Doug and Michelle Christian didn’t hesitate when they heard about Mary, a slender Malinois mix in desperate need of a home. They decided to foster her temporarily, despite already having two dogs at home, both of whom were former fosters they couldn’t part with.
“Doug was clear from the start,” Terri Fox, the founder of Foxy and the Hounds, told The Dodo. ‘We’ll take her in as a foster, but that’s it.’
Mary, to everyone’s surprise, seamlessly blended in with her new dog siblings. Doug played it cool, but the rest of his family felt like she’d always been a part of their lives.
“I tried to keep my emotions in check,” Doug shared with The Dodo. “However, deep down, I was hoping we could keep her.”
In no time, Mary became an indispensable part of the Christian household. Doug, Michelle, and their kids were completely charmed by the gentle dog.
Doug started hinting to Michelle about adopting Mary, unaware that Michelle was already in talks with Fox about it.
“Michelle texted me, saying, ‘Doug is so fond of Mary, and the feeling is mutual,’” Fox recalled. “‘I want to surprise him for Christmas.’”
Michelle got the green light for Mary’s adoption and went on to wrap Mary’s adoption papers and new ID tag in a red box, labeling it for Doug. She sneakily placed it under the Christmas tree.
On Christmas morning, Doug unwrapped the gift, and realizing what it was, tears welled up in his eyes.
“The moment I unfolded the adoption papers and saw her name on the tag, I was overwhelmed,” Doug expressed. “It was the one thing I truly wanted for Christmas.”
Doug couldn’t hold back his tears as he hugged Mary, overwhelmed with happiness. He had known from the start that their connection was unique, and now he was thrilled to have her as a permanent part of his life.
Years have passed since that emotional Christmas, and Mary’s joy remains as palpable as ever.
Whether she’s enjoying treats with her canine siblings or snuggling with her favorite humans, Mary is content in her forever home. From a once-neglected shelter dog, she now has a loving family.
“I’m just thrilled for Mary,” Fox said, reflecting on Mary’s journey. “She truly had her merry, merry Christmas.”