Grijalva - Baxter - Coto de Caza, CA

Grijalva- Baxter

While driving that rainy September day to meet Karen T. in Iowa, I would have never thought that I would find the foster that would ultimately be my “heart dog”. Baxter- “the southern gentleman”- as named by my friend Kayle, was so scared that he almost melted into the ground. His eyes had so much pain and sadness. How could this skinny boy be the stud of a small backyard breeder? I hated to think what the last five years were like for him. He rode home lying on the floor next to my friend Julie and barely moved an inch while on the 90 minute ride home.

We’ve had many foster dogs in the past but none were as damaged as Baxter. Jasmine tried to let him know we were good people and that everything was going to be okay. It took weeks for him to become comfortable with us in the same room. Every move was so slow as if he was waiting for something bad to happen to him.

Slowly he began to trust us and before we knew it he was put on the BARC website. When I described his personality I said he was like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Baxter was still In need of some special attention but he was ready to move on with the right people. We received many inquiries from all over the country. While I am sure they were all wonderful people they were not a good fit for Baxter.

Months past and we finally found a home with a person that I thought was the perfect fit. Unfortunately, after a few concerning calls it was clear our timid gentleman just was not happy so a decision to bring him back to find his real forever home was necessary. We look back on those days as Baxter’s “two-weeks away at a miserable winter camp”.

So, now what do we do. We have a foster back from his forever home, one of the worse things for any foster. To make matters more difficult we made the decision to move back to S. California around this same time so home preparation and moving hassles became the norm. As we were going through these challenges I sat back and realized that I always felt Baxter was meant to be a part of our two Berner family. It was even more evident when my little boy would look at me lovingly with those soulful eyes as he was trying to tell me I was HIS perfect fit.

My husband Manny surprised me at the 2011 Berner Bash with a poem- “A Berner Day” (note: shown below) written by Manny and Baxter. It told me that I was his forever Mom and that he would never leave me. We still at times see a somewhat timid Baxter. But, we are also seeing a more the playful, tail wagging, and backyard-trotting Baxter. So, three is a charm for our household and we couldn’t imagine things any other way.

Manny and Patti Grijalva
Boomer, BARC’s Jasmine and Baxter (BG #76475)
Coto de Caza, CA


By Manny Grijalva

Dedicated B.A.R.C.’s Baxter, all the great people at B.A.R.C.,
B.A.R.C. dogs and all puppy mill dogs

Years ago I was born, where my Berner mom lay
To a bright light, mommy kisses and some squealing puppy play
Surely this is, a great Berner Day!?!

A short time after, my first human came near
On two legs they stood, for some reason I felt fear
They grabbed us all, and then put us back
Love and care, is what these humans lack

Then one day I awoke, they took my mommy away
It seems too early…no please not today
This truly is not a good Berner Day

My siblings to cages, was the humans demand
I heard they went to a shop called Puppyland
Why was I left, in this scary place?
With screaming voices and that real scary face?!?

I guess my purpose now, is to mate in the hay
They bring one after the other, it sure seems okay
Is this what they call, a great Berner Day?

It’s back to my cage, with only morsels of food
Why are these people, always in a bad mood?
No play time, no pampering… is this really my life?
It’s no fun living, in such sadness and strife

The humans are more angry than normal today
I guess my mating is causing lost pay
So I’m thrown in a truck, on this Berner Day

There were are more humans on this afternoon
A few dollars exchanged… a new human that soon?
Not just any humans but humans from B.A.R.C.
And before you know it, I play in a park

These new B.A.R.C. humans now calmly say
You are my foster, it will all be okay
I’m starting to feel it’s a real Berner Day

These humans seem different, more caring and just
Are these B.A.R.C. humans the ones I should trust?
I don’t know, it’s too soon but I’m now in their home
Sure seems like a nice place, to romp and to roam

Some days and some weeks start to pass away
A first hug, a first kiss, my picture on display
I’m becoming a dog on this Berner Day

There is still something missing, but what could it be
A formal adoption for only a small fee
A forever home is what I lack
I now love humans, so there’s no going back

A surprise for my human cuz today is the day
My other human has said that it’s okay
I’m your Berner now, what a great Berner Day!!