LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — Life hasn't been easy for Barklee, a 7-year-old dog who now lives at the Lake Humane Society.
He's been living in shelters the past three years of his life. And life before that wasn't the best.
Lake Humane Society workers have a photo of Barklee before he was first taken to Animal Charity of Ohio in Youngstown. He was chained in the front yard of a home and was likely involved in a humane investigation case.
He was transferred to Lake County in January. Staff member Candace Kovach and volunteer Christie Corson are actually known as Barklee's "two special ladies." They've been working with him consistently since he arrived.
"He was at first slow to adjust," Kovach said.
Because of all his time isolated, it took time for staff members to gain his trust. Corson began getting to know him through the kennel. After about a week, Barklee allowed her to touch him. She slowly went from being able to pet his head to being able to pet his sides and finally, his belly.
Since then, it's been mostly uphill.
"He just turned into this big goofball," said Kovach. "He wants treats all the time. He cracks us up a lot."
He also lives for belly rubs.
Kovach and Corson take Barklee on weekly Wednesday adventures. They post video of the adventures on the Lake Humane Society's Facebook page. So far, they've gotten ice cream, went hiking by Lake Erie and checked out a volunteer's backyard.
Veterinarians aren't sure for how long Barklee has been blind. But Kovach said it doesn't hold him back. They've worked with him on stairs and getting into and out of cars.
And while he can't see, he remembers boundaries and picks his feet up if he's uncertain of his terrain. His ladies say he's "making up for things."
"This is not a hindrance to him," said Kovach. "It's like he has no fear with anything new."
She said he's getting better on leash skills and gets very excited for his adventures. She and Carson are now starting to socialize him with other dogs, and they said he's ready to meet just the right adopter.
His adoption description says: “Barklee is a sweet boy looking forward to finding his furever home. He loves going on adventures. He is looking for a home who will respect his needs. He is a smart boy who catches on really quickly to the boundaries of new environments as well as routines.”
Anyone wanting to adopt Barklee must meet with him several times to make sure he's the right fit. They recommend no children or older children in the home and no small animals or cats.
"They must be very serious in adopting him," said Kovach. "He needs stimulation. He's not a dog you tuck away. He basically will be the final say. He will ultimately make the decision."
Check out his adorable posts below, and if you are interested in adopting Barklee, call 440-951-6122 or head to the shelter at 7564 Tyler Blvd., Mentor.
For his adoption listing with more details, click here.
And if you want to help dogs like Barklee at the Lake Humane Society, click here for their Pizza for Paws event taking place later this month.
If you are interested in adopting Barklee, call 440-951-6122 or head to the shelter at 7564 Tyler Blvd., Mentor.
Check out some of Barklee's adventures below: