This weekend, I lost my best friend…a 4-legged bundle of fur named Baxter.

I never had a dog growing up, but when I became an adult, I would always see dogs loyally waiting for their owners to return from wherever they had gone and I thought to myself that it must be the best feeling in the world to have someone love you so much that they just can’t wait for you to be back with them.

I was very lucky because Baxter was the perfect dog.  If you wanted to play, he was ready to play.  If you wanted to rest, he would be okay resting right next to you.  He loved eating, but he would never beg for food.

The only thing that Baxter wanted was to be with you.  Once when he was younger and not completely house trained, we put him in the laundry room with a baby gate, but that gate was no match for Baxter.  He scaled the gate and throw himself over it so that he could be with us.

Credit: Dave McKay

A couple of months ago, we had to take Baxter to an emergency vet because his gums were bleeding and wouldn’t stop.  We were shocked when the doctor told us that our boy’s blood wasn’t clotting and that it was most likely due to several growths on his liver and spleen.

We were lucky enough to get the bleeding under control and to get Baxter home and we told ourselves that whatever time we had with him from that point on would be a blessing.

Baxter gave us 8 extra weeks with him and during that time, he never whined, he never stopped eating, and he never stopped wanting to be right next to me.

Throughout his life, Baxter would make sure he sat on the landing of our stairs whenever I left the house so that he could see out a window and know when I had returned.

It was in that spot where Baxter waited for me this weekend and waited for me to get home.  When I did, my boy peacefully drifted off to sleep for the last time with me right by his side.

I’ll miss my Baxter, but I am thankful for every moment I was able to spend with him.