Six months ago, Pickles found himself at Everett Animal Shelter when his owners were having difficulty managing his energy level and reactivity to strangers. We knew this young, active dog, that many shelters would be unable to accommodate, would require lots of dedication, structure and patience. We were determined to give him the second chance he deserved.
Tomi met Pickles the day he was surrendered in our lobby and immediately knew he would be a challenging dog; Pickles was shy, shut down, scared of new people and bursting with pent-up energy. But she saw his good qualities as well; He was loyal, kind and smart. She began working with Pickles and the two bonded quickly. With Tomi’s love and attention, Pickles started to come out of his shell and we soon learned how much he loved to play. Fetch with a tennis ball was his favorite, but he also loved playing with other dogs and was great at assessing the energy level and play style of other canines. He quickly became our unofficial ‘play-group ambassador’ and helped us match up other shelter dogs for off-leash romp sessions.
But months later, Pickles was still with us. His perfect home had not come along. Pickles’ personality was blossoming, and he was no longer the shut down and shy dog we met in August, but living in a shelter is stressful and we were ready for him to start his new life. Tomi began to wonder if his athleticism, loyalty, high canine IQ and love of fetch could make him a candidate for a working law enforcement dog.
Early February, a K-9 recruitment team made a trip to the shelter and tested Pickles and two other shelter dogs on various skills. Pickles passed with flying colors and was a favorite among the team of women, even joking they would take him home themselves. It wasn’t long before an agency in Idaho showed interest and offered to give this once scared, shut-down shelter dog a chance at a new life full of enrichment, plenty of exercise and lots of love.
Tomi drove Pickles to his new home earlier this week and wished him farewell through a combination of tears and smiles. He’s already been matched with an officer and we are confident this unwanted dog will go on to do big things.
Our animals come to us in various stages of their lives. We see them broken and beaten, starved and left behind. Your support allows us to care for these unwanted and overlooked pets without the pressure of time limits, and for that Pickles thanks you.
Above: Pickles, Tomi and Pickles’ new handler - Sergeant Jason Piccola. Pickles will live with Jason and his resident dog on 15 fully-fenced acres.