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Dad’s Adorable Meltdown Over Adopting Foster Dog Steals Hearts



Quick Smiles:

  • Doug and Michelle Christian foster a Malinois mix named Mary, initially planning for a temporary stay.
  • Mary quickly becomes a beloved member of the family, and Doug secretly hopes to adopt her.
  • Michelle surprises Doug with Mary’s adoption papers on Christmas morning, leading to a tearful celebration.

When Doug and Michelle Christian learned about a skinny Malinois mix named Mary in need of a home, they decided to foster her. Although the couple already had two dogs, both former foster fails, they were determined that Mary’s stay would be temporary until she found her perfect forever home.

“Doug said, ‘Listen, we’ll foster her, but it’s just going to be a foster,’” Terri Fox, founder of Foxy and the Hounds, shared with The Dodo.

To the couple’s surprise, Mary quickly bonded with her two dog siblings. Doug tried to keep his emotions in check, but the rest of the family felt like she had always been a part of their lives.

“I pretended I was keeping emotionally distanced,” Doug admitted to The Dodo. “But all I really wanted was to adopt this dog.” Within a few weeks, Mary became an essential member of the Christian family.

Hoping his wife would agree, Doug started dropping subtle hints about adopting Mary. Little did he know, Michelle was already secretly arranging the adoption with Fox.

“She texted me, ‘Doug loves Mary, and Mary loves Doug,’” Fox revealed. “‘I’d like to surprise him for Christmas.’”

Michelle wrapped Mary’s adoption papers and new ID tag in a red box, placing it under the tree as a surprise gift for Doug. When he opened the gift on Christmas morning, he was moved to tears by its contents.


“As soon as I saw the adoption papers folded over with the tag that was customized with her name on it, I just came apart,” Doug recalled. “It’s the only thing that I really wanted for Christmas.”

With tears streaming down his face, Doug hugged Mary in a celebratory embrace. He knew their bond was special and was overjoyed to spend forever with his girl.

Since her emotional adoption, Mary has continued to be a happy and loved member of the family. She enjoys eating pup cups with her siblings and cuddling with her favorite humans. Once a neglected shelter dog, Mary now has a family to call her own, and Fox couldn’t be happier for her.

“I know Mary is living her best life,” Fox said. “Mary got her merry, merry Christmas.”