Have you ever met a pup that just melts your heart? Baxter did that for me.
One day, not quite two years ago, I was on a rescue mission in rural GA. I had taken a “personal day” from school (that’s right folks, I skipped class) and was heading down to pick up two snuggly little Catahoula pups that I had seen online who were slated to be euthanized the next day. I had adopters who were going to foster-to-adopt lined up for them and had convinced myself that I could save these pups without adding on to my ‘foster count’ at home.
I got there only to find out that one of the pups had already been adopted.
Sweet, only heading home with one, I thought to myself. With two other fosters and two of my own, God must have known not to send me home with more than I could handle.
I was so wrong.
Instead of bringing the one puppy out to me, the shelter manager convinced me that I needed walk to the back to pick her up - forcing me to walk past all of the kennels. I steeled myself for this, knowing that I would be seeing dozens of other dogs pleading at me, looking hopeful from behind their kennel bars – but with no more money in my bank account (remember: poor college student) and no more room in my apartment for dogs – I knew I could only take home the one I had come for.
I did well, all things considered, simply sending out little prayers for each tiny snout that reached up for a snuggle or a sniff. I finally arrived at the little merle girl’s kennel only to find her snuggled up against a gorgeous yellow pup. I opened her kennel door and pulled her out. She was a wild woman and started nibbling at my fingers. I handed her to the kennel worker andreached back in to rub the ears of the yellow pup. He peed everywhere; he was terrified.
“What’s his story?,” I asked the kennel staff.
“No idea. Seems scared of people. Won’t matter much longer, he’s being put to sleep tomorrow,” he replied.
Turns out that Baxter was a wonderful, wiggly, sweet boy who was just terrified to have ended up in the shelter. Within minutes he was rolling over for belly rubs and giving me lots of puppy kisses.
Long story short, he made his way back to Tennessee with me that day. Let me just say, Baxter was very happy to be free!
Baxter made the rounds with us, traveling to WV, VA to visit my family, and even made a cameo at my graduation party. He charmed everyone he met along the way.
One day, we received a wonderful email from a potential adoptive family. This family had recently lost their much loved pup, and were ready to add to their furry family. We had a meet and greet at a local dog park, but Baxter was too busy playing to spend much time visiting with them. Regardless, they loved him anyway (you see – he charmed them, too!). Just a few days later, Baxter went home to live with his forever family, The Pyle’s. And they were SO EXCITED to have him join their family. Baxter especially enjoyed checking out their huge back yard on his first day at home.
We still get updates on sweet Baxter from time to time, and they always warm my heart. But nothing makes me happier than to know that Baxter found an amazing forever family.
Who knew that the little yellow boy that I almost passed by would be the one who stole my heart?
Thank you, Pyle family, for welcoming sweet Baxter into your hearts and home. You are the perfect family for this practically-perfect boy.