“After we lost our seven year old Pitbull to an autoimmune disorder, my husband and I spent most our time focusing on our other Pitbull, Layla. With her calming and soft demeanor she was a soothing presence to me. Layla was my safe space, offering unconditional pure love and comfort. In October 2017, my husband brought me to Reno SPCA to look at dogs. I cried the entire time and then we saw Baxter, a two year old Pitbull who had been there for three weeks. He had spent much of his previous life in and out of the shelters. We brought Layla in for a play date and, faster than we knew, Baxter was on his way home with us.
Mike builds Ulta Beauty stores around the West Coast and he is gone for long periods of time. Baxter chose Mike right away; he is all about his dad. He loves him so much that he likes to sleep on Mike’s head. Mike turns into the biggest goober with Baxter. He is a big construction guy that totally softens up with him. I can tell it means everything to him that Bax chose him. His face lights up, he smiles, and I can see he is able to be who he is authentically with Baxter. He is being received, loved unconditionally with no judgement. Bax follows him everywhere, sits on the couch with him, and just be “his guy.” Baxter can see into Mike’s heart and the beautiful human that he is, not just the tough construction guy that everyone else sees.
Layla is a mama’s girl. She can’t hear to protect anymore, but having her there, spooning at night, brings comfort and fills the loneliness when Mike is away. Being a therapist, I deal with crisis and madness all day. When I come home to Layla, she gives me the calm unconditional love I need. It’s the one place I can be 100% who I am, transparent, without any judgement. My home is my safe place. Layla doesn’t demand anything of me. Our love is pure.
Mike takes comfort in knowing Layla and Baxter are there for me when he is away. He wouldn’t feel confident in leaving without them providing the companionship I need. They get me out of my head from the work I do each day. Home is happy because of them. Because of them, we are getting to raise kids together. Mike never had kids so these are his children. Together we are family.”