Family Reunion With Baxter

Yes, I said family. The group of people who worked together to save Baxter’s life two years ago is nothing short of a family.

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You might remember the post after Bax got adopted where I shared the Pandora charm I bought to remember him. It was a ball made up of dozens of little hearts. It reminded me of his rescue because, to me, it symbolized how many hearts were attached and dedicated to this little black dog. Big Bruno, the shelter volunteer who met him at the very beginning, Catalina, the rescuer who pulled him from the shelter, me, the foster who got him used to living in a home, Diane and Lali, his adopters, and then of course the hundreds of fans across the globe who rooted for him every day.

We are so lucky that the five of us live close enough so we can still see each other once in a while. The last time we were all together was last summer (which is crazy to think it was that long ago) and it was a joyous reunion. This time was just as sweet. Unfortunately what kicked us all into gear to see each other again was another episode of Baxter eating non-edible things. Yes, you read that right. This stupid little monkey underwent surgery #4 for swallowing fabric. Before you say anything about, “Well how in the heck did he have access to something like that again!?” – his parents are only human. Accidents happen. This occurred when Bax busted through the basement door to find a box of towels that was tucked away. You can only manage and prevent and plan for so much, ya know?

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After Baxter made it out of surgery okay, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief and decided right then and there that we’d have to see each other again. An afternoon date was set, and we all met up at Bax’s house.

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It never gets old, seeing this little guy. It’s like as soon as I see him my days as a novice (read: clueless) foster mom come rushing back to me. His big smile brings back so many memories of adventuring, falling in love and findings things out the hard way. You never forget your first, after all :-).

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Baxter was in great spirits despite his healing belly scars. Miss Piggy was also her usual happy self, bouncing her round self around to say hi to everyone. This video is from when we first saw Baxter that day.  If tails could make dogs fly, these two would lift off to China. I would recommend turning your volume off… lots of squealing in this video!

So many warm and fuzzies after a visit like this. I am so lucky that I get to see my former fosters so often, and to share that feeling with others who love them like I do is so special!

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Update on Baxter

Thankfully I am here with good news about Baxter’s recovery. He is home and healing up in the comfort of his own family!  He was released from the hospital Tuesday evening, and his family was up all night keeping him comfortable and giving him meds. As you could have probably guessed, he has been subjected to the cone of shame.

I actually got the chance to go visit him yesterday! His hero Big Bruno was babysitting ‘the kids’ all day, so I stopped by during my lunch. Baxter was in great spirits and greeted me at the door with the rest of the welcoming committee. They are a silly bunch, those three.

He’s got a bunch of energy, which is good – but it means they have to be extra careful about keeping his activity level low. The silly guy barely acts like he almost died!

His parents are being so wonderful and taking such great care of him.  I am thankful that he found them as his final place to land.  Baxter has a long road of recovery ahead of him – right now he can only eat every few hours and is still on lots of medication – but he is in the best hands possible. I will surely keep you updated on him!


Just Another Political Ad

Raise your hand if you’re SO HAPPY that election day is over and we can stop listening, watching and reading political advertisements? I know I sure am.  No matter who you wanted to win, the fact of the matter now is that it’s over and we can move on with our lives instead of being continuously bombarded with political banter all day on social media.

I appreciate my friends’ efforts when they share their beliefs about what is right (so, basically who they think I should vote for). But I found that more often than not, their comments just came off as accusatory or derogatory in a, “It’s only obvious that you should vote for ________ because of X, Y and Z,” sort of way.

I started to realize that all the opinionated, obnoxious political blabbering had some similarities to the messages that rescue organizations or advocates sometimes send out. Animal welfare advocates can at times be pushy, pointing fingers, or just plain mean. All because one person believes they’re much more correct than another person/group. Sound familiar? Presidential election, anyone?

Now I can admit fault for this as well.  Specifically when it comes to social media, I try to tone down how much I preach on the Peace, Love & Fostering page – but I sometimes get carried away on my own personal page (hey, ranting is what Facebook is for, right?). But overall, I’m a laid back, non-confrontational, why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along sort of person. Sure, I might not agree with you – but I’m very much the “catch ’em with honey, not vinegar” type. Which is why spiteful, accusing political ads bug me just as much as “my way is the best way” rescue groups.

On that note, I believe there is a major difference between educating on an issue versus just slamming the other side. You might be thinking right now, “Juliana, you can come off as opinionated and pushy in your beliefs right here on this blog.” First of all, sorry if I seem pushy. Second of all, yes, I have this public platform and I try to use it to spread ideas, but my intent is to do so in an educational way, not in a pushy or demanding way. I wouldn’t turn down someone trying to have a calm, intelligent discussion with me about something I write about. In fact, I welcome that because I truly believe you learn the most when you’re being open minded. Which is why I hate politics season so much. I haven’t once felt like someone was honestly just trying to educate me on either candidate, as opposed to just saying, “He’s wrong and he’s right” in so many words. The same goes for dogs and rescue work. If you disagree with something I believe or I’m doing, explain to me why you don’t like it or what a good alternative would be. Let’s have an honest conversation. Maybe we’ll both learn something.

