No one knows exactly what kind of life Pluto had before a hurricane turned it upside down. But it was clear — from the exposed ribs to the fact that the 6-month-old dog cowered when humans raised a hand — that it wasn’t much of one.

Then Hurricane Irma came calling.

The storm devastated southern Florida in September, shattering homes and leaving millions without power. It also sent this puppy’s life spiraling in another direction. Found wandering in Irma’s wake, Pluto was taken into a Florida shelter. But he was far from out of the storm.

Who wanted a scrawny, weather-beaten mixed-breed dog of unknown but decidedly dark origins? Too skinny, came a steady refrain from potential adopters.

Days weigh heavily on an unwanted dog at a kill shelter. Pluto was just a day away from a euthanasia appointment when a Michigan-based organization called Happy Days Dog and Cat Rescue caught wind of his plight. The group had Pluto transported into their care in Detroit.

Hope, maybe for the first time, blew into Pluto’s life. A local woman, April Cheesewright, saw his adoption picture.

“For some reason, the look in his sad eyes and that sweet face, just melted my heart,” she tells MNN.

The Cheesewright family brought him home earlier this month.

“From the minute he got in a car, it’s like he knew he was going to a forever home,” Cheesewright says. “He was calm and snuggled right into my husband’s lap and fell asleep so peacefully.”

Gordie the dog after arriving at his new home To go along with his new life, this doggie got a new name, too. Now he goes by Gordie. (Photo: April Cheesewright)

'... meant to be together'

Cheesewright had already watched videos of dogs being rescued in the storm and had her eye out for ways she could help. “I told my husband I would take one of those dogs if I could.” she recalls. “Little did I know, the ‘runt of the pack’ would eventually be ours to love for the rest of our days together.”

As befits a dog named after a god of the underworld, Pluto had risen from the dead. It was time for a new name: Gordie.

“We feel as though Gordie is a gift to us,” Cheesewright adds. “For whatever reason, the three of us are meant to be together.”

For his part, Gordie seems all-too aware that he couldn't have touched down in a better place.

“If this makes any sense,” Cheesewright says, “he acts as if he’s grateful to us for the life and the love that we are giving him and he doesn’t want to mess it up.”

There’s no danger of that, Gordie. Not even a hurricane could tear this family apart.

Dog cuddles up to owner April Cheesewright's husband, Gregory, is a big fan of hockey legend Gordie Howe, which is how their new family addition got his name. (Photo: April Cheesewright)

Florida pup left high and dry by Hurricane Irma finally finds a home
A thousand miles away, a family melted when they saw the picture of a dog named Pluto that had been displaced by a hurricane.