updated 06/19/2014 AT 1:45 PM ET
•originally published 06/19/2014 AT 12:50 PM ET
The relationship between a deployed soldier and man’s best friend was nearly ruined by an uncaring ex. Before leaving for service in Afghanistan, American soldier Robert Gabbert left his beloved Shiba Inu, Baxter, in the care of his ex-girlfriend.
Even though the pair was through, Gabbert trusted his ex to lovingly look after Baxter. Unfortunately, the former girlfriend had other ideas. According to KOAA 5, after Gabbert deployed in March, his ex sold the 3-year-old dog that her boyfriend got as a puppy on Craigslist to a new family.
Once Gabbert and his family found out, they posted on Craigslist pleading for any leads that would return Baxter to his rightful owner. Gabbert’s situation sparked sympathy from several online strangers who decided to start a Facebook campaign called “Help Bring Baxter Home 2014.” With the aid of thousands of followers and the Colorado Shiba Inu Rescue, the page found the family who currently had the dog and was able to offer them a $1,400 reward for Baxter’s return, as well as the opportunity to adopt a new Shiba Inu.
Baxter’s new family was reluctant to part with the pooch at first; their children had grown close to the dog. Ultimately, the family agreed to return the pup to Gabbert, reports Gawker. The group is now working on an agreement to have Baxter move in with Gabbert’s family, where he will stay until the happy day the soldier returns.