Man's First Best Friend
Baxter came to us right before my youngest daughter was born, rescued from a puppy mill somewhere in Georgia. His name was originally Hank. We knew very little of his past other than his tail had been injured, he had some damage to his ears that was repaired with surgery, he didn't like water, and he was timid around other dogs.
He took the most obnoxious parts of being a beagle and basset hound and combined them into his small little frame. He was a 30 pound cat. He had no use for you unless he was hungry or wanted pets. He tipped over the garbage can against all physics to check for tasty morsels. He once ate a pack of gum and got the tin foil lodged in his windpipe, and sounded like a chicken every time he tried to bark for 3 days.
He was close to 17 years old. We don't know much of his sordid past, but I can only imagine that he was a ladies man. He was an elder statesman around the house, who liked to play hard, and nap even harder. I used to stick treats on his nose to see how long it would take him to wake up and notice. He only barked when the girls came home from school, or if a random dog was heading down the street. When he did, it sounded like a freight train was coming down the block.
He could sit, lay, and come. But only for treats. I tried unsuccessfully to teach him to speak for several years, he just had a more reserved approach to life.
He loved you. Even if you were a stranger. You had a hand that could give him pets.
He is, and will always be our mascot, our friend, and a good boy.
We miss you buddy.