Gov. Paul LePage’s family dog, an 11-year-old white and brown Jack Russell terrier mix named Baxter, has died.

Peter Steele, the governor’s communications director, said in an email Wednesday night that Baxter died Tuesday after his third bout with cancer.

“The entire LePage circle of current and former coworkers, friends, and supporters will miss Baxter,” Brent Littlefield, the governor’s longtime political adviser, said in an email Wednesday.

Baxter joined the LePage family in 2008, when the governor’s daughter, Lauren, adopted him from an animal shelter in Florida. He quickly found his niche as the state’s “first dog,” frequently greeting guests and posing for photo-ops in the Blaine House.

Baxter also had a presence on social media, including two Facebook pages and a blog, which was active from April 2011 to June 2012.

Author Paula Benoit even penned an illustrated book from his perspective, called “Baxter in the Blaine House.” Proceeds from the book benefit the Friends of the Blaine House.

In a biography on the blog, Baxter noted that he and the governor had similar upbringings, but the state’s chief executive sometimes forgot his name and simply called him, Buddy.

“He was on his own when he was a young boy and I was in a dog shelter at a young age,” Baxter’s biography says. “Someone very kind took him in, gave him shelter and love; and guess what, that’s just what Governor LePage did for me. They are the best family in the world.”


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