Savannah Campbell remembers thinking that both the puppy – and the guy – were cute.
The 24-year-old medical device sales rep was in a Raleigh, North Carolina, pet store buying a special water bowl for her disabled dog last weekend when she spotted the adorable pair.
“I saw this adorable puppy with bright blue eyes and the cutest little face.”
She played with Rosy the dog and chatted with her owner, Daniel Vance, a bit and then left to finish her weekend errands – but she couldn’t stop thinking about the guy and the puppy.
“I called my girlfriend and told her all about the guy, but said that I didn’t get his name and number, and she said you didn’t shoot your shot,” Campbell tells PEOPLE.
The next night, Campbell was alone in a hotel room on a business trip when she decided to take a chance, posting about the encounter on a neighborhood Facebook page. She mentioned the guy, Rosy the puppy, the friend the mystery guy was with, and the friend’s Labrador – pretty much all the facts she had.
“Shameless request for a viral love story,” Savannah wrote. “I met a guy in a Petco … Sunday, I didn’t catch his name but he is the new daddy to a gorgeous little 7 week old puppy named Rosy. He was with another guy who had a super cute older Lab…”
People quickly began sharing the post and by Tuesday morning, the internet had found her guy. The owner of the Lab, Garrett Estes, had seen the post when his grandmother shared it with him.
Estes, a good friend and co-worker of Vance’s immediately made the connection and texted his friend, “She’s looking for you bud.”
Vance, a 27-year-old who works in his family’s electrical contracting business, tells PEOPLE “My phone started exploding and it was all kind of crazy and exciting. We started texting and we decided as soon as she got back from her business trip we would go out.”
Campbell says she was shocked by how invested the whole community became in their story. “People kept asking for updates, a restaurant offered us a free dinner for our first date … someone even started a GoFundMe to send us on a honeymoon.”
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The story even made the local news and the couple decided their first date would be watching their story. Campbell got back just in time Wednesday night to meet up with Vance.
“It was a really fun way to officially meet for the first time,” Campbell says. “He waited up for me to get off my flight and he was so sweet. We played with Rosy and he walked me to my car and even opened the door for me! He definitely gets the first impression rose.”
Vance says things went so well they’re going out again tonight. “I want to treat her right and take her to a real dinner. We’ll go somewhere nice.”
But they don’t have to go far; Turns out they live just three minutes from each other.
“It’s amazing she lives that close to me and we would probably never had met had it not been for this post going viral,” he says.
“It’s been so much fun,” Campbell says. “I didn’t expect to get this much attention but it’s been so cool to have the whole community supporting us. It’s definitely a 21st century love story.”