This happened quite a few years ago, when I had just gotten married. I was working at a big-box pet store. We had this sweet bird, a young Indian Ringneck Parakeet that we named Joey. I would let him sit on my shoulder while I cleaned fish tanks. I really wanted to take him home (we already had a few budgies, aka "parakeets"), but his price tag, including all the accessories, was too much of a stretch for our newlywed budget. A retail store is no home for a parrot, so I was motivated to find the right owner for him.
One day, my manager told me a customer had called and was considering buying Joey, and wanted a quote for the accessories they would need to "do it right" while keeping it reasonable. She knew I was fond of him and asked if I would price out the stuff. Feeling bittersweet about Joey finding a home, I picked out a cage, perches, toys, etc. and came up with a number for my manager to give the customer.
Later that day, a couple came in and was looking very interested in Joey. I told them another customer was interested too, so if they wanted to buy this bird, it might be a good idea to do it now. But still, they decided not to take him home.
So Joey still had no home lined up, just a "maybe" customer who had called to ask about him. On top of that, my husband had just found out he was being transferred to my home state. We had asked for a transfer there if one became available, but didn't expect it to come so soon.
This was my last week at the store. So even if Joey didn't find a home soon, I knew wouldn't be seeing him anymore.
At the end of the day, the mystery customer finally appeared... it was my husband! He wanted to surprise me with the birdie he knew I loved, using the moving bonus (the amount of which I had not yet found out).
We brought our new pet, renamed Bonzo, and our other birds with us on our move, but I never let him forget that in his zeal to surprise me, he almost got me to sell my bird to someone else!