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Then the mighty Baxter shows up.

More photos of both dogs at Facebook re: Hip Puppy page

So younger daughter is gifted with the Maltese Mr Baxter by an airline friend when she was working in California as a Flight Attendant for Delta.  She loses her job due to the 9-11 attack and  eventually decides to move back to Ohio and stops for a visit on her way.  The next thing we know we volunteer to keep crazy Baxter for just " a little while" until she finds work and gets settled.  Six years later he dies on my lap at 4 AM from heart failure as we waited for the vet to open.  Not much could have been done.  All the diagnostics six months earlier showed he had a very enlarged heart at age 10 and could not clear fluid from his lungs.  We had him on all sorts of medications but it finally got him, and fortunately quickly.   I wept until the sun rose.              At first I wasn't sure I liked Baxter.  He was an independant little guy.  He loved to exercise his will and he would try you at every opportunity.........but eventually I grew to respect  his ways of trying to hold his own.  He was our little man.....and the vet even called him Little Man.  He was noisy around the house, especially greeting visitors; he wanted his share of attention........but he was very quiet on walks and traveling.  He was a great traveler, patiently waiting for that next rest stop to roam the pet grounds.                                                                                              Baxter had such a personality.......we called it, but he was a tough little guy.  In the winter when the wind was blowing 60 mph here on the mountain he and I would go for our walks to try and find him a sliver of grass along the road to poop on and he would literally slide sideways on the ice due to the wind.  Sometimes when the chill factor was way below 0 and he was through with his chores I would tuck him inside my coat and get him home.  He didn't complain a bit about that.   On several occassions I shoveled the back yard to expose blades of grass so the dogs would poop more easily.  C'mon.     As much as I would grouse at times about having to take care of him, especially if the weather was bad,  I never expected to miss him so much once he was gone.  I truly loved him........and still do.

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