Afternoon. First Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. America’s oldest continuously occupied city. Look it up.

Taylor has a lot of work to do today. It’s the Christmas season, and this is the biggest day, annually, of Taylor’s career.

Taylor is an officer with the Pensacola Police Department, a detective of sorts. Electronics-detection. Taylor’s day job is catching bad guys who abuse kids. In fact, you could say that Taylor’s life is all about protecting children.

Taylor is 4 years old. He is an English Labrador.

Before he came to the PPD, he was a failed service dog for the elderly. His trainers flunked him because he kept trying to play with the tennis balls on people’s walkers.

“Friendly animal,” his former trainers noted, “but lacks focus, and talks too much in class.”

So he was trained as a police dog. He was an instant success.

“And he’s great with kids,” says one officer. “He’s one of our most valuable guys on the force. We don’t mind that he drinks from the toilet.”

Today, however, Taylor is serving as police liaison to a bunch of kids.

1:44 p.m., Officer Taylor arrives at First Baptist with Officer Ike Isenberg, his partner. Taylor’s tail is wagging so hard his butt almost falls off.

The church parking lot is chock-full of busted Hondas, dilapidated Chevys and outmoded Nissans. There are cop cars galore.

Taylor excitedly bounds out of the vehicle and prances toward the church.


December has been a busy month for the department. All month, officers have been buying gifts for underprivileged kids in town.

These are kids whom officers run into on the job. Maybe the child’s family member was arrested. Maybe someone in the home has been murdered.

No matter what the issue, when an officer identifies a kid who is going to have a hard candy Christmas, the kid’s name goes on The List.

Come December, the whole department buys presents for the kids. Whereupon Pensacola’s Finest annually invites all the kids together for a big do at First Baptist. It’s a Herculean event. Lots of cops. Lots of kids. Lots of wrapping paper.

The officers pass out gifts. They let the kids play with the dog. They eat obscene amounts of Chex Mix.

“It’s the best part of our whole year,” says one officer.

Taylor enters the room. The fellowship hall is pure madness. The air is filled with joyous screaming and the scent of little-kid sweat. Children are unwrapping presents. Laughter abounds.

These will be the only gifts many of these kids receive this Christmas. For some, today will be the greatest day of their entire childhood lives.

But the star of today’s show is—without a doubt—Officer Taylor. Taylor trots around the place, wandering through the church off-leash. He is more popular than George Strait at a knitting club.

Gaggles of children are instantly attracted to the canine. The kids rush toward Taylor. They have bright eyes and rosen cheeks. They are dressed in ragged clothes with threadbare pants and holes in the armpits of their T-shirts.

“Can we pet him!?” the kids scream in unison.

“Sure,” say the officers.

In mere moments, kids are hanging off Taylor’s neck. They are hugging him. They are crawling on the floor beside him. These are toddlers, elementary-school kids, and pre-teens.

Everyone loves Taylor.

One little girl bathes Taylor’s face in kisses, from crown to snout. Another little boy is nuzzling the dog, nose-to-nose, confiding in Taylor.

Children are constantly fuzzing Taylor’s fur, yanking his ears, pulling his tail. Taylor is in hog heaven. Namely, because Taylor loves kids. Plus, he is fed enough Cheez-Its to qualify as a misdemeanor in some counties.

“It’ll be a wonder if he doesn’t poop in the car,” remarks one officer.

At the end of the day, when the crowd thins, a lone boy meanders up to Taylor. The boy is timid around dogs.

“Taylor’s a nice doggy,” the boy’s mother reassures him. “Go say hello to the doggy.”

The little boy approaches Taylor. Cautiously. He pets the dog’s head. Taylor leans into the kid. And the boy’s defenses are lowered. He hugs Taylor.

The boy is lean and lank. He is maybe 7. His bare toes are poking through holes in his tattered tennis shoes. It’s December, and the kid isn’t even wearing socks. His little clothes hang off his frail body, and he is underdressed for the cold.

But the kid’s face turns into the Fourth of July when an English Labrador licks him. The boy has a new friend. And friends are a precious commodity in this world.

