Was the moment Picaso raced over to help a girl having an anxiety attack a case of being in the right place at the right time? Or was it straight-up fate?
A Good Samaritan discovered the Plott hound mix running down a street in Charleston, West Virginia, last November. He picked the dog to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association and dropped him off.
The dog was initially named Picasso after the artist. However, due to a typo in the shelter’s computer system, his name was misspelled Picaso. He didn’t have a collar, no microchip, and no one had claimed him.
Picaso was in the shelter for 19 days, waiting to be adopted.
Everyone remarked on how nice and well-behaved he was. That’s how he ended up walking in a local holiday parade with other dogs looking for homes.
Picaso was walked in the event by Kim Vigneau, a shelter volunteer. “He hugged me right away when I first met him,” Vigneau told The Dodo. “He loves giving hugs. He was incredibly charming. That night, my goal was to adopt him.”
As Vigneau and Picaso weaved their way through the hundreds of parade goers lining the streets, he was drawn to one in particular.
“We were walking down the middle of the road,” said Vigneau. “There was a girl sitting on the curb.” She appeared to be distressed. Picaso took the initiative and drew me over to her right away. He rested his head against hers and supported her with his face. The girl then smiled. I could tell he was assisting her by her body language.”
Abby Ellis, 16, was the girl. Ellis suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a blood-flow disorder that can cause her to pass out. It makes her nervous at times as well. She had an anxiety attack the night of the parade. When Picaso ran over her mother, Melissa Smoot, she was attempting to assist Ellis.
Smoot told The Dodo, “Abby’s head was down on her legs, and she was falling forward.” “He pushed her back by getting his body underneath her. Then she started to change her mind. All I could think was that if that dog hadn’t been there, Abby would have face-planted.”
Picaso found Ellis, Ellis told The Dodo, and she remembers it exactly. She said, “I felt his nose against mine.” “I started to pet him. I was at ease. My mother inquired about his name.”
Smoot learned the dog’s name, but her goal at the time was getting her daughter home. They walked away, while Vigneau and Picaso returned to the parade. Smoot, on the other hand, couldn’t get the dog out of her head. Picaso had no doubt remembered Ellis when she returned to the shelter the next day.
Picaso approached her quickly. “He embraced me. “I was ecstatic,” Ellis said.
Picaso was coming home with them, Smoot realized at that moment. “Abby had been requesting a dog for over a year,” Smoot explained. “‘Lord, just send me a sign that Abby is ready for a dog,’ I kept praying. This has been dubbed a God wink. It certainly was. God smiled and responded to our prayers.”
Picaso was adopted by Ellis and her family on his 20th day in the shelter.
Vigneau was successful in finding Picaso a new home, but he clearly picked his family. “It was incredible.” I, too, suffer from anxiety and have experienced anxiety attacks. “I think it’s fantastic that everyone is discussing the subject,” Vigneau said.
Smoot believes they did not meet Picaso by chance. Ellis dislikes large crowds. But she insisted on attending the parade that night.
Smoot said, “It was meant to be.”
Ellis is overjoyed to have found a dog who not only loves her but also appears to recognize when she requires assistance.
“I’m just grateful he chose me,” she explained.