Dill-ightful! Lost dog, Pickles, rescued after three-month search

Sweet Pickles: The Ditmas Park owners of Pickles the pooch found their mutt largely unharmed this week after he spent the past three months on the street.
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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.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 11:14 am, November 29, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Andrea from Park Slope says:
Oh, I hope these sweeties will be able to stay together!
Nov. 28, 2018, 3:16 pm
Elizabeth from Prospect Heights says:
Animals can be so resourceful! I hope Pickles and Violet can remain together, too.
Nov. 29, 2018, 12:22 pm
Ellin from Brooklyn Heights says:
so happy to see this in the paper just now.
Dec. 1, 2018, 5:44 pm
Lisa from Brooklyn says:
Nice story, but makes me think Pickles ran away for a reason...
Dec. 2, 2018, 10:24 am
Jeanne from PLG says:
Such a happy story!! Golly, folks with lost dogs need to check out the railroad track doggie hangout. Our two cats were bonded when we got them, and it was their bond that socialized the female who was basically feral, she was so high anxiety and terrified of humans. Now she’s completely socialized. Give Violet a chance in a home in the company of her bf, Pickles. Good luck!
Dec. 2, 2018, 10:30 am
Susan from Park Slope says:
I totally agree with all the commentaries above -- don't wait! adopt Violet soon! Our story -- I'd been fostering a feral homeless dog, coincidentally named Violet (we lived in the town of Violet outside New orleans) and she was just about untrainable. Was desperate to go scavenge, and would wake me up at 5 a.m. to hit the streets. She'd chew things all day, dreaded going inside. but, just about the second we brought her up to Bklyn, where we had an older dog (Jo) she fell in love and learned good domesticated dog behavior immediately. She needed to learn from another dog. So -- for Pickles's sakes and Violet's let Violet come live with you and learn how to be an indoor dog. I know you're living in tight quarters, but hope you can find a way!
Dec. 4, 2018, 10:20 am

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