February 25, 2004 – January 24, 2012
Just weaned from his mother Annie Oakley, Baxter arrived in Fort Collins in a pickup driven by the breeder from Laramie, Wyo. I met the little fur ball on West LaPorte Avenue and once caged in my car he began to cry. When I switched the radio station from jazz to country and his crying subsided, I knew our decision to name him after Baxter Black the cowboy poet was an accurate one.
It was my intent to have a lap dog and it was his intent to live life as a contradiction. After babyhood Baxter was not one who liked to be held. Yet, had a burglar arrived he would have shown him where the silver was while dashing in circles around the burglar’s legs.
He was a dog who could tell time. He would position himself at the window watching for “daddy” to drive into the driveway each day. He appreciated beauty by stopping to smell the daffodils in spring as he went out the back door. If I danced around the room he thought it was time to do his tricks, of course rewarded with a treat for each trick. Walks were made wonderful by a “scent stop” at each rural mailbox and a kick of the hind feet at each relief which also could be paced for each and every mailbox.
A Shih Tzu who thought he was an elephant, he barked at big dogs and ignored those of his own size. He vocalized in a scolding bark as an elk fed, ignoring him, within five feet on the mountain property and he kept a bear at bay when the cabin door was left open by a few inches.
Baxter loved to have rides on the ATV in the mountains. He surveyed his kingdom from his favorite mountain rock pile always on the outlook for chipmunks.
He was a family member who most enjoyed it when his family was together. He was a creature who preferred to drink from a glass, who loved to be hand or spoon fed, and who trained his family well.
Diagnosed in 2009 with portosystemic shunt problem he rallied, he gave hope, he pranced and skipped. He became lethargic, withdrew and slept a lot. The three of us could only go with the flow of events after a time.
Baxter was our baby, our friend, our buddy, our love. He provided us with much joy and laughter.
Dr. Kathleen Cooney and her service left an indelible mark in our lives as she assisted the three of us in transition.