Friday, June 3, 2016
Rest In Peace, Baxter
He did the best that he could for as long as he could. Many remember that he wasn't expected to handle the stairs in the motorhome last year, but he managed somehow. He began to struggle in the start of 2016. Phenobarbital handled his seizures, but it was a prodigious effort for him to get to his feet.
In the past month he could (would) not get up to go to his food or water. We had to place it between his paws. Because of my recent back surgery, I could not help him up.
Fortunately, when he had to go out, Durelle discovered that clipping his leash to his collar usually provided enough additional motivation to get him to his feet. In the past few weeks his bladder was no longer able to last through the night. For all the time that we had him he would let us sleep in as long as we wanted, so for him to start that pitiful bark at four or five in the morning was totally out of character. During the day he was stretched out asleep and oblivious to the world. Occasionally he would rouse himself enough to rub the sides of his face on the floor to scratch the growths on his lower gum lines, but that was almost the extent of his activity.
This was not the Baxter we knew and loved since 28 September of 2009. That Baxter was a loyal and adventuresome companion for thousands of miles in the motorhome.
He was the typical Golden. In his eyes there were two categories of people: those he liked and those he hadn't met yet. There was never a shortage of volunteer dog walkers at the campground if we were going to be away from the bus for any length of time. He loved RVing in Maine.
He had had a tough life during the eight or so years before we adopted him. He was picked up by an animal control officer in Hartford, CT with an embedded BB and a torn ear to show for his adventures. The Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue league rehabilitated him and we were the lucky adopters. You can be sure that the subsequent half of his life was spent in the role of pampered dog.
So, today we made our last trip to the vet with him and left with a gnawing emptiness softened only by the knowledge that he is waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge. Dr. Lerma and his staff were both competent and kind. One of the techs rounded up a chocolate frosted doughnut! Baxter ate "the whole thing" one bite at a time. I got a chuckle when I said, "Chocolate is bad for dogs". Baxter went out in style