see the heartbroken puppy. So, she bought the $10 unicorn and placed it in the front seat of her truck. Not surprisingly, the stray pooch willingly followed.

The shelter staff named the one-year-old Sisu, after the unicorn-resembling dragon in the recent Disney release, "Raya and the Last Dragon." On March 26, 2021, they posted a photo of Sisu and his best friend on Facebook with a caption: “This is what happens when you break into the dollar general consistently to steal the purple unicorn that you laid claim to, but then get animal control called to lock you up for your B & E [breaking and entering] and larceny, but the officer purchases your item for you and brings it in with you.”

Sisu snuggling up to his favorite toy (Credit: Duplin County Animal Services Facebook)

The heartwarming post went viral, and within five days, Sisu had found a permanent home with a loving local family. The animal shelter, which is currently house training the dog, has also received numerous purple unicorns from fans who want to make sure Sisu is never without his favorite toy again!

Resources:, Duplin County Animal Services Facebook