It’s kind of hard to say ode to “my” Baxter because if you ever met him, you loved him, he loved you and you felt like he was your dog too.  It would be a tough chore to find a dog that was more playful, loving, cuddling and kissey than The Big Man.  You’d also find it difficult to find a dog who was as hungry as Baxter.  Every holiday found him planted firmly between my father and I (the soft touches), drooling and giving you “the eyes”  The end result would be us sneaking him turkey and gravy, macaroni and cheese, sparerib bones, cake whatever we happened to be eating too.  And it was particularly amusing to watch him go at a plate of ice cream or mashed potatoes and gravy.  Who knew where it would end up.  Then, like any guy, he’d need a nap unless one of the kids wanted to play.

There are too many stories to share to explain what a missing piece of our hearts his absence will leave.  A 5 year old puppy, he played with the best of them.  There was no chewy that wasn’t going to be pounced on and gnawed into a sloppy mess before being devoured.  No chance for a ride, a run or game of chase would go past him.  No tuggie toy would go untugged and none of our of kids would call him without running over to receive a thorough inspection and Baxter Bath.  God help you if he’d just had a drink of water, you were getting wet.  But you wouldn’t care.  It was Baxter love.

If you showed up at my brother’s house and he saw you coming, no screen door would stand in his way and I swear Boxers aren’t supposed to be able to jump that high.  Then once he got to you, his nub of a tail would shake so hard you’d think his whole butt would have to fall off.  He was also very fond of a good nap.  The more cuddling and petting, the better.

I firmly believe in the Rainbow Bridge in Heaven where our beloved pets wait for us to come home.  I think he’s waiting now, owning the food and water bowls, playing with new dog friends and wondering when the heck are we going to get there.  He needs some people food, some good petting and maybe a nap in a puppy pile of his family who miss him.  And he’ll be just as happy as each of us come home to him one by one.  I love my Bax and I’ll be just as happy to see him.