Puppy love blossoms in a grocery store parking lot.

James just got a big hug from his wife, Carra. All it took was a trip to the grocery store and the most adorable surprise.

It all started when they pulled into the parking lot of a Kroger grocery store in Atlanta, where they saw a Best Friends mobile adoption van and decided to stop by. It was a lazy Saturday after all, and besides firing up the grill at some point, their day was free.

James and Carra planned a quick pit stop at the adoption van to look at some cats and dogs before going into the store. But you know how that goes. Whoever coined the phrase “resistance is futile” was probably holding a puppy at the time.

In fact, Carra instantly fell in love with a wiggly puppy named Cocoa Puff, who came to the Best Friends Lifesaving Center, along with his seven siblings from Best Friends Dog Rescue, also located in Georgia.

Cocoa Puff showered Carra with endless sloppy puppy kisses from the moment she held him. By the time she had to say good-bye, she was smitten.

You just can’t ignore puppy love

Carra holding Cocoa Puff the puppy and hugging her husbandJames was smitten, too, but he just didn’t show it. When Carra suggested they adopt Cocoa Puff, James told her he’d think about it while they shopped. Adopting a puppy is a big decision after all, and they’d both needed to be on board.

Inside Kroger, Carra walked the aisles with sadness in her stride, tossing everything in the cart with little enthusiasm. Grilling out? Whatever. All she wanted was Cocoa Puff.

James heard his wife loud and clear, and the truth is he wanted to adopt Cocoa Puff, too. So, he told Carra he had to use the restroom and then went back to the Best Friends van to fill out the puppy’s adoption paperwork. When he returned to the store, he said nary a word about it to Carra.

I’m not crying, you’re crying

Carra hugging Cocoa Puff the puppy next to her husbandIn the store checkout line, Carra told Kroger employees all about Cocoa Puff. They just smiled and nodded. Turns out, James had let them in on his secret.

Back outside, Carra was convinced James had decided he didn’t want to adopt Cocoa Puff. Her husband was officially in the doghouse, and Carra, feeling rather sad and defeated, decided to visit the puppy who stole her heart one last time.

“I just want to get a picture of him,” Carra said, as she scooped Cocoa Puff into her arms.

“Well, that’s not a problem,” replied James. “Because he’s yours.”

Carra took a moment to let it all sink in. Then, when she realized what James was saying, tears of joy filled her eyes. The Best Friends adoptions team shed a few tears, too.

“I finally got a big hug out of it,” says James.

Part of the family

Carra hugging and holding Cocoa Puff, the puppy her husband just adopted for herCarra had a feeling when she held Cocoa Puff that he’d fit into their lives perfectly, and she was right.

“He’s doing awesome,” says James. “He’s extremely intelligent, and he gets along great with our other dogs. In fact, he wears them out.”

Cocoa Puff also loves their two kids, two-year-old Graison and 15-year-old Amyah, who watches Cocoa Puff when Carra and James go out. And while some may find adopting a puppy a bit daunting, James says Cocoa Puff is ideal for their them.

“We’re getting to train him, and he’ll grow up with the kids,” says James. “He’s already become an integral part of our family.”

We’re not sure how Carra could have returned to the same grocery store (or at least the cereal aisle) had James not adopted Cocoa Puff that day, and you can bet they will be talking about how they met him for a very long time. It just goes to show you that you just never know when or where you’ll find love.

Adopt a dog and give them the best surprise: a home

Best Friends in Atlanta  works collaboratively with area shelters, animal welfare organizations and individuals to save the lives of pets in shelters in the region. The Best Friends Lifesaving Center is a hub for animals and a base for local programming and coalition-building to help the metro-Atlanta area in its final push to achieve no-kill, while strengthening the movement in the Southeast. Together, we will Save Them All.

Photos courtesy of Best Friends in Atlanta