For Merson Mariano, seeing stray animals was nothing new. Little did he know one stray dog and a customer’s story was going to change his life. Bringing in a dog from the cold rain into the Hyundai dealership was about to be the best decision Mariano ever made.
Keep reading to find out why.
It Was A Typical Day For Merson Mariano
Going into work that morning, Merson Mariano was expecting much of the same. Little did he know that his career as a Hyundai dealership manager was about to change all because of one little act of kindness.
His life was about to change all because he decided to take in a dog from the cold.
The Dog Was Cold And Hungry
That morning, Mariano went to work, not really expecting anything exciting to happen. To his surprise, a dog was waiting on the front doorstep when he got there. The dog looked cold, and its stomach was growling with hunger.
While a stray animal wasn’t uncommon for this area of Brazil, it couldn’t still be bad for business.
Mariano Was Used To The “‘Community Pets”
Mariano was a pet lover and was used the “community pets” around this neighborhood in Brazil. Even so, he didn’t want a stray dog deterring potential customers from coming into the dealership.
So, he did the only thing he could think of — he tried to shoo it away and, when that didn’t work, ignore it.
He Went On Ignoring The Dog
It was difficult for Mariano to ignore the hungry dog. But he’d already adopted two pets and didn’t have room for a third. He also knew that once he began feeding the dog, there would be no getting rid of it
So, he continued to ignore the big puppy dog eyes and went about his morning.
Mariano Was Beginning To Panic
The dog was not leaving. And Mariano became scared that it would scare away potential customers or even become aggressive. He was really at a loss and didn’t know what to do.
He figured that if he ignored the dog long enough, perhaps it would get the hint and look for food elsewhere.
Nope, The Dealership Was Now The Dog’s Home
The dog was relentless, though. Apparently, the steps of the dealership were its new spot, and he wasn’t going to leave. In fact, the only time the dog left was to search for food.
Once it was done with its hunt, the dog would come right back to the steps of the dealership, sit down, and start wagging its tail.
Mariano Gave In And Allowed The Dog Inside
Eventually, Mariano gave in to the dog’s adorable face and grumbling tummy, allowing it inside the dealership. His thought was to feed and house the dog for a few days and then send it on its way.
First things first, Mariano wanted to get the poor thing warm. He rushed to his car, checking his trunk to see if there was a blanket inside.
They Hoped He Wouldn’t Get Aggressive
Mariano was wrapping the dog in the blanket when other employees began to walk through the door. All of them were curious about the new, yet temporary, dealership dog.
And when a potential customer walked in with their dog, more than one of those employees held their breath, hoping the stray didn’t get aggressive.
They Became Fast Friends
To everyone’s amazement, the stray and the other dog became the best of friends! The stray even began following the salesman around the showroom as they were explaining the different cars to the customer.
It looked as though the stray was in training! In fact, the dog was behaving so well the customer even asked who the owner was.
The Customer Broke Down After Hearing The Dog Was A Stray
Mariano explained to the customer that the dog wasn’t anyone’s and was a stray that decided the dealership was its new home. To Mariano’s surprise, the customer broke down in tears, shaking his head and crying in the middle of the dealership.
After working there for seven years, Mariano had never experienced this type of customer reaction before.
The Customer Began His Story
That’s when the customer began explaining his story to Mariano. As it turned out, the customer’s mother had recently passed away, and after giving everything to charity, the only thing left was her car.
And on the way to the dealership, he was asking for a sign from his mother. For him, that sign was the stray.
The Stray Looked Like His Late Mother’s Dog
The customer explained to Mariano that the stray looked very similar to his mother, Rose’s dog. After his father passed away, the dog was his mother’s whole world. After being told he was mellow and didn’t bark a lot, Rose rescued him.
They loved each other for years, and the rescue even saved Rose from a horrible building fire.
It All Had To Do With The Tucson Prime
Rose and her rescue spent a loving eight years together, the customer explained. But that’s not where the story ends. While the stray in the dealership looked like his mother’s former dog, it was the fact that he was lying under a Tucson Prime that brought on his tears.
Mariano was confused as to why that brought on his tears. Then the customer brought him out to his car.
His Mother’s Dog Was Named Tucson
Going into the trunk of his car, the customer dug into one of the boxes he kept from his mother’s house. On a blue collar was a tag with the name “Tucson” etched into it.
Mariano couldn’t believe the coincidence. Not only did the two dogs have a striking similarity, but the name was that of one of the Hyundai cars!
Neither Mariano Nor The Customer Could Take The Dog
After seeing the collar and hearing the customer’s story, Mariano knew the stray was there for a reason. Unfortunately, neither he nor the customer could take the dog in. The customer already had three of his own!
Even so, Mariano knew something had to be done for the dog. And that’s when inspiration struck!
Mariano Got An Idea
Hyundai was a pet-friendly company. So, why not have the stray become the dealership’s mascot? All he had to do was get permission from his higher-ups and the stray would have a new home and people to dote on him.
Now, it was just a matter of writing an email and getting a “yes.”
The Higher-Ups Said Yes!
The higher-ups thought it was a great idea! Not only did Mariano get a yes, but they also sent over a check to get the dog some supplies and get checked out by a veterinarian. He’d been on the streets, after all.
Now, Mariano had to think of a name for the dealership’s new mascot.
He Was Named Tucson Prime
After hearing the customer’s story about Tucson, Mariano thought it was a sign that the new mascot’s name should be “Tucson Prime,” paying homage to the late dog and the company’s Tucson Prime car.
Mariano was over the moon. He even ran to his office to print out Tucson Prime’s very own employee badge.
Tucson Prime’s Social Media Presence Skyrocketed
Thanks to social media, namely Instagram, the news about Tucson Prime’s new employment at the Hyundai dealership went viral. People from all over followed Tucson Prime’s story and even sent in gifts for the new mascot.
People were even coming to the dealership for the sole purpose of meeting the pooch!
The Big Bosses Invited Tucson Prime For A Visit
Mariano couldn’t believe the type of publicity Tucson Prime brought the dealership. So much so that the dog actually got a huge invitation — to visit the Hyundai plants and meet the big bosses.
Mariano and the rest of the dealership employees couldn’t have been happier for the newest member of their team.
He Was A Celebrity!
To celebrate the big invitation, the dealership bought Tucson Prime a new leash and bowties. They wanted him to give a good impression! Of course, Mariano was the one to bring the pooch to the plant.
And, walking Tucson Prime around, he couldn’t have been more proud. Tucson Prime was a little celebrity!
Tucson Had Come A Long Way
The plant workers and even the big bosses were won over by Tucson Prime’s loving nature, running over to give him belly rubs, hugs, kisses, and all of the pets a dog could ask for.
He’d come a long way from sitting on the steps of the dealership begging for a little food.
Tucson Was Asked To Star In The New Hyundai Commercials
And Tucson Prime’s story doesn’t end there. While at the plant, the marketing team was so enthralled with the dog that they gave Mariano a ridiculous offer. They wanted to use Tucson Prime as the new face of their new set of nationwide commercials.
Mariano was speechless. Tucson Prime’s fame was about to hit a whole new level!
Mariano Couldn’t Believe What Happened
Getting back to the dealership, Tucson Prime went straight to bed, tuckered out from all of the activity at the plant. On the other hand, Mariano was wide awake and still trying to process everything that had just happened.
His dealership dog was about to be the face of the entire company!
An Act Of Kindness Changed Everything
Everything that had just happened to Mariano was because a group of people got together to give a street dog the life he deserved. They brought him in from the cold and gave him a home.
In return, Tucson Prime gave joy and brought smiles to people all over the world.