Adventures of s/v WILD HAIR


Our land life took on form, solidity, routine. We had mastery of a limited set of skills. We had habitual expectations of others and ourselves. Going sailing, we let go of our attachments to our roles, views, and rituals. We persist because we are growing in this shapeless and dynamic world.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Baxter Boy

The story of Baxter’s new home is a tale with a happy ending.

Baxter is a dear 7-year-old Chocolate Lab/Chesapeake mix that brought our family joy since he was a youngster. Upon taking ownership of s/v WILD HAIR, we realized the boat couldn’t accommodate a large dog, especially one terrorized by slippery floors. So, as part of our years-long departure planning, we found wonderful homes for both our dogs. Baxter would move to Las Vegas to live with my brother Robb and his dog Boon, and Jinx would move to Scottsdale to live with my parents. We all looked forward to retiring in the Sunbelt.

Tragedy struck. Shortly after Baxter’s arrival, my brother’s dog Boon got inexplicably sick and died. He was a young and healthy fellow and to this day we don’t know what happened. So bereaved was Robb over the loss that my parents agreed to take Baxter to Scottsdale, temporarily. The long grip of grief prevented Baxter from returning to Vegas. My parents did not agree to adopt both of our big dogs; we knew it would be unfair to impose. Baxter needed a new home.

Our network of contacts came to the rescue with a single email. Many of you forwarded the email to your personal networks. Because of you, Heather was inundated with phone calls and emails from interested homes all over the country. To you we owe a debt of gratitude.

Darleen, a charming grandmother originally from Iowa who retired to Melbourne Beach Florida with her husband eight years earlier, quickly emerged as the ideal candidate. For years, Darleen ran a feline rescue service from her home. She partnered with others in her community to create an alternative business plan for the local animal shelter promoting a policy of “no-kill.” For years Darleen and her husband yearned for a dog. Baxter fit her specifications to a tee. Within days Baxter relocated to his new home.

Two days after Baxter’s arrival at Darleen’s, Heather was studying the Intercoastal Waterway chart. Surprisingly, Melbourne Beach was on the east coast of Florida (not the west coast as we had thought) and we were going through the community that day. Immediately, Heather called Darleen and made arrangements to meet in person.

The get-together was significant for us. Having been somewhat unsettled by flying our dear pal to a stranger, we found the meeting reassuring. Darleen was unflappable and clearly charmed by Baxter’s idiosyncrasies. Baxter looked handsome in his new blaze orange collar and leash. Most comforting, Baxter didn’t want anything to do with us. He took one look at us and seemed to say, “Don’t screw this up for me guys; I’ve got a really sweet deal here!”

We are grateful for the blessing that is Baxter and confident he will live out his days in the lap of luxury and love. We have friends and family to thank for helping him find his new home. Truly, thank you.

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