Marty Becker didn’t hesitate to unlatch the gate leading to the growling, barking dog.
Speaking softly to the Australian shepherd/blue heeler mix, he crouched slowly, reached out and handed Paco a treat.
The 65-pound dog gobbled it up, then quietly eyed Becker.
“You did good,” the veterinarian said with a pat on its head.
Becker, known as “America’s Veterinarian,” recently penned his 20th book, “Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual.” More than eight million of his books have sold, and he’s a three-time member of the New York Times best-seller list.
The Bonners Ferry resident, joined by family members, visited the Kootenai Humane Society adoption center on Tuesday. The stop, one of three at North Idaho animal shelters, was billed as a “Christmas Pawty,” with a goal of finding homes by Christmas for the shelter’s most “adoption-challenged” pets.
Staff got into the spirit by wearing elf outfits, antlers and Santa hats.
The promotion worked, with many guests checking out potential pets, two longtime resident cats being adopted, another longtime dog, a black lab mix named Langley, in line for a new home, and a $500 donation.