Dogs are such sweet, caring animals. They have an amazing ability to sense when someone is in distress, and won’t hesitate to show them some love and comfort.
And when one shelter dog embraced a stranger who was having an anxiety attack, it ended up changing both of their lives forever.
Picaso (like the artist, but missing one “S” due to a typo), a Plott hound mix, arrived at the Kanawha-Charlestone Humane Association last November after being picked up as a stray in Charleston, West Virginia, according to The Dodo.
It immediately became clear that Picaso was a sweet, loving dog who deserved the best possible home. “He is a seriously sweet and sensitive boy who deserves someone who will appreciate his love, his hugs, and his little nubby tail,” the Humane Association wrote on Facebook.
“Picaso is dog friendly, kid friendly, playful, affectionate, and walks really well on a leash! He keeps a clean kennel too! He’s the kind of dog to stop and smell the roses with you, to take a long walk just appreciating the smells around him.”
Shortly after he arrived at the shelter, the Kanawha-Charlestone Humane Association had a great way of getting the word out about their adoptable dogs: walking them in the city’s holiday parade.
Shelter volunteer Kim Vigneau walked Picaso, and was determined to see that it would be a life-changing night for the dog: “He was so sweet. My goal that night was to get him adopted,” she told The Dodo.
Indeed, it turned out to be a holiday miracle for Picaso, who soon had an interaction with a stranger that would warm hearts across the country — and find him his forever home.
Kim says that as they were walking the parade route, they passed a girl sitting on the curb who looked “upset.” Picaso, sensing she needed help, went right over. “Picaso took the initiative and pulled me right over to her,” Kim says.
The girl was Abigail Ellis, 16, who suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and experiences severe anxiety attacks. Picaso ran over to comfort her.
“Out of the corner of my eye, I see a dog coming at us, and my immediate reaction was he’s going to attack her, but he didn’t, Melissa Smoot, Abigail’s mother, told WOWK.
“He got up underneath her, and pushed her back, and stood nose to nose. He didn’t lick, he didn’t jump, he didn’t bark. Just nose to nose as if to say I see you.”
“He just came up to me and made sure I was okay and just held me up. He lifted me up with nose,” Abigail said. “I felt safe.”
The shelter shared the story on Facebook, hoping it would help Picaso get adopted.
Then, on his 20th day in the shelter, a family came asking to adopt Picaso — the very same family he helped at the parade!
After seeing how great Picaso was with Abigail, the family knew right away it would be the best thing for both of them.
“Abby had been asking for a dog for over a year now,” Melissa told The Dodo. “I kept praying, ‘Lord, just send me a sign that Abby is ready for a dog.’ Someone called this a God wink. It sure was. God winked at us and answered our prayers.”
“It was meant to be.”
When the family arrived at the shelter, Picaso immediately ran over to hug Abby. The shelter was so happy that everything worked out so well.
“What a privilege to be in the presence of such love!” the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association wrote on Facebook. “Thank you so much to Abby for adopting this sweet boy… Our hearts are overjoyed.”
A dog’s love can be life-changing, especially to people with disabilities. Abigail will always have a friend to be by her side whenever she has anxiety attacks, and we can’t think of a better home for Picaso.
“I can’t explain it. It’s just fate, and love, and joy to see her showing some emotion because she doesn’t show emotion, and she’s showing love and excitement, and… it’s good to see her coming out of her shell because of a dog,” Melissa told WOWK.
We’re so glad Picaso has found a home! It was definitely meant to be. We’re so glad Picaso and Abby have each other.
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