When asked if she has children, Brooke Baxter usually responds ‘yes four leggeds’. And that’s because she has 3 horses, 3 dogs and 2 cats. The phrase soon became the inspiration for Four Legs & A Soul started 2 years ago when Brooke moved with her husband to Barrington Hills from New York. I went out to visit with Brooke to understand more about her passion and personal experience with communicating with animals. While wandering around her lovely property, I also got to meet Hudson, a beautiful Clydesdale named to keep a piece of New York with them.
Although Brooke has spent most of her life with animals, about a decade ago, her business began quietly without an official name or mission. With a major in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University and a Masters in Fine Arts from New York University, Brooke was working on a novel and doing lots of volunteer work when she adopted her first rescue dog, Belle the yellow Labrador retriever mix. Since Belle was exposed to trauma and has a heart problem, Brooke enrolled her in many classes to train and help her live with her condition. Many veterinarians thought her condition would be difficult to overcome. Brooke believes her holistic approach to healing is the reason why Belle is now a therapy dog and provides comfort to many in nursing homes and other institutions.
Brooke has always had animals and aging horses in particular. She prepares them for foster care or rehabilitation centers using holistic therapies such as Reiki & Energy Healing and Organic Nutrition. While working on her novel back in New York, people began to call with questions about her treatment program and what they could do to help their own animals. Since the publishing world wasn’t treating her so well, she decided to answer the needs of her new ‘clients’ and soon her days were filled.
She named her business Four Legs & A Soul to grow and brand her service and to give it its own energy. The goal of Four Legs & A Soul is to bridge the relationships between humans and animals. “Soul is an important concept because it connects us spiritually and emotionally”, says Brooke. “And relationships with pets have been known to boost our immune systems and lower blood pressure.”
Working closely with veterinarians in the area, Brooke has become part of a team of treating professionals. Also trained to work with humans, her educational background helps with translating what she learns from the animals so humans can communicate effectively with their pets when they leave. Creating balance and a stress free environment is important for pets as animals typically reflect what is going on in their homes.
Brooke welcomes her clients to her home, a lovely cottage with a barn for her horses and a place for her animals to run and exercise. Give Brooke a call at 917-488-1891 to learn more about Four Legs & A Soul or visit her website at http://www.fourlegsandasoul.com.
Brooke sees her business growing into a comprehensive healing and holistic center incorporating veterinarians and behaviorists. And as she begins to expand her staff, she just might dust off her novel Driftwood, a story of 3 generations of women during WWII Europe who are estranged until their lives intersect.