This lost pup is home — just in time for the holidays!
The owners of a pooch that went missing from his Ditmas Park home in August reunited with their pup this week, after a desperate, three-month search that took them across the borough.
But Pickles, an Australian-cattle-dog mix who previously escaped certain death by canine butchers in his native Thailand, didn’t spend his time on the lam alone — rescuers found him in the company of a female mutt that’s been missing ever since she escaped while on a walk with her foster family in 2016, according to the good boy’s mom.
“It’s very ‘Homeward Bound,’” said Jasmin Cruz Masella, comparing Pickles and his pal Violet’s adventure to the 1993 flick about two lost dogs and a cat searching for their family. “He actually found a girlfriend, and she’s been missing for two years!”
Rescuers on Monday recovered the pup pair near the defunct freight-train tracks that run past Brooklyn College, which the dogs shared with other stray canines and felines, all of whom took advantage of the area’s seclusion and seemingly unlimited supply of tasty scraps, according to Pickles’s dad, who said his mutt actually gained weight in the weeks since he ran off during a stroll with a walker from pet-sitting service Wag.
“It was like a big vacation for him,” said Joe Masella. “There were tons of people feeding cats, tons of people throwing out garbage — he probably ate better than we did most nights.”
Pickles, however, didn’t always stay close to the tracks during his time away. Locals spotted the pup in locations as far south as Marine Park, and as far north as near Grand Army Plaza, over the months-long ordeal, prompting the Masellas and Wag employees to canvas the borough with fliers about the lost dog, which this newspaper’s staff spotted in neighborhoods including Bushwick, Sunset Park, and Park Slope.
The rescuers zeroed in on the area near Brooklyn College after several people reported seeing Pickles there over the last month, and Masella — along with animal-loving pals Teddy Henns and Carmen Brothers of Professional Pet Trackers — recently set up cameras and traps along the old train line that helped them finally corral the beast on Monday night.
Of course, Pickles wasn’t alone by then, and his owners took both him and Violet — a Staffordshire-terrier-lab mix — to a local vet upon discovering the duo. There, doctors scanned a microchip implanted in the four-legged gal, and discovered she was once a guest at Windsor Terrace’s Sean Casey Animal Rescue, according to Masella, who said Violet’s previous caretakers searched for her for a year before assuming she was gone for good.
Pickles’s girlfriend is now back at Casey’s shelter for socialization training, but Masella said his dog grew so fond of his female companion during their time together that he and his wife are considering adopting her to keep the lovebirds together.
“She didn’t want to leave his side,” the dog dad said. “She actually dragged me back to the vet when I tried to walk her. If they’re best pals, and did that well together for that long, we’ll have to see.”
And the Masellas are awfully glad to reach the end of the ordeal — especially after Pickles already defied death at the hands of butchers who captured him on the streets of his home country in Asia, where he was destined to become dog meat until do-gooders with the Soi Dog Foundation rescued him and shipped him to safety in Brooklyn, where the family adopted him.
“We’re just absolutely thankful, and couldn’t have imagined all this coming together,” said Cruz Masella. “It’s really a Christmas miracle for us.”