Grijalva - Baxter - Coto de Caza, CA

While driving that rainy September day to meet Karen T. in Iowa, I would have never thought that I would find the foster that would ultimately be my “heart dog”.

2013 has been a year of many prayers and tears for Baxter. In March he was diagnosed with Hemangioscarmoa of the intestine. Our vet removed 30 cm of his intestines. The Oncologist had never seen Hemangioscarmoa of the intestines before in a dog but it was very common in cats. After one round of chemo we knew that was not the path for Baxter. We didn’t know how long he would be with us but every day would be a gift. I remember saying to the doctors that if he made it to Christmas I would be grateful.

Then, in November we knew something was wrong with Baxter. He was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We thought we had it under control until we woke up the morning of December 23rd and he was having trouble walking and had stopped eating. I thought this was time to say good bye.

We changed his meds and food. He seemed to be eating again and starting to feel better…our prayers had been answered on more time. Baxter was not ready to give up and either were we. Christmas came and went and I remembered what I had told the doctors (I really meant Christmas 2018).

The morning of January 6th Baxter was unable to walk. His gums were pale and he was very weak. Manny was out of town. My son Eric and I got him in the car and I was waiting at our Vet’s office before they opened. Could this be the day I had to say good bye to my “heart dog “. Blood test showed that his protein and red blood counts were low. But, everything else looked pretty good. An ultra sound showed a growth on his left intestine. Baxter spent the next week getting treatment at our vets 8am-5pm. His energy was coming back his eyes sparkled and tail wagged more and more each day.

As of right now Baxter is doing well. While he still has trouble getting up and cannot go upstairs by himself, he is eating like a champ and howls and us when we don’t get him his food fast enough. He even howls when he wants to take a short walk around our backyard. I still see so much life in his eyes. We joke that he may be part cat and he will have several more lives in him.

I cherish every day I have left with him. I have peace in my heart knowing I have done everything humanly possible for him.

My husband Manny and Baxter wrote a poem “A Berner Day” for me in 2011. It told me that I was he’s forever Mom and that he would never leave me. I know when he is no longer here on earth he will be forever in my heart.

We had to say good bye to Baxter on January 22, 2014. He is now at the bridge running pain free waiting until we meet again.

Manny and Patti Grijalva
Boomer, BARC’s Jasmine and Baxter (BG #76475)
Coto de Caza, CA



By Manny Grijalva

Dedicated B.A.R.C.’s Baxter, all the great people at B.A.R.C.,
B.A.R.C. dogs and all puppy mill dogs

Years ago I was born, where my Berner mom lay
To a bright light, mommy kisses and some squealing puppy play
Surely this is, a great Berner Day!?!

A short time after, my first human came near
On two legs they stood, for some reason I felt fear
They grabbed us all, and then put us back
Love and care, is what these humans lack

Then one day I awoke, they took my mommy away
It seems too early…no please not today
This truly is not a good Berner Day

My siblings to cages, was the humans demand
I heard they went to a shop called Puppyland
Why was I left, in this scary place?
With screaming voices and that real scary face?!?

I guess my purpose now, is to mate in the hay
They bring one after the other, it sure seems okay
Is this what they call, a great Berner Day?

It’s back to my cage, with only morsels of food
Why are these people, always in a bad mood?
No play time, no pampering… is this really my life?
It’s no fun living, in such sadness and strife

The humans are more angry than normal today
I guess my mating is causing lost pay
So I’m thrown in a truck, on this Berner Day

There are more humans on this afternoon
A few dollars exchanged… a new human that soon?
Not just any humans but humans from B.A.R.C.
And before you know it, I play in a park

These new B.A.R.C. humans now calmly say
You are my foster, it will all be okay
I’m starting to feel it’s a real Berner Day

These humans seem different, more caring and just
Are these B.A.R.C. humans the ones I should trust?
I don’t know, it’s too soon but I’m now in their home
Sure seems like a nice place, to romp and to roam

Some days and some weeks start to pass away
A first hug, a first kiss, my picture on display
I’m becoming a dog on this Berner Day

There is still something missing, but what could it be
A formal adoption for only a small fee
A forever home is what I lack
I now love humans, so there’s no going back

A surprise for my human cuz today is the day
My other human has said that it’s okay
I’m your Berner now, what a great Berner Day!!