Friendship
Man fulfills promise to re-adopt dog he was forced to give up 4 months ago
He was true to his word. <3
Michael Dabu
06.06.22

Anyone who had a dog before will tell you that it’s never easy to let go of them.

You lose a pet in different ways, it’s either they had to go because of age or terminal illness, or you had to let them go because of a particular circumstance.

Either way is downright painful and sadly, it will eventually happen to anyone who owns a pet at home.

Lewis Jimenez was one of them.

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When life took a hard turn on Lewis and his family, he was forced to give up on his pitbull Titus. He surrendered his furry friend back to the animal shelter where he had originally adopted him.

It was a hard decision to make but it’s also a decision he wasn’t willing to regret in the long run. So he made all efforts and ways to keep his promise, to return to him and bring his doggo back home.

Back to where it all started.

Titus was just two years old when Lewis met him in 2013 at the Austin Animal Center, the only municipal animal shelter in Austin, Texas.

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It was totally not part of his plan to adopt a pit bull, but when he saw Titus together with some shelter workers in the yard, he immediately fell in love with him.

“He was jumping and happy, and I thought, ‘Man, that’s the one I want,’” Lewis Jimenez told The Dodo.

Lewis and Titus became the best of friends and for the next five years, it seemed like nobody and nothing could ever come between them.

In fact, Lewis couldn’t imagine what his life would be without his beloved pit bull. “He’s like my big old kid,” he said. “He’s part of me.”

Until one unfortunate day when he was told he could no longer keep Titus.

“The management company told him that he had to get rid of Titus, or he was going to be evicted,” Jennifer Olohan, communications and media manager at Austin Animal Center, told The Dodo.

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Lewis was left with no other choice since he had no other places to move into. He also knew no one who could take care of Titus in the meantime while he was looking for another place.

With all his cards laid on the table, he was forced to give up on Titus. With a heavy heart, he took him back to the shelter. The shelter’s staff, however, was in doubt if Jimenez would ever return to get Titus back.

“From our point of view, we’re not able to hold dogs, because we hear owners say this all the time — that they’re going to come back, but then they don’t,” Olohan said.

But Lewis was different, a lot different.

Letting go of his furry pal inflicted him with a level of pain that was almost unbearable.

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Austin Animal Center’s staff saw how hard it was for Jimenez to give up on Titus. They saw and felt his pain.

Although Jimenez said it wouldn’t take long, Titus had a hard time adjusting to the shelter.

“The shelter is a really, really stressful place for dogs,” Olohan said. “Some dogs handle it better than others, but Titus wasn’t one of them. He was really stressed out. When you got him out of his kennel, he was great — super playful and really sweet. But in his kennel he was sullen and really sad.”

To keep up with Titus, Lewis and his family paid him regular visits but there were tears whenever it was time to leave. The dog stayed in the shelter for four months, then one day, Lewis was ready to fulfill his promise.

He was ready to be with his dog again.

After four months, he was able to move into a place where he could be with Titus. Their new place even had a yard and it was all playtime waiting for their furry companion.

“Everyone was really, really emotional,” Olohan said. “Titus was thrilled and so was Lewis. We had some staff and volunteers there, and everyone was crying. Some people knew about their story already, and knew that Lewis was kind of waiting in the wings for Titus.”

A photographer was able to document the emotional reunion and the Austin Animal Center shared the adorable photos on its social media account.

“I was overwhelmed,” Jimenez said. “A lot of things were going through my head.”

He was also thankful to all the shelter’s staff for taking care of Titus during his absence. Lewis really loves Titus and it was clear to see.

“He loves Titus,” Olohan added. “We can see now that not coming back from Titus was never an option — he was doing everything he could to make sure that he got Titus back.”

They’re just so lucky to have each other!

Watch another reunion between a man and his dog in the video below.

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By Michael Dabu
hi@sbly.com
Michael Dabu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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