Heartwarming Moment: Shelter Dog Calms a Girl During Her Anxiety Attack, and It’s So Sweet to Watch

Shelter Dog Calms A Girl During Her Anxiety Attack And It’s So Sweet To Watch

Nothing happens by chance. Everything we go through leads us to the place we were always destined to be. What is truly meant to be ours will find us at the right time.

Picaso’s wonderful story and the way he ended up finding his forever family reminded me of this truth one more time. This is how his story began.


In November 2021, a kind-hearted person noticed a Plott hound mix running down a street in Charleston, West Virginia. He picked him up and took him to the Kanawha – Charleston Humane Association.

Since he didn’t have a collar nor a chip, and nobody claimed him, he stayed at the shelter. The shelter volunteers named him Picasso, after the artist, but due to a typo in the shelter’s computer system, he became known as Picaso.

Everybody noticed how affectionate and kind Picaso was. One of the volunteers, Kim Vigneau, said that he hugged her the first time he saw her.

“He loves to give hugs. He was so sweet,” she told The Dodo.

His kind behavior was the reason why he was chosen to be one of the shelter dogs that would go to the Christmas Parade. Vigneau walked him in the event. Her goal that night was to get him adopted.

Destined Encounter

There were hundreds of parade attendees. As they walked, Picaso suddenly pulled Vigneau. Somebody caught his eye. That was when Vigneau realized what was happening. Picaso noticed a girl sitting on the curb. She seemed to be upset.

“He put his head against hers and was physically supportive with his face. Then, the girl smiled. I could tell by her body language he was helping her,” Vigneau said.

Out of so many people, he decided to approach her. The girl was sixteen-year-old Abby Ellis, who suffers from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)… a health disorder that affects her blood flow and causes her to faint.

She was having an anxiety attack. Melissa Smoot, Ellis’s mom, was with her that night. Just as she was trying to help her daughter, Picaso ran over to them.

“Abby’s head was down on her legs, and she was falling forward. He managed to get his body underneath her and push her back. Then, she started to come around. All I could think was Abby would have face-planted into the ground if that dog had not been there.”

Ellis remembers the moment Picaso helped her.

“I felt his nose against mine. I started to pet him. I felt safe.”

After returning home with her daughter, all Smoot could think about was Picaso. She realized they had to see him again, and they went to the shelter the next day.

When Picaso saw Ellis, he ran to her. He gently hugged her and licked her face.

After witnessing this special moment between them, Smoot didn’t have any doubts. Picaso was coming with them. She shared that Ellis wanted to have a dog for a long time, but Smoot wasn’t sure if the timing was right.

She prayed to God, asking Him for a sign that Ellis was ready. She considers this to be a God wink.

Ready To Start A New Life

After spending 20 days at the shelter, Picaso was moving in with his family.

Ellis’s mom shared that Ellis usually avoided crowds, but that night, it was her who insisted on going to the parade. She is convinced that they were destined to meet and adopt Picaso. It didn’t happen by chance. She considers him a hero.

“I’m so in love with this dog… Not all heroes wear capes… some have a nub tail and a wet nose,” Smoot wrote on her Facebook.

Both Ellis and Picaso fulfilled their long-awaited wishes. Ellis finally has a dog who loves her and makes her feel safe, and Picaso found his forever family who will love him and cherish him just like all pets deserve.

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