Exactly one year, one month, two weeks and one day ago, Baxter was carried through the doors of the Montgomery County Humane Society.
He came in as a stray – emaciated and ragged, with scars all over his body. He was noted to be friendly but very, very scared. Baxter spent six weeks at MCHS, being looked after by staff & volunteers. His special angel Big Bruno, an MCHS volunteer, helped Baxter learn to walk out of his cage instead of crawl. Baxter was then rescued by Jasmine’s House, where two wonderful women took him into their heart and their home and helped put him back together physically and emotionally. Catalina of Jasmine’s House especially bonded with Baxter, as she has a history of helping the ones who need it most (see: The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant).
After three months at Jasmine’s House, Baxter came to me. He was with me, learning about living in a home and being a family pet, for four wonderful months until he found the perfect forever home. Baxter was adopted into a family of three loving individuals: Diane & Lali, his new moms, and Miss Piggy, his new sister. I saw Bax off in that first week of March knowing he had an amazing future, but sad that I had to say goodbye. I knew I would see him again soon though.
I know most of you are familiar with this story, as you were here with me throughout it all (if you don’t know it, see the beginning of the story in this post and the ending in this post). But I needed to write it down again to appreciate the meeting that occurred last weekend between the amazing people I just described who were involved in Baxter’s rescue and rehabilitation: Big Bruno, Cat, Diane, and Lali (and myself, but I hardly fall into the category of the rest of the bunch). It was the first time we had all been together at once – it was the first time D & L had ever met Catalina! It was also the first time Cat, who so loved this dog and did enormous amounts in helping him recover, saw Baxter in his new home, happy with his new family. I managed to capture their reunion, and the photos are, of course, worth a thousand words.
It was an amazing evening. Baxter has now been with his new family for nearly five months! I know, I can’t believe it either. Listening to their stories of how he has opened up to them over the months, how he becomes a happier dog every day – it was just incredible. This is how I can foster, giving them up time and time again: because you hear how well they shine under the love of their new families. It’s really something.
We all sat back and reveled in the magic that is this little guy’s story. Each of the steps to his new life were there, together, enjoying the victory. For those of us who do this day in and day out, whether through a rescue or the shelter or whatever – we need to see these kinds of endings. The happy endings. They remind us WHY we rescue and why we put so much of our heart and soul into it. The fact that we have watched Baxter’s entire story unfold with such a positive outcome gives us enormous inspiration to go out and help all the other dogs like him.
I am so honored to know these people, as well as grateful to have spent some time with everyone together. Here’s to hoping it won’t be so long until we all meet again!
Make sure you tune in tomorrow to see how Baxter and Otis got along! Yes, you read the right… nothing better than getting an old foster and new foster together for a play date.