Introducing Baxter

Anyone curious to see what was on the other end of the nose that you saw on Friday?

Everyone, meet Baxter.

Our beautiful new dog, Baxter, laying down in front of the barn

“Hello. I love meeting new people (in case you can’t tell from my wagging butt). That’s the boxer in me. I wag my tail, but I also wag my butt. I can’t help it.

I’m also part lab. Somewhere in my family tree, there’s probably a hound dog too, because I like to sing sometimes.

I’ve lived with a few different people in a few different places, but Julia and Matt say I’m theirs for keeps now, so maybe this is where I’ll stay. (Julia says she’ll share my adoption story another time).

I guess you could say I’ve been through a lot even though I’m only three years old, but I prefer to live in the moment. I’m a glass half full kind of guy. Whatever you want to do, I’m up for it–unless you want to go for a really long walk, ’cause I haven’t done that a lot and I get a little tired sometimes. Matt thought it was really funny when I laid down in the weeds at the side of the road and didn’t want to go anymore. I knew he wasn’t going to let me stay there. I was really just thinking about him. I mean he’s only got two legs!

I like it best when we’re all in the house together, and I can lay on my pillow and keep an eye on them. Sometimes, they lay down with me and rub my back or scratch my cheeks. We practice sit and stay and down and come a lot. I know them all. I just have to remember them sometimes. And honestly, is it really fair to make me stay downstairs while they go upstairs? I can’t know what they’re doing just by listening!

I’m pretty sure Matt and Julia love me, but for some reason Easter and Ralph don’t. Easter and I have been introduced a few times, but she still won’t let me come very close. I had lots of friends at my last house, including a very little kitten. I know how to be gentle, but I just get so excited when I see them, and I really, really want them to like me. I didn’t mean to make Easter climb up the tree (she’s fine, by the way). I’d just been sitting there so long waiting for her to come over, and I got a bit impatient. Ralph, I’ve barely even seen her. When she finally came outside when I was there, I ran over to meet her, and she turned around and swiped her claws at me (she didn’t connect though, thank goodness). She must have met a not very nice dog some time (there are some of them out there, believe me, but I’m not one of them). I keep sniffing around the barn and sticking my nose in the cat door so they know I’m here. I make sure to wag my tail extra when I do, so they know I like them.

Dog peaking through an opening in a barn wall

I’ve already been to lots of new places and met lots of new people. The most interesting place so far was the park. There were lots of people and even a few dogs. I barked at one and sniffed another. There were some that were very excited, yapping and whining, so I just ignored them. Mostly everybody on the baseball team just petted me. I tried to go on the diamond once, because they didn’t have enough players, but Julia said they had enough boys and only needed girls.

Dog at a baseball diamond

Even though I’m not super energetic, I do like to play sometimes. We’ve played tag and wrestled a bit. I like to box–after all, I am part boxer. Sometimes, if I smell something really interesting, I’ll go looking for it (I think that’s my hound dog genes coming out). They keep me on the leash or the long cable pretty much all the time so far, but the one night Julia let me follow a trail out behind the barn. She kept up pretty well until I tried to go into the thicker bush. That was when she said we had to stop. She had to tie her shoes up again (wearing shoes must have something to do with only having two feet), but then we went for a run around the field and up and down the driveway. That was pretty fun. I let her win when we run up the driveway, usually. She says we’re going to go for morning runs instead of morning walks this week. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

So far, they’ve been doing an okay job of taking care of me. They did forget to take me outside to, you know, the one night before we went to bed. I did my best, but at 4am I couldn’t take it anymore. I only barked once, and Julia came and took me outside right away. They haven’t forgotten the bedtime bathroom break since.

They also gave me a bath the other day. I really don’t think it was necessary, but Matt kept saying I stunk. Julia said I wasn’t that bad, but they did it anyways. I think I was pretty stoic through the whole thing. Really it was like being petted a whole lot, although with water and suds. I rolled over in the grass a few times and laid down in the flowerbed afterwards, so I feel okay now.

Giving a dog a bath

Overall, this seems like a pretty okay place to be. Matt and I are spending lots of time together, and we seem to have a lot in common. I mean, I don’t work on the computer like he does, but I’m good at keeping him company. And when he takes a break and watches a movie or plays a video game, I lay on my pillow and watch too. Julia and I go walking every morning and then all three of us hang out at night. That’s probably my favourite time.”

Mine too, Baxter. Welcome home. We’re so happy you’re part of our family.

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14 thoughts on “Introducing Baxter

      • Ours too. In the end, we installed an underground fence and our dog wears a collar that beeps if he gets too close (there is a shock if he tries to go over the line, which, if trained properly, never happens). We fenced off 2 acres and he has lots of space to roam.

      • Update: We spent a good portion of the day outside today, and for most of it he was off leash. He’s so attached to me right now that for the most part he just trailed me around to keep me in his sight (yes, I realize this could lead to problems, and I’m working on it). He started to wander at one point, and I whistled him back easily. Another time he bolted towards the barn (I don’t know what he saw), but a sharp “hey” from me and a stern “come” brought him back. The bad moment was when the kitten came out of the barn and he took off after her. Fortunately, the kitten climbed a tree, so he stopped chasing her and came back when we called him. We got the kitten back too. Still working on figuring out how to introduce them without everyone getting all excited.

  1. oh Julia! I LOVE Baxter! So handsome and sounds like a wonderful dog. I like low-energy dogs (Ella is one too) – not too busy and don’t need jobs to do. So happy y’all found each other. He has such a sweet face!
    I just talked to my niece about her new dog (rescue puppy) and the chickens in her yard and how to train her to be uninterested. I use the “ehhh” -short and biting and is not a word I use for anyone other than Ella, so she knows it’s directed at her. I told her to put her dog on a lease and when out in the yard whenever the dog got interested in the chickens to lightly tug the leash and give the “ehhh” command, or whatever you word or sound is and then immediately redirect the dog’s attention to something else (a toy, a treat). Within several days she had great results with the dog now not paying any attention to the chickens! Perhaps it would work with the kitties too, if Baxter is on a leash and you distract him with a correction sound the second he starts to get excited about the cats, and then after he is calm you can try to coax a cat to come to you and him, but repeat the tug if he starts to get excited. I’m sure this will take a good week of daily training, but hopefully he would eventually realize that being calm around the cats will draw them out. Sounds like the kitten will be the best subject to work with! Hope they all become best buds!
    So happy for you to have found Baxter! Sending puppy kisses!
    joan

    • Thanks for all of the advice and love, Joan. Great tip on the single word for corrections with him alone. He seems to respond to a sharp “hey” from me, but now that I’m thinking of it, I’m not sure I use it only with him. I’ll make sure that I do from now on. Baxter sends puppy kisses to you, Dan and Ella.

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