In 2013, Dianne All, founder of Rogue Rescue and Sanctuary on Tillman Street in Bluffton, found a dog named Julio.
The black and white American bulldog and bluenose pit bull mix was tied up in her neighbors' yard.
His ears had been crudely trimmed, likely with household scissors so that they couldn't be bitten if he was put into a dog fighting ring.
"They were using him to breed with his mother," she said. "They were using the puppies for not good things — fighting and stuff."
Julio was about a year old and was smart enough to occasionally free himself and come for a visit.
The first few times, she took him back home.
"And he'd get off again," she said.
The fourth or so time he escaped, she kept him.
Six months later, his owners finally came to collect him but, after talking with All, decided to let her keep him.
She got his mother, too.
She took both dogs to Rogue Rescue and Sanctuary in hopes that they eventually would find new homes.
Julio's mom did, a few years ago.
But Julio did not. In fact, he would have to wait five long years, the longest time an animal has lived at the Bluffton facility without getting adopted, All said.
The shelter has had a number of dogs like Julio. Most of them are there a year or so before being adopted. She said this makes it so they cannot take any more until they find homes for the ones they have.
Not that Julio didn't sometimes get a reprieve from the shelter. One of All's friends and Rogue Rescue volunteers sometimes took him into her home.
Most of the time, though, Julio lived at the shelter.
All said it got to the point where "he'd sit out there in the kennel ... and just look at you.
"... he'd bring the ball over to the gate and want you to throw it. And you'd go up there and you'd throw it, but it was nothing. He deserved more," she said.
"His time just never came," she said.
Last week, it did.
On June 7, Julio went to live with Jonathan Rios.
"I think he was needing another opportunity," Rios said, "to be in a family."
Rios is a construction worker and lives on Hilton Head with his mother and sister. He also lives with his 11-year-old niece, Angelique, and his 7-year-old nephew, Jacob.
Julio does what family members do for one another.
The dog helps reduce Rios' anxiety, stress and depression.
Rios heard about Julio from a friend who sent him a social media post about the dog.
Rios' friend was aware of his emotional struggles.
"I used to come [home] after work, take a shower, eat something, shut this door and stay inside of the room," Rios said.
The friend thought a dog might help ease those struggles.
Rios agreed but said not just any dog would do. He wanted "a special dog."
His friend sent him pictures of different dogs, but Rios didn't feel an immediate connection to any of them.
Then one day, he sent Rios the post with a picture of Julio, who was still waiting for a home.
Rios made a connection with Julio instantly.
"I just saw him, I said, 'This is the dog that I need," he said.
His family was just as happy as he was to welcome Julio home.
"My niece loves him, my nephew loves him," Rios said. "My mom is [home] most of the day, and she takes him outside, plays with him and everything. He's a good doggie."
The 6-year-old Julio can't get enough of catch or fetch.
"Once you start, he won't stop," Angelique said.
"Suéltalo!" she commanded, holding her hand out for Julio's ball. It means "let it go."
Rios has thought about bringing Julio back home to Puerto Rico, he said. But he can't because pit bulls are prohibited from being imported to the Caribbean island.
For now, he's staying in the United States with Julio and their family.
And he's happy with that.
And so, evidently, is Julio.
"There is a dog out there — a certain dog and a certain human that are meant to be together," All said, "and sometimes it just takes a little longer for the stars to line up."