Video Wednesday: Living With a Happy Baxter

One of the things about Baxter that people remember most from his arrival to the shelter is that despite the horrible condition he was in, he would still wag his tail. To this day that is one of his defining characteristics. Baxter wags his tail at the slightest feeling of excitement: meeting a new person, seeing a dog, and pretty much any time he is in the kitchen (chubbster!). Even when he is sleeping on his bed, if he likes something he hears or sees, “thump thump thump” goes his tail. It’s a sound I’ve fallen totally in love with.

Here is a video of Baxter just being Baxter. One of the biggest joys of living with Baxter is the enthusiasm and positivity he brings to us at all times. At about :14 you can even catch a glimpse of his signature smile.

If you adopt Baxter, you could be the lucky person to greet this happy dog in the mornings, take this happy dog out for walks, and bring this happy dog with you on new adventures.

Won’t you give Baxter even more reason to be happy by giving him a forever home?

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

My butt.

Fostermama talks a lot about all of her favorite things on my stocky body. She makes these high pitched baby noises and then plays with my ears and squishes my face and kisses my cold wet nose. She brags about my soulful brown eyes and the way I just look so stinkin cute when I try to use my mind tricks on her to get treats stare at her lovingly.

Mama likes a lot of things about me (who doesn’t?) but one thing she seems to really get all tickled over is my back side. Yep, that’s right. My tush. My rear end. My butt.

Mama says she can’t get over how such a big booty is stuck on such a little dog (if you don’t think I’m small, check out some of my friends at the shelter – 45 lbs makes me a pipsqueak compared to those guys!). She says she loves how it’s just so muscly and strong and kinda makes me waddle when I walk. I tell her it’s just natural for someone as handsome as me to have this physique, and I know from the back I look like an all-star linebacker. From the front, though… now that’s a different story ; -)

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

Snow day: friend or foe?

Another first with Baxter: a snow day!

Would any of you be surprised if I told you Baxter wasn’t exactly a fan of the snow?

He was (as expected) pretty funny exploring this new white powdery stuff that – he was rather frustrated to report – was nothing yummy and pretty darn cold. He also raised protest when he realized access to the backyard was restricted thanks to a long set of snowy stairs. Crap.

Bax knows that fostermom won’t let him back in the house until he does his business, so he bravely made his way down the wintry steps.

And then he decided that for one quick minute he liked the snow, and he did a zoomie.

But that was merely a brief moment of confusion on Baxter’s part, and he quickly remembered he didn’t like the snow and that he wanted to be inside the toasty house.

He was much happier to come inside and do what he does best while the humans snuggled on the couch with hot chocolate. It ended up being the perfect snow day.

Don’t you want someone like Baxter to spend your snow days with?

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

The power of being positive

There have been many discussions via different social media platforms recently about how to look at and describe the background of a rescue dog.  People get defensive about what they think did or did not happen to their beloved pooches before the dogs became part of their family. But ultimately, why does it matter?

As a generally compassionate race, humans feel the need to linger on past experiences, whether it is with people or with animals. I was guilty of this as well with previous fosters, delving into their sob stories – confirmed or assumed- as soon as I introduced them to someone new. Thinking back now, I’m not sure why I felt the need to do that. Did I think telling a story of abuse would make someone like my dog more? Did I think it would make them more likely to adopt?  Was it for my own satisfaction, showing “how far my dog had come”?

One day my eyes were opened to a new approach of advertising my animals. A more positive, happy approach: tell people what you do know about your dog. So basically, tell them anything you have seen and experienced first hand. This will probably include how loving they are, how much they love to play, how friendly and outgoing they are, etc. These traits are not only super positive, but more importantly they are accurate facts confirmed solely on your experiences with them – not assumptions, not hearsay, not hypothesizing.

Take CK Bax for example. I have absolutely no idea what happened to Baxter before he came into the shelter as a stray. He came to us in bad shape with scars and hunger and fear. Sure, based on his actions and appearance one can make speculations about what he experienced, but the hard truth is that no one knows. No one.

Even if we did know what happened or felt comfortable sharing what we think happened, telling people the gory details of Baxter’s assumed past is most likely to turn them off to him. It can unintentionally spark “I don’t want a dog like that, with that kind of historythoughts. Baxter’s hardships are all behind him. Now, Baxter is a happy, outgoing, and totally adorable dog, and that is what I love about him. That is what is going to sell him to his forever home.

Deep down we know we don’t want people adopting our animals out of pity. We want people to choose adoptable animals because they see them fitting in perfectly with their family, because they couldn’t imagine their lives without this great dog, or because the dog simply captured their heart.

