You never know how or when pets will come into your life. When a FedEx delivery driver came across an emaciated dog on the road, it ended up changing both of their lives.

FedEx driver Alex Badecker was on their usual route in Virginia recently when they spotted a heartbreaking sight: two emaciated pit bulls were in the middle of the road, desperate for help.

It was evident that the dogs had been abandoned, and they both had wounds on their sides. “I pulled over. I was checking to see if they had any tags or anything like that, nothing on them,” Alex told WTVR. “But as soon as I saw them… it nearly made me cry.”

After finishing the deliveries, Alex took the dogs to the nearby Morgan’s Mutts Rescue. One of the dogs was named FedEx, the other was named Autumn.

The dogs were filthy and emaciated, and it was clear they had suffered through a lot. After days of medical examinations, they made the heartbreaking decision to humanely euthanize FedEx: x-rays showed a mass in his small bowel and it was unlikely he would survive surgery. 

“No more pain, no more neglect,” Morgan’s Mutts wrote on Facebook. “FedEx, you were loved and cared for for 4 and a half days. I hope that was enough time for you to have felt safe & loved.”

While it was a heartbreaking end for FedEx, Autumn continued to pull through and recover. In a Facebook post, the rescue reported that she was negative for all tick diseases and heartworm.

With the stray hold running out, it was clear that no one was looking for the sweet dog, it was time for her to find a new home — and that’s when a familiar face stepped in.

After dropping the dogs at the rescue, Alex continued to check in on the dogs. When they learned that Autumn was a candidate for foster care, Alex decided to give the dog a loving home.

The match was truly meant to be: “[Alex] has been considering adding another dog for over a year,” Morgan’s Mutts wrote on Facebook. “But nothing has caught [their] eye, until now!”

Alex has renamed the dog “Iris,” because it means rainbow, and it’s hopeful just like she is, they told WTKR. Alex told People that Iris is doing well: she’s gained weight and is a “happy, silly, affectionate goofball.”

That is quite a transformation from the skin-and-bones, left-for-dead dog Alex found on the road just weeks ago — it’s a story that shows the life-changing power of kindness.

“It just takes a second sometimes. Being kind to somebody else, another animal, it can change somebody’s whole day sometimes,” Alex told WTKR. “I have no idea what her backstory is… I just want to make the best for her now and in the future.”

Alex plans to adopt Iris officially after fostering her.

It’s a rescue that was truly meant to be — thank you to Alex for stopping to save these poor dogs, and giving Autumn/Iris an incredible new home ❤️

Please share this amazing news if you love dogs!