Hallee Fuqua has been asking her parents for a dog for years. After several “nos,” the Oklahoma college student began volunteering at the Humane Society of Stillwater to get her much-needed doses of puppy love.
But she never expected to fall in love with one of the pooches, a 2-year-old Plott Hound mix named Rambo.
“Hallee kept sending us pictures from her and Rambo at the shelter,” Hallee’s father, Lance Fuqua, tells PEOPLE. “After a while my wife, Jessica, said ‘I know this sounds crazy, but I think Rambo belongs in our family.’ “
With that, the Seiling couple called the shelter in November with plans to adopt the dog for Hallee, Lance says. Officials at the shelter were on board, and agreed to help.
“They said they would love to be in on the secret!” Lance says.
On Friday, Dec. 14, Hallee was “broken” when she learned Rambo had been adopted — although she didn’t know who had taken in the pup, Lance says.
“It’s one of those things where you’re happy he’s going to have a home but you’re sad that you’re not going to be able to give that to him,” Hallee told the Stillwater News Press.
Her sadness turned to joy Sunday morning, though, when Lance and Jessica surprised her with Rambo at their home. And Lance was sure to capture Hallee’s emotional reaction on video.
“I think her mother and I cried like everyone else that saw the video, only we were behind the camera,” he tells PEOPLE. “We see Hallee’s big heart and beautiful soul everyday, now the world gets to see it!”
In the video, Rambo is shown wearing a reindeer antlers headband and Hallee is shown immediately bursting into tears when she sees Rambo perched next to her father.
“What?” she’s heard saying before playing with Rambo with tears in her eyes. “This isn’t a joke?”
The Facebook video has been viewed more than 338,000 times.
Now, it’s been less than a week since Rambo has been with the family, but Lance says he’s fitting right in.
“It’s been great! He has been the center of attention for sure! He’s just an all around great dog and he fits right in with us!”