When you have to say good bye.

Doing his favorite thing, boating.

This has been a very hard week for me… and my dog Pippa. I had to make that hard decision to let our 13 year boy Baxter go on to his next journey. He had been really sick for the last year and in my heart, I knew it was the kindest thing I could do for him. But it sure didn’t make it any easier.

He was everything you could ever want in a dog. He came into my life during a very difficult divorce and was just what I needed to help heal my heart. Baxter started his life out in a rough place. As a 6 month old puppy, he was dumped at the Mt Pleasant shelter. A great friend to dogs, Lee Fabiano, pulled him from that shelter and brought him to the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society. He was sick and needed a stable home, a good diet and lots of love to find his way back to health.

Deter Racine, LTBHS executive director, called and asked me to foster him. I had two other Boston Terriers and worked from home, just the environment he needed. So I said yes. Baxter came to live with us and we figured out his diet issues, got his stress under control and he found sleeping on my bed with my two other dogs to be very comforting. My first shot at fostering was a failure, Baxter stayed and become part of our family.

For the next 13 years, he lived a great life. We beached it, camped, road tripped, did lots of walking and lots of snuggling. He had dog friends and of course, his every day companion Pippa. Life was good.

And that is what makes it so hard. As much as you try, dogs just do not live long enough. And when they leave, they leave a huge hold in your heart. So each day, I just try to remember all the good days. And how much he meant to me and Pippa.

I miss his snoring, his need to be touching me when he slept, his obsession with his racquetball, his desire to chase the black cat from next door. But most of all, I just miss his smiling face greeting me when I come home at night.

I also want to thank someone that was there for him his whole life. His vet, Dr Tracy Dulak, was one of his biggest advocates and did everything she could for him, right up until the end. He had some complicated medical issues and she didn’t give up until she figured it out. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

As we move on through the week…. I also remind myself that rescued love is the best love. And that one day, there will be another dog, just like Baxter that needs a new home too. Your heart always has room to expand, to love more, to love again.

I sure hope the rainbow bridge is real. And that one day, I’ll see you again. So until then, good bye my friend. And thank you for being just what we needed.



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