Due to circumstances that are out of his control, Lewis Jimenez and his dog, Titus, were separated for four months. Titus ended up in an animal shelter.
Lewis adopted the pit bull when he was just 2 years old from the Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas. He actually hadn’t planned on adopting a pit bull, but when he saw Titus out in the yard with shelter volunteers, his heart was instantly captured.
He told The Dodo: “He was jumping and happy, and I thought, ‘Man, that’s the one I want.’”
For the next five years, Lewis and Titus became each other’s best friend. The pair were inseparable, and Lewis can’t imagine his life without his loyal companion.
“He’s like my big old kid,” Lewis said. “He’s part of me.”
Suddenly, however, Lewis was told by the management company of his residence that he couldn’t keep Titus. If he does, he woud get evicted. Lewis and his family had no other place to move to, and he also didn’t know anyone who could look after Titus while he searched for another home.
No matter how heartbreaking it was, Lewis had no other choice but surrender Titus to the shelter where he adopted him. He promised the staff that he would come back for his dog, but they were skeptical.
“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,” said Jennifer Olohan, communications and media manager at Austin Animal Center.
But the staff saw how difficult it was for Lewis to leave Titus there, even if he knew that it was only temporary.
The pup, on the other hand, grew miserable in the shelter.
“The shelter is a really, really stressful place for dogs,” Jennifer 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.”
Lewis and his family visited Titus as often as they could, but when the time comes for them to leave, things get extremely emotional.
“He would get overwhelmed and he would be very sad. The volunteers would make notes like, ‘Titus is not himself.’ It just made me even more determined to do what I had to do to get him out,” Lewis said.
At the end of each visit, the shelter staff would see the family in tears. The whole situation was just heartbreaking for everyone.
But after four long months, Lewis came back to the shelter bearing some good news – he and his family were able to move to a place where they could keep Titus. Even better, their new home had a yard where the pup could run around in!
“Everyone was really, really emotional. 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,” Jennifer said.
A photographer was there to document the sweet reunion, and the beautiful photos went viral after the Austin Animal Center shared it on their Facebook page. Lewis is seen wrapping the pup in a tight embrace, with Titus looking so happy and relieved, as if he understood that he was finally going home this time.
It’s so heartwarming to see the pair finally reunited! Lewis moved mountains just to be with his best friend again, showing everyone that Titus isn’t just a dog, he is family.