Baxter died tonight.
I took this photo as we went out the door to the 24 hour emergency vet (it’s Saturday night); it’s not the most flattering photo, I guess I wanted just one more.
Baxter seemed to be in a state of decline for the past 3 weeks, but I thought it was the sudden extremely cold weather we had. His eating changed and it was harder for him to walk. I thought it was age and cold and this last Thursday–just 48 hours ago!–I took him to a vet for a checkup, thinking I’d be told how to feed a finicky dog and get him to gain weight and help him w/arthritis pain; instead, that vet took his temperature–which was 104–and looked and him and listened to my report and told me he had cancer and needed to be put down. I could have a day or two to say goodbye but I shouldn’t wait long.
I felt she was right. But. I knew I needed a second opinion–or some proof–before I put him down. So that night I went to a 24 hour emergency vet for a second opinion. They were awful, and would not do any tests till the morning, though they wanted him to stay there overnight. I took Baxter home and the next morning went to another vet, one I’ve used before for an old dog I inherited. That vet did tests and images immediately, and told me he though Baxter had eaten something like a piece of cloth–he could see it in his stomach, though since Baxter had eaten a scrambled egg before going in he didn’t have the clear image he wanted. He gave Baxter fluids for the fever, a shot of antibiotics, and told me to bring him back Monday for another image sans breakfast, and he’d schedule surgery then.
So, today, 24 hours after we’d gotten home from THAT vet appointment, it was really clear that Baxter completely had taken a nose dive. All day today I worked around the house getting my quilt together, and Baxter seemed really really sick: he could hardly walk, refused to eat, labored breathing….it just got worse. So a good friend from the illegal dog park, Norma Jean, called me and suggested I go to the emergency vet….though I’d reached the same conclusion myself.
Which is where we went tonight, and 3 hours after arriving I had the diagnosis of cancer–everywhere–and I put Baxter down.
And so that’s that. It’s just devastating. I only had Baxter for 10 weeks and he was such a character; I’ve never seen such a complex, intelligent character in a dog, really. Bearbear is a great dog. Absolutely great. But he’s not a character like Baxter. I felt so awful to have to say goodbye to him. It just seemed so wrong.
Goodbye Baxter, RIP forever buddy.