Robby Gabbert, a soldier deployed in Afghanistan, was shocked to find out that his girlfriend (now his EX-girlfriend), who was charged with taking care of his dog while he served his ten-month tour of duty overseas, heartlessly sold his beloved companion on Craigslist of all places. Robert Gabbert raised his Shiba Inu from a puppy and recently headed to Afghanistan, leaving “Baxter” in good hands – or so he thought.
Gabbert, a Fort Carson soldier from Colorado, took his own plea to Craigslist, posting last week:
I am currently deployed and my ex sold my dog. I just found out and I am trying to find the people (person) who bought him. I will pay anything to get him back. His name is Baxter and he is a Shiba Inu. I do not have my phone with me. You can email me. The phone number is my mom's; she is helping me locate him. If you have any information PLEASE give us a call or an email.
It didn’t take long for Gabbert’s appeal to take a foothold. A Facebook page was promptly set up by supporters who were moved by Gabbert’s story, and shortly thereafter, Baxter was located. However, the dog’s new owners – a military family themselves – were reluctant to give him back. Baxter had been with them close to a month.
“They keep saying they have children that are attached,” Gabbert’s mother said. “Well my child is attached to the dog. Just because he's older doesn't mean he's not my child.”
The Facebook page and Gabbert’s own request, coupled with the pics of him and Baxter snuggling that were splashed about the Internet, tickled people just right. Supporters kicked in cash, and a Colorado-area Shiba Inu rescue group even got involved to spearhead the “search and rescue” mission.
By Monday of this week, over $1,400 had been raised and offered to the family as a “reward” – or a bribe really – to return the dog to the soldier and his family. Nothing coerces like hard cash, and the family, who asked to not be identified, agreed to give up their one-month adopted Shiba Inu.
Colorado news station KOAA 5 posted this update on Facebook:
We just got word from organizers of the "Help Bring Baxter Home 2014" Facebook page that they have the family's word that Baxter will be returned to Robby.
A happy ending, at least for the soldier.