It's kind of a big dill. Pickles finds his forever home! - BC SPCA
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It’s kind of a big dill. Pickles finds his forever home!

July 5, 2024

Pickles story reminds us that a dog with a sad start can find happiness with some loving patience and a mischief-encouraging best friend named Boo.

The 14-month-old retriever was one of five young dogs surrendered to the BC SPCA by their owner after a complaint about their living conditions was called into the animal helpline.

“These poor dogs were kept outside in extremely dirty conditions with no overhead shelter to protect them from the elements,” says Eileen Drever, the BC SPCA’s senior officer protection and stakeholder relations. “They weren’t socialized at all. Thankfully, the owner agreed to surrender them to our care.”

“From the first moment I looked in his terrified eyes I fell in love with Pickles,” says Nicole McBain, manager of the BC SPCA’s Burnaby animal centre. “I usually don’t let myself fall in love, but I was a goner. I knew he just needed time to learn to trust people.”

McBain worked with Pickles for weeks getting him used to seeing and interacting with her and the staff at the centre. “I remember sitting in his kennel and after weeks of throwing treats to him to make him feel comfortable, he finally took one from my hand,” says McBain. “It was such an incredible moment.”

They brought Pickles out to the animal centre’s yard, and he was slowly introduced to other dogs. “We really started to see Pickles come out of his shell when he met Boo, a Shar Pei, who was also in our care,” says McBain.

Pickles and Boo at the BC SPCA’s Burnaby animal centre. Boo has also found his forever home!

Pickles and Boo would spend their days playing together in the yard. “As Pickles saw how we interacted with Boo, touching and petting him, he started to approach me more, and began to nudge the back of my leg,” says McBain. “Then one day he didn’t run away when I put my hand out and slowly ran it down his side. It was like the sun came out and the world was a perfect place in that moment, I pretty much started to cry out of happiness.”

McBain says it was difficult to say goodbye to Pickles. “Working with him and seeing him make so much progress that he has been adopted has been the highlight of my year!”

Pickles enjoying a stop on a walk with his new forever family and hanging out on the patio.

Karla, Pickles’ new mom, remembers their first meeting. “We sat in the kennel with him until he got comfortable with us and then we took him for a walk,” she says. “When he started sniffing us and brushing up against our legs, we figured that was a good sign.”

Pickles was soon introduced to Harlow, the family’s four-year-old female retriever. “He wouldn’t leave her side when they went on their walks. He kept kissing her.” His affection for his furry sister continues to grow in his new home. “He loves to torment her, and she allows it,” says Karla. Pickles is warming up to some affection from his new family. “He is still a little skittish if we approach him, but if you are on the couch, he will snuggle up beside you.”

Pickles enjoying the backyard of his new home and with Harlow.

The family has been enjoying getting to know Pickles more and discovering some of his unique personality traits. “The first time we saw him clean his paws and his toys in his water bowl we were a little surprised,” says Karla. “I have never seen a dog do that before.”

Karla is so happy that Pickles is a part of their family. “We recently lost our shepherd Gunner and Harlow was missing him terribly,” she says. “Pickles has helped Harlow as much as she has helped him. We are looking forward to watching him and their friendship continue to blossom.”