The hospitalization this week of Majory Stewart Baxter, 10 (in human years), after police responded to a report of a suicide attempt at her Camden Minneapolis home, astonished anyone who knows her simply as the affable, boxer-german shepard mix around town.
To us outsiders, Baxter's partying seemed to be of the happy-go-lucky, nobody-gets-hurt variety. While other canines got kenneled, Baxter always appeared to have a healthy penchant for following the rules. When she wasn't busy taming her rambunctious backyard sticks, Baxter's life consisted of licking faces, riding in the car, and practicing her bark.
Obviously something darker was going on amidst all those brindle-furred mellow good times. The only comment from Baxter, who's said to be in good condition at an undisclosed healing facility, has been to issue this statement: "I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time."
It's unusual that a dog in her prime should suffer such a dramatic meltdown. A suicide attempt, if in fact that's what happened, signals that a person is in the deepest kind of pain. While it may be a surprise to those of us who know her only by her twinkly-eyed jumpy persona, Baxter's crisis probably didn't sneak up on those close to her. And the canine and her loved ones likely won't return to the good life quickly, either.