Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baxter: Still Family After All

Long-Time-Reader (LTR) knows that a gigunda, now 6 yo, Black Lab named Baxter was once part of our gang here. Baxter (aka, The Boos, Baxter Boos, The Big Galoot, Knucklehead, and My Baxter Bud) belongs heart and soul now to our daughter (DSD) and her husband (DSIL) who live in Maine.

And where DSD and DSIL go, Baxter goes.

So it was this weekend. The Boos tagged along to the cottage to enjoy the lake with our regular gang. The Boos, btw, loves the cottage.

Here's he is (normally a lazy, sluggish couch potato) anticipating going swimming as DH readies the retrieving dummies (remember, Baxter weighs a good 100 pounds):

Baxter, you might remember, was the first of our "second round" of Labs, purchased in 2003 less than six months after our last Labs passed away, and coming to live with us at just shy of seven weeks old. He grew up with us and was our "only" until we brought Ridge home 18 months later (Ridge was 3 yo then). Soon to follow came Elsie, then Kenya, then Pinot, then Tuc. Baxter didn't leave with DSIL and DSD until last July (2008); he had five years with us.

All that is to say, Baxter is family every bit as much as the rest of the canine crew. And this weekend, The Boos acted just like family--like we'd never been apart.

Take his move-your-feet-lose-your-seat mentality. DH got up from sleeping on the roll-away, and had not yet pushed it back under the other bed, and guess who decides DH's bed is for him (pillows and all)?

Yup ... Just Make Yourself at Home Why Doncha Baxter.

Then there was the I'm-family-and-therefore-should-be-included-in-everything expectation (You mean you're actually going swimming without me?):

And his staking claim to the kitchen sofa (yes, there's a sofa in the kitchen at the cottage -- extra sleeping space):

Why would humans need a couch when they have perfectly good chairs to use (note Baxter on sofa to right)?

Yes, all of Baxter's presumptions remind me that he is, indeed, still part of the family. Though he lives hundreds of miles away, he's still one of us.

And the thing that reminds me most of his being part of us, for real, is his love for the cottage.

Now Baxter, who was exposed to swimming at the cottage from about six-months-of-age on, is a natural in the water, and he, indeed, hasn't lost his knack:

Nor has he lost his enthusiasm (at six, he's still like a puppy in the water):

He loves the cottage as much as I do. And it shows.

Ahhh... the Boos. The cottage is in his blood. My parents, my siblings, my spouse, my kids, my cousins, my canines -- we all have the cottage in our blood. The cottage, with its lake and lands, has been in my family for generations; it's part of my heritage.

As because it's part of my heritage, it's now part of their heritage, too (DH, my canines, and my kids alike).

For good or bad or everything in between, we're kin.

And though you take us away from our roots, our roots never leaves us.

You can take a girl away from the cottage, but you can never take the cottage outta the girl.

Nor outta the canines (and humans) who share life with the girl. Though you take Baxter to Maine, he loves the cottage still.

And that's a good thing.

We're all swimmers. We're all lake-lovers. We're all cottage-comfortable. We all feel at home there.

That's as it should be for us cottage kin.

We're family. And, no matter how far we travel, we always will be.

'Til next time,


Cheryl said...

Sounds just WONDERFUL!!! Do you have more pictures of the cottages, so I can dream of going there?

Chester said...

I just love that ol Baxter! He seems like such an old soul! Your cabin looks like a wonderful place to hang out with family.
Thanks for the great pics.
Chester's Mom ;0=)

JackDaddy said...

What a wonderful blogpost. It looks like everyone had a great time. Jack doesn't know it yet, but we're going to a cabin this weekend. It will be his first whole night away from home (not counting the 'no A/C hotel disaster'!)

Home survival kits said...

"Baxter: Still Family After All" is a great post..,, Family must remain a family if family is living with love...
Thanks for the post....