A large black dog with his tongue hanging out

Loki and Stew - a Special Bond

December 31, 2022

Loki arrived at HSSW with an embedded harness. It was too tight and had been on for so long the straps were worn into his skin. And his neglect extended beyond physical issues to his behavior. He was a rowdy, high-energy dog with no manners. He was not aggressive or mean but his behavior was so challenging, he could be handled only by HSSW’s most-experienced dog handlers. In his kennel, Loki barked excessively when potential adopters walked by, making his chances of finding a new home even more difficult.

It was clear that he needed a lot of support.

Our behavior team developed a plan for Loki.  Several times a day they worked with him, helping him learn basic manners and redirecting is unwanted behavior. Loki loved spending time with our staff and volunteers, but his constant jumping, pulling, and mouthing made the experience overwhelming. After a few months Loki was adopted, and he was returned less than 24 hours later. He was too rowdy and too active – he still had a long way to go.

For more than a year, our team worked with Loki. He learned to sit, to walk more politely, and he loved playtime in our yards. Staff and volunteers would sit with him in his kennel to prevent him from barking at adopters. But with all that work, Loki was still a big, rowdy dog who overwhelmed families when they met him. We knew his perfect family was out there somewhere, but after a year of trying we didn’t know how to find them.

Then Tricia and Stew came to the Humane Society in search of a dog.

Tricia’s husband Stew, a military veteran, had nightmares, anxiety, and struggled to adapt to civilian life. But when he was around dogs, Tricia noticed Stew was more relaxed. They decided that maybe a dog would help, and when they met Loki it was a perfect match.

“They bonded instantly,” recalled Tricia. “It brought me to tears. We didn’t have a choice. Loki adopted us.”

Stew and Loki quickly became best friends. Loki is now Stew’s sidekick – on walks, at the dog park, even at home snuggled up to him while they slept. Stew started sleeping better, his nightmares abated, and he was more relaxed. Loki helped him find the calm he was missing in his life. And Loki relied on Stew, too. He listened to Stew and looked to him for guidance and support. Their bond was immediate – in each other, they found the thing that was missing.

“I think they have both seen trauma,” said Tricia. Sharing that kind of experience has helped them understand and trust each other.

Today, Loki is loved and happy in his new home. He spends his days with Stew, Tricia, and their son Bobby. His days are filled with toys and treats, and unconditional love. He even has his own seat in the living room. Loki found the happy, loving family he deserved and in return, he brought a sense of calm into his new home.

Loki found his second chance thanks to donors like you, and there are more pets like him – waiting to meet their perfect family. Your gift today will make an impact for pets like Loki.

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Learn more about Loki's impact on his new family, and the special bond he shares with Stew in this video.