Graduation Day: A Proud Big Sis

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about dogs. That makes sense, because dogs are the reason why I started a blog.  But the blog also makes a nice platform to every once in a while celebrate something else, non-dog related.

Today my little sister, Elisa, will walk across the stage at Clemson University’s graduation ceremony, a semester earlier than her peers. She is graduating with honors, earning a degree in Animal and Veterinary Science.

Elisa has spent her three and a half years at Clemson, for lack of a better term, kicking butt. She was the vice president and then president of Clemson’s Intercollegiate Eventing Team, she worked as a lab technician doing cutting-edge research, and she maintained phenomenal grades in even the hardest of science classes.  Elisa and I share a love for horses, though she certainly ended up with the science brain.

I’m so proud of my little sister, and I’m so happy I can be with her today to watch her collect her college diploma. Otis is also proud of her, and wanted to display his Tiger pride since he cannot attend graduation with us:

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Congrats, Lis! We love you!

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Baxter is… ADOPTED!!!!

I have never seen a more perfect testament to the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait.” This weekend Baxter trotted out of my life and into the absolute perfect home. The perfect forever home.

Last Saturday we were heading home from our adventure downtown when I got an email. “Hey, I think I have a family who would be a good fit for Baxter.” I had heard that before, so I didn’t get too excited. “They want to meet him tomorrow.” What? Oh, okay. I guess these people are serious. I called them up to schedule a time to meet, and was pleasantly surprised at how friendly and open L was on the phone. Not that I expected her to be mean or anything, but I hung up with a weird feeling of “this might actually be something.”

The next day I brought Bax over to their house, and he hit it off with D & L right away. Fortunately, they had already read a lot of this blog so I didn’t feel as much need to word vomit everything I knew about Baxter during that first introduction (you foster parents know the feeling!). They knew everything – the occasional chewing, the anti-snuggling, the background – and they still adored him! After a brief human meeting, we introduced Baxter to his potential new sister, Miss Piggy – a year and a half old rescued pit mix. That is where the magic happened. Baxter & Miss Piggy ran around for nearly an hour – wrestling, rolling, and chasing each other around. Everyone was amazed at how well they got along.

That day we scheduled one more meet & greet, and said if all things went well we’d move forward with the adoption next weekend. My first thoughts: Yippee!! My second thoughts: Wait. What? Baxter might be leaving me?? But while it was a whirlwind of a process, happening in less than a week, I could not have felt surer about sending Baxter home with this family.

It turns out that my good feelings on the situation were not unjustified. Despite worrying all the first night that things had gone horribly wrong and they’d want to return him, I awoke to a dazzling email about how well Baxter was settling in, and what a wonderful dog he was. I continued to get positive updates all weekend, and on Sunday afternoon the volunteer who helped Baxter from the beginning, Big Bruno, and I went to say our final goodbyes.  I thought it would be sad for me (the weekend was miserable without my little Baxty at home), but it was actually a really heartwarming visit, leaving me with complete peace of mind. It was one of those moments that make fostering completely worth it.

We saw Baxter relaxed and comfortable in his new home. It was clear that he had already taken to his new humans, and his bond with them was growing strong. These people are perfect for Baxter – they are patient, understanding, open-minded, and totally willing to go at his pace. They are so full of love to give, and I know Baxter is just going to thrive in it.

If I could have written out the perfect happy ending for Baxter, this would be it – little pittie sister and all. Congratulations to D, L, and Miss Piggy on their new family member. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for giving this amazing dog the life he deserves!