Wednesday - June 01, 2005
And Then There Was One
It is with great sadness
that I must report that Baxter is gone. Last week he began to fail, and had
unfortunately had eaten something which gave him diaherra. Since he could
only stand with our assistance, the situation became too much for all of us
to handle. And Baxter was meticulous in his daily habits and could not tolerate
the latest setback.
We struggled thru Saturday, but it was evident by Sunday noon that the end had indeed arrived. We made the appropriate arrangements with our vet, Ed's cousin, and drove to the farm. Unfortunately, I had finally come to the end of being stoic, since I had been living between the death of my father and Baxter dieing for the last month. I started falling apart on Friday evening, and was a complete mess by Sunday. I could not even talk to make the final arrangements, and Ed had to do it all.
I held Baxter in my arms during the 1 1/2 hour drive to the farm, and never stopped crying. It rained most of the way. When we arrived, the skies were clearing and we sat on the porch and had tea while Mike made all the preparations. This gave us some time to gather our thoughts, and spend a final hour with the Bax Man. There were lots of ear scratches and chin rubs, and Baxter spread himself out between us on the swing bench so he could be touching us both. Something he had done since he was a puppy.
We moved to the rear patio to be in the sun, and the deed was done. It was very peaceful and the right thing to do. I completely fell apart and sob uncontrollably into Baxter's body. Mike gave us a few private moments, and we then started the walk to the top of the hill, single file. Ed carried Baxter all the way up the hill. We had walked the dogs many times to the back of the property where the family pets rest. When we would reach the top we would let Baxter go, and he would run as fast as he could (which was very fast) all the way down the hill to the chicken coop. He would work the chicken coop till all the chickens were inside, and kept circling it till we arrived in order for him to show off. All the time he wagged his tail madly and had a big goofy grin on his face - a very good memory. It seemed like the best place to lay him to rest.
Mike arranged him beautifully in his blanket, and placed him in his grave. We took a few tearful moments and finished with the burial. We walked slowly down the hill, and I finally noticed what a beautiful spring day it had become. We stayed a for an hour and I drove home, neither of us saying very much.
Both Ed and I are destroyed and I cried all day Monday. Bertie keeps trying to find Baxter, or his food bowl. The house is very quiet now and Bertie is a very quiet dog. He only followed Baxter's lead, and Baxter filled the house. No movement nor noise went unnoticed or commented on by Baxter. We all miss him very much.
And I loved that damn dog.
Bill & Ed & Bertie