So maybe take different approach and stay positive when describing your rescue or adopted pooch. Focus on the good, the here and the now – take a message from your dog and don’t get stuck in the past.  Share the things about your pup that make you burst with happiness, and maybe save the sob stories for another day.  In the end, you’ll see that the way people perceive your dogs will start to make a positive change.

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

Working like a dog

Working at a humane society, I’m allowed to bring my dogs to work (yay!). We have a few resident office dogs and a few who pop in and out when my coworkers feel like taking their pups on a field trip. I try to always bring my fosters to work with me because it alleviates the burden on my parents to watch them while I’m gone all day.

Some fosters handle it better than others. Otis was okay because he would sleep when I was at my desk, but if I left at all he would whine and I would feel horrible for disrupting my coworkers. Zabora wasn’t meant to be an office dog because she would never settle down in her little pen – she was always standing up and trying to break out and caused a lot of ruckus the whole time. It takes a special dog to be a good office dog; one who will be quiet all day and who won’t drive your coworkers crazy.

Baxter, I am happy to report, is a phenomenal office dog. He curls up in his pen, sometimes not even stirring when he has humans come visit him. I can leave my desk and he doesn’t even blink an eye. The only complaint I can think of is that he snores all day, looking so comfortable in his fluffy bed that it drives us all crazy with jealousy! Nothing like staring at a pile of deadlines and turning around to see this:

If he does decide to wake up and observe, he doesn’t really do much more than this:

As soon as we get out of the car in the morning to head into the office, Baxter starts wagging his tail. I think it is the best part of his day when he gets to say Good Morning to all the shelter staff who greet him back with just as much enthusiasm. He is a happy dog to everyone, but so many of the staff members here have a special appreciation for his joyful attitude because they saw him on day one.

Baxter is really spoiling me in the fostering department because of how “easy” he is at work (and at home and on adventures and in every other aspect). It’s going to be tough for future fosters to live up to the standards he has created. But for now, my coworkers and I will enjoy the extra brightness in our day that Baxter the office mascot brings us for as long as he gets to be with us.

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email

Braving the elements

I know I posted last week about the gross rainy weather we’ve been having, but I can’t help but now highlight the miserably cold temps we reached this weekend. I put a few pictures on our Facebook page of our indoor activities (aka snoozing), but, just like with the rain, we couldn’t entirely avoid going outside.

I’m not sure how A & A Friese do it up in Alaska, because down here as soon as it dips below 45 degrees, our tails tuck between our legs and we head straight for the Under Armour cold gear. I heard somewhere that dogs with short hair, like pit bull type dogs, need to have a jacket any time humans need a jacket because they’re just as sensitive to the cold. I think Baxter is EXTRA sensitive of the cold. So between him being a total weenie about it, and how much my mom & I enjoy spoiling him, Baxter has acquired quite the wardrobe.

For cooler but not freezing temps, he has his hoodies. As you may remember, he has one in blue…

… and he also has one in red.

For cool weather he also has a green & blue fleece sweatshirt. This one is adorable because it has a little pocket on the back, but it is definitely meant for a little dog. Even though it is an XL I had to cut the armpits because his chest is so broad and I didn’t want it giving him rubs.

Then of course you all remember the rain coat – for wet but not very cold weather. This actually does a great job of keeping him dry in the rain so that he stays warm upon our arrival back inside.

For the cold cold days, we got him a really great coat from Dover Saddlery. This coat covers his whole body – including his big booty – to ensure full cold protection. It velcros in the front and under the stomach for easy assembly. It was also a lot cheaper than the ones from Petsmart – only about $20!

While the Dover Saddlery one is great, it isn’t good for rain or snow so he has an elements-proof one that has a similarly easy velcro set up to the Dover blanket. It also comes with a bright reflective strip across the back so Baxter is visible on our walks – safety first!!! The only way we could get one big enough to cover his whole body, like my mom insists, was to buy an XXL and sew our own velcro higher up on the straps. Worked like a charm! With the fleece inside and weather proof outside, this is his coziest outfit yet.

So yes, I know we have entirely too many clothing options for Mr. Baxter. But with both my mother and me being the worrywart type, there was no way he was going to step foot outside in the arctic tundra that is MD right now without the proper clothing. My mother just wouldn’t allow it (and that is why I love her : -)). We ended up with a lot of them because we were trial & error-ing what worked and what didn’t, but then just kept them all anyway.

All of these coats are great, but when it gets ear-numbingly chilly, an alternative form of cold gear needs to be thought up. It seems Baxter found just the trick…

For more information on adopting Comeback Kid Baxter, click here or email