Baxter: from fearful to playful with the help of his very own therapy dog!
My husband Mel and I adopted Dexter, now named Baxter, from RAG of AZ 10 weeks ago.
Dexter arrived at our house late on a Saturday evening after being transported from his foster home in Prescott. My husband and I, and our 9 year-old Portuguese Water dog, Kerri, greeted him at the entrance to our front garden to get acquainted before taking him inside to see his new home. Baxter and Kerri had a wonderful greeting however Baxter was decidedly nervous of humans and tried to back away from us. Once inside he was understandably nervous and really didn’t know what to make of this strange new house he was about to know as home.
That night and for the next two weeks Baxter was a very nervous boy who wouldn’t go through doorways unless he was on a leash – even then it was a struggle for him. He wouldn’t explore the house, didn’t know how to eat out of an elevated dish, was scared of the refrigerator and most noises, didn’t know what to do with vegetables that Kerri was eating and he certainly wasn’t too sure of these new humans who were there. Baxter was very thin and didn’t have his “Golden smile,” his tail was usually down or between his legs. He really only felt comfortable when he was outside in the garden playing with Kerri. Baxter didn’t show any of the “Golden” personality we have known and loved over 25 years and 4 precious Goldens – now sadly no longer with us. By the way, Kerri is a registered therapy dog and makes regularly visits to hospitals and is a care giver at the church.
Slowly Baxter warmed to his surroundings and my husband and me; we gave him time to adjust on his terms and didn’t overwhelm him with affection and “fussing” unless he instigated it. The two dogs became very bonded almost immediately – Baxter had his very own therapy dog!
With moral support from your team we took each day one step at a time. We cannot thank you enough for the support you give to your adoptive families and the Goldens; you are truly amazing!
Baxter has made huge strides in his recovery. His tail wags constantly, he has a wonderful Golden smile, has gained weight and looks magnificent and most of all he’s become the youngster with curiosity, playfulness and love that he deserves. We have made fantastic progress with his training and are beginning to widen his scope of socializing. He’s just a wonderful boy who has made our family whole. Thank you.
Louise and Mel C