From Georgia to Pequot Lakes and now at Outback Trail Rides in Pillager, Lexi is an energetic pup who entertains guests, guides trail rides and watches over the stable’s 50 horses.

Staff members at the Babinski Foundation animal shelter in Pequot Lakes got a pleasant surprise when new Executive Director Donna Sutton scheduled a team-building trail ride at Outback.

Lexi was adopted from the Babinski Foundation last year.

“We didn’t even know that coming into it,” Megan Goldberg, Babinski Foundation kennel manager, said before the ride Monday, Aug. 12.

Lexi follows the last rider from the Babinski Foundation during a trail ride Monday, Aug. 12, at Outback Stables near Pillager. Lexi was adopted from the Babinski Foundation and has become a favorite at the riding facility. Staff members visited Outback Stables to celebrate their second anniversary. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
Lexi follows the last rider from the Babinski Foundation during a trail ride Monday, Aug. 12, at Outback Stables near Pillager. Lexi was adopted from the Babinski Foundation and has become a favorite at the riding facility. Staff members visited Outback Stables to celebrate their second anniversary. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Reuniting with Lexi, who Outback Trail Rides owner Sheree Evenson adopted last July, was a welcome addition for Babinski staff, which also used the event to celebrate its second anniversary of operation.

“This is kind of our celebration to just really remember what we’re here to do,” marketing manager Lisa Wood said.

Lexi came to the shelter from Georgia last year with a case of canine parvovirus. Also known as parvo, the contagious virus causes an infectious gastrointestinal illness and can be deadly without treatment. But with the right care, Lexi recovered.

“We were able to treat her and make her all better, and she’s actually out here, and she leads all the horses,” Goldberg said. “So it’s a pretty awesome story.”

Evenson didn’t necessarily have a trail dog in mind when she adopted Lexi, but just sought to get another dog after her older one died.

“The kids were like, ‘Mom, you need a dog,’” she said. “So we made an appointment to go up to Babinski.”

Lexi was one of only two dogs at the shelter at the time, and ended up striking a bond with Evenson.

“She was scared to death for the first four months here, not knowing people,” Evenson said, noting Lexi eventually turned into quite the people and horse dog.

“She will guard the farm with the horses, and then she’ll go out on the rides,” Evenson said.

The playful pooch -- whose breed is unknown -- takes pride in watching over the farm’s 50 horses and joining guests on trail rides.

“She keeps our guests totally entertained,” Evenson said. “She’s a hoot.”