Title: Moments With Baxter: Comfort and Love From the World’s Best Therapy Dog
Author: Melissa Joseph
Genre/Audience: Nonfiction, adult
Publication: Sage Press, 2009
I just finished Moments With Baxter and was incredibly touched by Baxter’s story.
Summary: This is a book of 30-something short stories, with pictures, about Baxter, a certified therapy dog, who volunteers with his owners Melissa and Dennis at a hospice. While there, Baxter visits many of the fatally ill and dying patients to provide them and their families comfort in their time of need. He often sits on the bed with the patient, or on the couch with the family – whoever needs him most at the moment. He is a calm and soothing presence to the patients, families, and staff, and is often called an “angel” by the patients he visits. He provides hope and love simply by being there with the patient. All of these stories are different in that the circumstances surrounding each of the patients is unique to the individual (some are children, some are elderly, some have cancer or a disease). The stories are all similar in that each of the patients forms a special bond with Baxter, who is old and frail, like many of the people he visits.
My Thoughts: This was an incredibly sweet and moving book. It made me fall in love with Baxter too. He truly seems like an angel. Baxter’s story goes to show how animals truly can touch people’s lives. The story also provides hope because despite the illnesses of the patients in the story, many of them still wanted to be happy at the end of their lives and Baxter helped them with that. My only complaint about the book is that some of the stories are too short and I mean that in the best way possible – I found myself caring about the people in these stories, and I would turn the page, and their story was finished. I would have liked to see less stories that were more detailed then many stories that were not as detailed or in depth. While reading this book, I found myself smiling at times, and choked up at others. I thought the pictures were beautiful and heartwarming.
The Bottom Line: A must read for any dog lover!
My Rating: 4.5/5
*I heard very sad news a couple of months ago. Baxter passed away in October, at 19 and a half years old. He was truly a hero in the eyes of so many people, and I think his story is beautiful. He was an amazing dog, and he touched so many lives. I am including a wonderful video that I first saw several months ago that introduced me to Baxter and his story. You will need Kleenex if you watch it!
Currently Reading: The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman. I thought it was an appropriate read for the week of Christmas!