Named after the famous explorers, Lewis and Clark had been on adventures for months. They had been spotted many times around the same rural part of the county scavenging for food. They were adept at avoiding people. Both were looking pretty rough – emaciated, patchy hair loss and covered in mange. These boys needed some help.
Since they were so elusive, the only way to capture them was to set traps. Animal control was able to trap both on the same day and they came to the shelter.
After being on the loose for so long, confinement to a kennel with no control over their daily lives was terrifying to Lewis and Clark. They both fought leashes – either flailing wildly at the slightest pressure or pancaking and refusing to go anywhere. When you touched Lewis, he flinched like your hand was a flaming hot fire poker. To see these two so terrified was heartbreaking.
Clark quickly figured out that people brought yummy food and treats. He began to make a game out of getting treats. For weeks he’d come in close enough to grab a treat and then run away a few feet to wait for you to toss another one, seldom getting close enough to be touched. Lewis on the other hand was not willing to come close even for treats. Fortunately, they had each other and enjoyed daily playtime.
Very slowly Clark started to trust the people at the shelter. He would get a little closer allowing pets for treats and eventually he started to relax near people.
Lewis on the other hand continued to be more cautious. He was placed in a foster home with another dog. The hope was that he would progress in trusting people a little quicker in a home with a doggy sister. Lewis had a different idea. He decided the foster home was his perfect escape route and that’s exactly what he did. He found the one tiny, little gap in the fence and once again Lewis was on the loose, but this time without Clark. The foster family was devastated, and all hands were on board to get Lewis back. After a week of fending for himself, Lewis was trapped again and brought back to the shelter to be reunited with Clark.
Soon after Lewis returned to the shelter Clark found his forever family. Lewis was now at the shelter on his own and with a behavior plan to help him assimilate into life with people. He began spending the afternoons in the manager’s office, watching the comings and goings at the shelter and being peppered with short visits from people with treats. He also made lots of doggy friends and had daily playdates. Finally, Lewis was willing to approach his favorite people and was no longer flinching when petted.
Meanwhile, Clark’s family couldn’t get Lewis off their mind. Clark had fit right into their family life and brought such joy. They felt Lewis deserved the same comfort and love that Clark had and once they met Lewis, they were smitten and adopted him. Once again Lewis and Clark were reunited. This time forever!
These stories of pets that struggle to fit in to life with humans are heartbreaking, but thanks to caring folks, just like you, the Brown County Humane Society can work with each individual pet to find the best outcome possible no matter how long it takes.
For Lewis and Clark 2021 was a difficult year of change. However, 2022 is looking to bring a New Year and a New Life full of love and happiness!