Duffy McFadden Baxter

July 31, 1988-September 16, 2000

Duffy was the greatest dog you would ever meet. Don't we all say that? He lived for 12 wonderful years.

Duffy was diagnosed with Addison's when he was a little over a year old. It was a Saturday and he was having what we call a "crash" or "crisis." We though he had an upset stomach, maybe he had eaten some glass since he was still chewing everyting in sight. We took him to an Emergency Clinic, they put him in an incubator with an IV and by midnight he was up jumping around and back to his "old" self. We got him in there just in time. The treatment would include a monthly shot and a pill every other day for the rest of his life. You would never know Duffy had Addison's. He was energetic, bright-eyed, adorable right to the end. He never aged the way some dogs do. You would never know he was 12.

We knew the disease would shorten his life. We though he'd live to be 15, but now I understand that Duffy living until 12 was a miracle. I also understand that the medication which kept him alive for so long also caused him to go. I guess the medication ultimately caused liver and kidney failure. We didn't see any signs because he was still romping around up until about 24 hours before we had to put him down. The severity of the liver damage caused him to cross over from Addison's into Cushing's disease. Whatever that is. I know the Doctor explained it but I wasn't listening. I just wanted to hear that my dog was going to make it.

Duffy was a West Highland White Terrier, the cutest Westie you ever saw. It has been almost 72 hours since we put him down and I am still heartbroken. Duffy was with my family for 12 loving wonderful years. He was with my sister and I from junior high until now...the most important growing years of our lives.

Duffy was incredibly unselfish. His last night with us we knew he wasn't feeling well...I thought it might be another crisis even though he had just had his shot two days earlier, but somehow I just knew. I got up the next day hoping to find him alive and he was. He was laying waiting for me to come get him and put him in bed with me. Right after I did that he went unconcious and had a seizure. He never came back to us and the toxic liver caused the seizures he would have over the next 7 hours, while the nurse, my mom and I would try to talk him back and hope he would pull out of it. He didn't.

I miss him so terribly at times it's hard to function. But I am comforted that he was the same Duffy he always was right up until the end. And that he waited for me to come get him before he couldn't hold on anymore.

Dogs are so underrated in society. Luckily I have understanding friends, who all loved Duffy too, and understanding employers, who have or had dogs of their own, to know how hard it is for me to get up and face the day without him. Dogs are truly God's greatest creation (I don't have kids yet so I can say this). They are always so happy to see you, love you totally unconditionally, they are the warmth of your heart and the light of your life. They make you laugh, they make you frustrated, they might anger you every once in a while, they make you cry. In time I know my sadness will subside and I will remember nothing but all the goodness, love and life Duffy's brought into mine.