Beautiful Baxter Has Leukemia

Beautiful Baxter Has Leukemia

by Baxter's Mum
(England)

Beautiful Baxter

Beautiful Baxter

Beautiful Baxter
He loves snow
Loving as always
Handsome boy

We discovered this week our gorgeous, handsome boy, Baxter, has leukemia.

Our bouncy six year old Golden Retriever had been lagging behind on morning runs and was slowly going off his food. The vet suspected a stomach infection and prescribed antibiotics. A week later he was no better, so stronger antibiotics were given and blood samples taken. This didn't do the trick either and the vet thought he could have an obstruction or peritonitis. Unfortunately it wasn't and after exploratory surgery and further blood tests, leukemia was diagnosed. His white blood cells were sky high.

It took a while to sink in, but then it hit me like a freight train. We are going to lose our beautiful, loyal friend who has loved us unconditionally from the word go. I never imagined feeling such extreme emotion and fell apart for the next 24 hours. Then feelings of guilt rushed in - have we loved him enough, spent enough time with him etc.

Friends and family have been fantastic; so supportive and understanding. Fellow dog owners have stopped to give us a hug and share in our sorrow. Baxter is such a lively, fun loving spirit who touches everyone he meets and always up for a frolic with his canine buddies. He's a big ball of fur who offers buckets of love without question and it breaks my heart seeing him a shadow of his former self.

He has started on low doses of steroids and chemotherapy, as his surgical wound needs to heal. He goes out for short loo stops and sleeps a great deal, but seems brighter already having had surgery only four days ago. We're giving his favourite foods and lavishing him with tender loving care. It's the least we can do for all he has given us; I didn't realise how much that was until now. I guess we need to be patient and wait for the medication to do its job. We're cherishing every moment and hoping to share at least a few more months of good quality life with Baxter.

It's comforting to share this experience with you all and my heart goes out to everyone in similar situations. If anyone has tips or suggestions as to how we can support Baxter and each other through this, please share this with us.

Wishing you all lots of love and strength on your journeys.

Baxter's mum

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Aug 24, 2012
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The most difficult decision
by: Anonymous

Today we have made the most difficult decision to date - to let go of our beautiful boy.

We've enjoyed and cherished the past two and half weeks since he returned from the vets. Trips to the park and the pub garden; lots of stick chewing, cuddles and love. Despite eating steak, chicken, pork chops, tuna, pasta, peanut butter, ice cream etc, Baxter's weight has dropped considerably and he's at the point where he will barely eat anything.

It's heartbreaking because on the day he takes steroids he really perks up, but on the other days it's painful to watch. He also has an infection in his stomach incision and the vet encouraged us to think carefully about his future when we saw her last night. She is coming to our home to put him to sleep tomorrow.

It's been an absolute pleasure, honour and joy to have Baxter as our boy and we're going to miss him terribly. I've taken an impression of his paw print which will be made into a silver necklace so he is never far away. I've also snipped a couple of his leg 'feathers' and plaited them to keep. There will be a scrapbook and a beautiful framed photograph which will take pride of place in our kitchen.

Thank you Baxter for everything, you'll be forever in our hearts.xx

Aug 20, 2012
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Beautiful Baxter
by: Mindy and Bele

Baxter is absolutely beautiful! My prayers are with Baxter and you thru this difficult time.

I never dreamed there were so many families going thru this at the same time as Belle and I. I find a great deal of comfort in just knowing that we are not alone in this fight. Please keep us updated on Baxter's progress.

Aug 12, 2012
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Heartfelt thanks
by: Anonymous

Hi Elaine,

Thank you so much for your kind words; a real comfort at this difficult time.

Your Lexi sounds wonderful and what a joy to hear of the improvement on steroids! Baxter does seem to be picking up slowly. He's already eaten two chicken breasts today. I'd love to take him to the country park and also the beach if he gets some more energy back. I think he wonders what he's done to deserve all the fuss and attention he's getting at the moment, but I cherish every second.

Thank you again for your comments, it means a great deal.

Sending love and positive vibes!
Rachel
x

Aug 12, 2012
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Baxter
by: Anonymous

Hi Baxter's Mum,

I have just read your post and been amazed at how your words echo my thoughts (and the thoughts of nearly everyone else I would imagine). I am sorry to read of Baxter's diagnosis and do know how you must be feeling.

Our devastation was extreme and I thought we would maybe only have a month or two with Lexi but she went on to steroids and she is fantastic! She is running around like her old self and enjoying life. I hope steroids will enable Baxter to feel better and enjoy his life, however long or short that may be. I never imagined, in my wildest, most hopeful dreams, to see Lexi looking this good. I know we must be realistic because she finishes her steroid treatment in September and, if she is going to relapse, it will be within a couple of months, but what we have now is great and I sincerely wish that this will be the case for you and your lovely Baxter.

My heart goes out to you and to everyone going through these terrible diagnoses with their beloved pets. Take care, love him lots (I know you will) and celebrate what you have now.

Baxter's photos are wonderful!

Elaine x

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