This black lab was always destined to help others. He just didn’t take the path most people expected him to follow.
Before he was scheduled to go to school to become a service dog, Pesto — then a puppy — became a regular at the Aurora Public Library in Colorado. Kimistry Howard and her two disabled boys, who were being homeschooled, were also regulars.
One day they all met. Howard says she felt a connection with the dog like no other.
“This beautiful puppy came into this room. I said I never believed in love at first sight, well, I had love at first sight,” she told WXIA-TV. “It’s a love story from beginning to end and it’s not over.”
The two boys, one with autism and the other with a rare spinal disorder, fell in love with Pesto. They were inseparable.
But, the black lab would eventually have to say goodbye to the family, leaving them behind for training to become a certified service dog.
And, while the boys missed him, they always wanted the best for Pesto.
“We wanted him to be placed with a phenomenal human being that would love him as much as we’ve seen him be able to love an entire library of people,” Howard told WXIA-TV.
Pesto passed all of his tests with flying colors. Howard was expecting to receive a call, saying he’d been placed with a loving family, but that’s when something surprising happened.
“Then it wasn’t that call it was a different call,” she said.
Pesto was not going to be a service dog, after all.
“I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass, but they said he didn’t graduate,” Howard said.
Instead, the black lab that had touched Howard’s family would return back to Colorado. Two years later, he comforts Howard’s boys, helping them with day-to-day tasks.
Howard told WXIA-TV that she is convinced Pesto intentionally failed so he could be reunited with her family.
“It’s so beautiful they say he failed,” she said. “What I’m convinced is Pesto made a choice.”
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter