This is the last picture taken of Baxter, from his blog
I just read this morning that Baxter passed away on Friday, October 16th. I am deeply saddened for the loss of such a beautiful soul. Though I truly believe he has moved onto another realm and continues his therapy dog work. No dobut he has reunited with all the souls he touched on this earth, that have tranitioned. Baxter is also no doubt in the arms of the angels, as the song in his video says.
His Mom, Melissa Joseph wrote a beautiful tribute and posted it on Facebook today, so I wanted to share with you... In memory of Baxter.
March 23, 1990-October 16, 2009
Baxter, the world's best, most devoted, and oldest therapy dog, 19 years and 6 months, eased peacefully from his life on Friday afternoon, October 16th.
Baxter began volunteering 7 years ago at Sand Diego Hospice. In a place created for making goodbyes gentler, Baxter comforted everyone who crossed his path. He licked tears from grieving faces, gave hugs to those at a loss for words, and warmed the hearts and souls of those who were making their transition. He would take his body and curl himself next to a patient for hours, making this intense eye contact that penetrated the human spirit in everyone, proving his undeniable loyalty, love, and sensitivity. Everyone loved Baxter!
I took in Baxter after he was rescued from a life threatening circumstance. He was 2 years old, and it took me 6 weeks to make him mine. It was not much longer and he became my heart. As I socialize him more and more, I realized Baxter was not like other dogs. He had a gift and everyone who met him witnessed it. Though perhaps difficult to believe, to meet Baxter was an experience. And, you never forgot that experience. He touched everyone he met.
When my husband, Dennis and I went through the volunteer orientation at San Diego Hospice to become volunteers, Baxter accompanied us because he went everywhere with us. During those many hours, he spread his magic spirit throughout the room. And, in the end, the knowing staff exhorted: "You must get Baxter certified. He's magical, and he would make the perfect therapy dog!"
What they recognized was Baxter's special ability to bring light to darkness, smiles to down turned lips, respite to tear swollen faces, and comfort to pained hearts. His mere presence brought joy to rooms that were filled with tragedy and imminent loss.
He was the perfect love affair. His love never ended, he was true to the bone, and his companionship was invaluable. Baxter taught me many of life's lessons. And when I forgot one, he reminded me in the subtlest of ways. He was consistent, reliable, and predictable. He was always in a good mood, prepared to volunteer and full of love, kisses and devotion.
There has never been a dog like Baxter in my life. And there will never be another Baxter. He truly was the world's best therapy dog.
Though Baxter is gone, his legacy lives on through his book. MOMENTS WITH BAXTER, a series of 36 true stories and photos that demonstrate the magical connection Baxter made with individuals at the end of their life.
Visit Baxter at his website.
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS BOOK WILL BE DONATED TO CHARITY IN HONOR AND MEMORY OF BAXTER.
~Melissa Joseph, Baxter's mom and author of MOMENTS WITH BAXTER