"Lucky" Dog Finds a Home

“Lucky” has found a home: after nearly a year of roaming Clarion and the surrounding countryside, the shy but friendly pure-bred American hound is living at a pasture near Eagle Grove. He found it by following the only human he trusted through over 20 miles of backroads.

That human is Clarion resident Carol Brott. “He’s such a nice dog, he really is,” she said. Brott owns two yellow labs, is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, and worked at Iowa Specialty Hospital before receiving a heart transplant in April 2010. “I received a new lease life on and I wanted Lucky to have the same,” she said.

Lucky’s search for a new home began on July 4, 2013, when he left his then-owner. Another previous owner had kept Lucky in a small confinement for extended periods of time, which likely contributed strongly to his skittishness. The pup had wandered his way to Clarion by November, where Brott and other residents took sympathy on him.  “There were drive-by feedings,” she said. “A lot of people came and put food out in.”

Through generally “being nice,” giving him treats, and spending a lot of time, Brott was able to finally earn the canine’s trust. An unknown party added a doghouse to Brott’s yard during the year’s notably long, cold winter, though Brott eventually removed it as Lucky hadn’t been using it.

In December, Brott and Holden Walton were able to put Lucky a kennel, and he was picked up by a veterinarian and taken to Goldfield for 10 days. At a shelter in Eagle Grove, however, Lucky escaped again. Brott subsequently drove the countryside in search of the wily canine, who followed her 2010 black Dodge Charger 22 miles back to Clarion.

“All I had to do was say ‘come on Lucky’ and he followed my car all the way,” she said.

In May, the Clarion Police Department made attempts to tranquilize the dog through his food, but they were unable to knock him unconscious. At a May 19 City Council meeting, Mayor Mike Nail cited unspecified concerns that “he was becoming vicious.” “He started barking, and he hadn’t done that before,” clarified Police Chief Steve Terhark of the dog’s distinctive hound dog bark. The Council itself appeared relieved that the situation had come to a conclusion, especially an apparently happy one.

The solution was initiated by Brott and Julie Thompson, who on May 16 enticed Lucky to follow Brott’s Charger on another 20-plus mile journey from Clarion to a spacious pasture near Eagle Grove owned by Don and Cindy Garrett. Brott and the Garretts connected through involvement with the Wright County Humane Society.

Lucky followed Brott’s car into the pasture and Don Garrett opened the pasture’s gate, which hadn’t been used in 20 years. Brott got out and sat with Lucky, who nuzzled her, as Garrett drove the car out and closed the gate behind him. “We stayed a long time and tried to get him comfortable,” Brott said.

 “We all petted him when she was there,” said Garrett. “He’ll always be a timid dog as far as handling. When Carol is back, he comes right over tail wagging, but he won’t get within five or six feet of anyone else.”

 “He’s doing great,” Garrett said of Lucky’s first two weeks at the pasture. “He’s in a great big area – it’s about like a half block or so – with other dogs in there with him. We can’t go up and pet him, but he acts like he’s totally relieved and the stress is gone.”

Garrett keeps cats and 25-30 dogs for the Humane Society that are available for adoption, as well as a bear (“Teddy,” as Garrett said: “what else is a bear named?”) and buffalo that he raises for meat.

For more information on adopting dogs or cats from the Wright County Humane Society, call Garret at 515 293 2026 or see the group’s listings on petfinder.com.

Read more in the June 5 Monitor, on sale now!