I suppose the joke’s on me for spending a whole post ranting about politics, right? Well my point is just: try not to be a political ad, but maybe be more of a kind-hearted PSA.

Baxter in his finest USA gear. Thank you for all your well wishes on yesterday’s post. Baxter is steadily recovering, and by now should be home resting with his family. We will keep you updated as we hear more.


Prayers for Baxter

It seems our favorite little monkey has gotten himself into some tummy trouble for the third time. On Sunday morning Baxter went to the emergency vet and was rushed into surgery to fix an intestinal blockage. As many of you know, this is an unfortunately familiar situation for Mr. Baxter.

When I first brought Baxter home to foster – actually just about one year ago today – I was warned that he was a foreign object eater. While unsupervised at the rescue farm, he had gotten access to a leash and consumed it. He went through surgery to remove it, but while recovering at the vet’s office he ate part of a towel that he pulled into his cage, and he had to go under a second time to have it removed. He healed up from both surgeries, but has severe scarring on his intestines.

At my house we were diligent about picking up anything he could eat or leaving him in his crate if we weren’t home. Even then he still managed to find a leash, pull it off our kitchen table, and eat half of it in the five minutes we weren’t watching him. Luckily he passed that one though. We’ve never been able to figure out what causes his urge to eat these things. Our best guess was anxiety, which made sense because for the last eight months he’s been completely fine in his new home since he is always with his siblings. Until now.

His family rushed him to the vet Sunday morning after he was lethargic and couldn’t go to the bathroom. X-rays were inconclusive, so they decided on exploratory surgery and their worst fears were confirmed: they found a towel wrapped around his intestines, beginning to cut into them. It seems they caught it in the nick of time. The vet made it clear that while Baxter made it out of surgery okay, he is not out of the woods yet. Because this was the third time his intestines have had to endure this, there is severe damage and we’re not sure how he’ll heal up. They gave him the prognosis of a 75% chance of full recovery.

For now, we’re all just waiting and sending lots and lots of good vibes to his parents, who are worried sick. He hasn’t been released from the hospital yet, so every day is a waiting game to hear reports from the vet. Please keep Baxter and his family in your thoughts and prayers! He has been through so much and I’m sure he will bounce back from this too, but he needs all the positive thoughts he can get right now.


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! It’s hard to believe that celebrating Halloween last year was the weekend before I picked up Baxter! This year’s Halloween is much different than last year while I prep for The Love Ball, not for picking up my very first foster. It brings back some great memories of this little one though:

Gosh, I miss him! That was quite the Fall/Winter getting to know him and what it’s like to have a foster dog. Once this gala is over and done with I know the itch to have a dog will be back. Until then I will just enjoy the memories that the leaves and crisp air bring to me :)

What are you all dressing your dogs up this year!? Head over to the PLF Facebook page and show us some pictures!  Here are some silly costumes we saw at Pit Bull Awareness Day last weekend.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Baxter and Otis!

Like I said yesterday: what could be better than getting a former foster and current foster together for a play date!?

Coincidentally, Baxter and Otis have actually met before. When Baxter was in the shelter a year ago and Otis was with me for the first time, we used Otis to dog test Baxter. Crazy, right!? I obviously had no idea what impact either dog would end up having on my life a year down the road, but that was the first time I ever met Bax. Baxter didn’t feel very well for that meet and greet, so both dogs seemed like they couldn’t have cared less about each other – and you know what? Not much has changed!

I was thrilled when Baxter’s mom was happy to accept my offer to bring Otis with me to visit and hopefully have a play date with Bax (in her words, “I hoped you’d say that!” – could they get more awesome?). Baxter has been getting a little pushy with male dogs recently, so we had to be cautious when introducing the two. Otis is so “whatever” about dogs (mostly just very submissive) that Baxter had no problem with him. Baxter didn’t even mind when Otis showed some serious interest in Miss Piggy!

Here is one photo that pretty much sums up how Bax & Otis felt about each other:

Total apathy. Baxter had a “too cool for you” attitude, and Otis, well, doesn’t have very strong opinions about many things so he was fine with whatever. It actually worked out really well, and was a victory on all accounts: Baxter was accepting of another male on his turf and Otis followed Baxter’s rules to prevent conflict and everyone was able to have a healthy socialization session. Though I think Piggy and Baxter seemed to find Otis’ antics a little amusing:

They did have bouts of playing when Otis was able to convince Baxter that running around in the heat was a good idea. They played so well with each other! Even all three of them together stayed within safe and appropriate levels of play. I think the heat helped a lot with keeping everyone subdued, but still – I was proud of each one.

For the most part, they spent their time ignoring each other in the grass. Aren’t they so stinkin’ adorable together?! So many happy tongues!

I am just as thrilled about this combo as I was about being able to hang out with all the humans. Everyone got along so well and each dog was on their best behavior. If that’s not cause for victory celebrations, I don’t know what is! I can’t wait until we do it again.

For more information on adopting Honey Bunches of Otis, go to his Adopt Me page to learn more about him and how to get in touch.