Baxter was returned to SHLR several times (I believe 3 or 4) in his short life. One of your volunteers posted him on her Facebook page saying he was coming back into rescue again. I contacted her and told her he was most likely an Akbash and not a Lab and offered to foster him and evaluate him as an Akbash. (Since I have two other Akbash dogs.) When I got him home and worked with him, I told her that I didn’t think he had ANY Lab in him and only saw a purebred Akbash. His previous home had him on anti-anxiety meds and they sent those along. I have never used them. I told her he had perfect manners and was simply the best dog as soon as he set foot on my property. (I live on 40 acres in Elizabeth with my closest neighbors being about a mile away and bordered on two sides by a 7,000-acre cattle ranch.) SHLR came back to me after several days and asked if I was interested in keeping him. She said the board had discussed him and felt it was probably best for him to have a country home and they would be willing to let me keep him, if I wanted. My heart about jumped out of my chest! I was so thrilled! I wasn’t looking for another dog, but he was just so perfect out here.

He did start to develop some anxiety about being left in the house when I leave, but now he knows when I am leaving, and he happily goes to his kennel. His previous adopters said he didn’t want to play with toys or fetch. An Akbash is not a Retriever and will look at a thrown ball and back to you like “you threw it; now, you go get it”! Baxter occasionally plays fetch with the Labs, but it is quite different. When I throw the ball to the Labs, they all run to beat the others to it and then fight over the toy before they decide who gets to bring it back to me. When Baxter decided to play, he runs with the Labs, but the Labs make no attempt to get the toy. They let Baxter have it and there is no one who will challenge him for it. Then they just run happily alongside him to wherever he takes it. They have total deference to him. He loves them though and has NEVER shown any signs of displeasure with them. It is just an unspoken thing with him.

I have had A LOT of dogs, but none compare to the respect and love I have for this guy. I believe Baxter is such a great guy in part due to the great homes he had while he was growing up in Safe Harbor homes.