Dad Loses It When He Realizes He Gets To Keep His Foster Dog

Best Christmas present ever ❤️

The minute Doug and Michelle Christian heard about a skinny Malinois mix named Mary in need of a home, they agreed to foster her for a short period.

The couple had two dogs of their own, both previous foster fails, so they were adamant that Mary’s lodging would only be temporary until she found the 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, told The Dodo recently.

Facebook/marythemalinois

To their surprise, Mary fit in with her two dog siblings instantly. Her dad played hard to get, but the rest of her human family felt like she’d been there forever.

“I pretended I was keeping emotionally distanced,” Doug told The Dodo. “But all I really wanted was to adopt this dog.”

Mary became a crucial member of the Christian family within a few weeks. Before they knew it, Doug, Michelle and their children were smitten with the sweet girl.

Facebook/marythemalinois

Doug eventually began dropping subtle hints about adopting Mary to his wife, hoping she’d agree. What he didn’t know was that Michelle was already secretly arranging it with Fox.

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

Facebook/marythemalinois

As soon as she received confirmation that the pup was officially theirs, Michelle wrapped Mary’s adoption papers and new ID tag in a red box. She placed the surprise gift under the tree and marked it “Doug.”

When an unsuspecting Doug opened the gift on Christmas morning, he was immediately 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 said. “It’s the only thing that I really wanted for Christmas.”

Tears flowed down Doug’s face as he wrapped his arms around Mary in a celebratory hug. The loving dad knew early on that their bond was special, and he was elated to spend forever with his girl.

It’s been a couple of years since Mary’s emotional adoption, and she’s just as happy today as she was then.

Facebook/marythemalinois

When she’s not scarfing down pup cups alongside her siblings, she can usually be found cuddled up 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.”

To keep up with Mary, you can follow her on Instagram.

To help pups like Mary get the care they need, you can donate to Foxy and the Hounds here.