“What do you think of Taylor?” the officer asks the boy.

“Oh,” says the boy. “He’s the most beautiful dog I ever saw.”


Taylor thinks you’re pretty beautiful, too, kid. And so do Pensacola’s Finest.


  1. Maureen - December 23, 2022 6:46 am


  2. Ginga Smithfield - December 23, 2022 12:21 pm

    God bless them all!

  3. mccutchen52 - December 23, 2022 12:29 pm

    Love a dog story..

  4. Oliver Rhett Talbert - December 23, 2022 12:33 pm

    Taylor may be a police dog,
    But he really works for Jesus.

    • Charline Kirk - December 23, 2022 8:31 pm


  5. Nancy Luetchens - December 23, 2022 12:56 pm

    Wonderful and most glorious story ever!

    • Anne Arthur - December 23, 2022 1:24 pm

      That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “love one another.” Kudos to Taylor and the Finest for showing genuine love.

  6. Cindy Davis - December 23, 2022 1:55 pm

    I love this. I love Pensacola ❤️

  7. Melanie - December 23, 2022 3:19 pm

    I hope the gifts included new warm clothes and socks and shoes for those little angels. And I just know Taylor is a hot mess 😄. Merry Christmas everyone ❤️

    • David - December 23, 2022 3:40 pm

      I am proud the Pensacola Police Dept does this for those kids. I wish every city had the same program. I’m sure those kids will remember that for as long as they live. Thanks for sharing Sean!

  8. Richard C. - December 23, 2022 3:30 pm

    Merry Christmas to a truly good guy.

  9. Peggy M. Windham - December 23, 2022 3:42 pm

    I love this story! I love that dogs can bring joy to so many!

  10. Steve McCaleb - December 23, 2022 4:12 pm

    People who should know keep telling me that there are no dogs in heaven. I don’t believe them. Nope….no way…no how. Believe what you want to believe (and so will I…and Ace and Buster).

  11. Kathy Dowdy - December 23, 2022 4:15 pm

    Home address? We have a donation for you for Marigold’s eye surgery! Kathy. Luverne, Alabama. We’ve messaged you but haven’t received a reply

  12. Brenda - December 23, 2022 4:27 pm

    Merry Christmas kiddos!

  13. sjhl7 - December 23, 2022 4:36 pm

    Beautiful Taylor!

  14. pattymack43 - December 23, 2022 4:41 pm


  15. Patricia Gibson - December 23, 2022 4:49 pm

    Heartbreaking ❤️

  16. Debbie g - December 23, 2022 5:38 pm

    Such love from all
    Thank you Sean

  17. Stacey Wallace - December 23, 2022 5:41 pm

    What a sweet story! Thanks, Sean. May God bless these children, Taylor, and all of the Pensacola Police Department. Love to you, Jamie, Marigold, Otis Campbell, and Thelma Lou.

  18. April McGough - December 23, 2022 5:59 pm

    Now I have to go mop the tears from my face

  19. Betty F. - December 23, 2022 6:27 pm

    It always breaks my heart to read of all the kids who have it so hard through no fault of their own.

  20. Susie - December 23, 2022 7:12 pm

    Labs are the best dogs for kids and families. I was raised by labs.

  21. Charline Kirk - December 23, 2022 8:32 pm

    Dogs are furry angels given to us by our Saviour.

  22. Melissa Brown - December 23, 2022 10:46 pm

    Praise the Lord for precious dogs and your beautiful stories, Sean. May you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

  23. Linda Moon - December 23, 2022 11:07 pm

    My uncle was the Pastor of a Baptist church in Pensacola, Florida. He was great with kids, especially to my big brother and me. Heck, my brother became a preacher because of Uncle. Officer Taylor would’ve been welcome to come to church with us!

  24. Michael J. Walter - December 24, 2022 12:27 am

    Matthew 25:35-40…..thanks Sean

  25. Wyn Emery - December 24, 2022 6:27 pm

    So PROUD to call Pensacola my home! LOVE the PPD ….. MERRY CHRISTMAS !!


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