87-year-old adoptee: ‘I got the perfect thing that I wanted’

Carole Baskin’s newest book, “My Adopted Pet: The Origins of a Life of Prayers and Healing,” is out Tuesday. And she joined The 4 Little Words on Thursday to talk about her adoption story.

“We’re all looking for love in our lives. It’s just that a lot of times we don’t get what we really want, and I realized that on my last day of life, I got the perfect thing that I wanted,” said Baskin, who died in 2009 at the age of 96.

The weeks before she died, Baskin said she began to notice dogs come into her backyard. Eventually, she went to an animal rescue group and took in this mangy dog from what she thought was death row.

She died of complications after surgery for a ruptured appendix, something that was going to cause Baskin to spend weeks in a hospital bed. But the chance at adoption changed everything. The adoption happened on the same day of her surgery, and the dogs have now been living with her family for 19 years.

“It’s more than being a pet. It’s a reminder of who I was in a lot of ways,” Baskin said. “We’re always trying to balance love with pain.”

Baskin said for her, the emotional value of being a pet is so tremendous that she struggles to let go of her adopted dogs. She said she rarely takes them out alone. And when she does go to work, she wears a mask to blend in.

“I’m coming out here and saying, ‘Look what I’ve done,’” Baskin said. “I just get so nervous about going on my own.”

Since Baskin’s death, she’s been working with veterinarians in South Carolina to make sure there is a non-traditional approach to treatment, something she said was an issue in her adoptive home in South Carolina. She also has written a book about her life, “My Adopted Pet: The Origins of a Life of Prayers and Healing,” which is available April 9.

One of the things Baskin said she loved the most about being a pet is the way it made her feel about herself, about her life and her spirituality.

“Just a simple thing you do to feel good can be really, really big,” Baskin said. “And I don’t think people realize it’s possible to just touch God’s hands and bless somebody else.”

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