Happy Friday! I mixed up my days this week, and thought Wednesday was Tuesday. I was halfway through Wednesday before I realized, Holy Crap, I forgot to post a blog! I’m sorry about that!
Today I just feel like talking about Bailey Dog. I miss that little guy! This is longish if you feel like hanging in and reading. If not–have a great weekend!
As most of you know, Bailey passed last summer. I love all the other dogs in our life, but Bailey will always have a very special place in my heart. But did you know it didn’t start out that way? Nope, the first time I met Bailey, he burst out of his kennel, bouncing around the room like Tigger from Winnie the Poo. Boing, boing, boing. Let’s just say I was unimpressed. And Bailey wasn’t too sure of us either. The first time middle son left Bailey with us look like this:
Bailey stared out the window at driveway and he didn’t move until Middle Son returned. Nothing we did helped. I felt terrible for him. You see, Bailey’s previous family gave him away. While I think they did it for good reason as they had a couple other dogs who were mean to him (hence Bailey’s dog aggression), that “abandonment” left its mark on Bailey. He was terrified Middle Son would abandon him too. Over time two things happened. We learned to ignore Bailey when he did this, then heap lots of love, playtime and reassurance on him when he would stop fretting and come be with us. And Middle Son ALWAYS CAME BACK. In time Bailey learned to trust his love and ours.
But it was a process. This is what it looked like the first time I tried to walk Bailey.
Actually that doesn’t look half as bad as it was. I kid you not. He was seriously INSANE, standing up and surging forward, causing himself to cough because the dumb dog was choking himself. I was mortified, and terrified the neighbors would think I was hurting this dog. I made it down our street and around a corner, before I picked him up and carried him home in embarrassed frustration. When I told my son, he laughed. Loudly. So did Wizard
Then Middle Son took me out and showed me how to walk Bailey. I gotta tell you I thought I knew how to walk a dog, I mean come on, I’ve had dogs, I worked at an animal shelter, I’m a huge dog lover. But…I didn’t know how to walk Bailey. I learned quickly how to show him authority and confidence, and we soon loved walking and covered miles together.
Bailey and I began bonding, and one day, Middle Son dropped Bailey off and left. Bailey didn’t care. He grabbed some toys, jumped up in “his chair” in my office, and waited for me to get done with writing to play with him. And thus began years of adventures with us. Chasing lizards, going for walks, the day Bailey stole a pork chop out of the trash, LOL or the time I had Bailey wake up Wizard on Christmas morning. That was hilarious! I put Bailey on the bed and said, “Wake Wizard up!” Bailey licked Wizard’s face, his whole body wiggling in happiness. Wizard…not so much He was bellowing at me. I was cracking up and desperately wishing I’d thought to video it. We have a million great memories.
But this is the moment I lost my heart to Bailey forever.
Youngest son had a freak accident and suffered a very serious break in his leg that required surgeries. It was bad enough that we had to bring him home from the hospital in a private ambulance and he had to stay in a hospital bed in my family room. Once Youngest was home, Bailey jumped up on his bed and stayed with him. Bailey knew Youngset well as all three boys lived together in a rental house while going to college. Bailey’s absolute love and loyalty still chokes me up. That wild dog that boinged like Tigger or choked himself on the leash morphed into this calm dog determined to help and protect Youngest. When we got Youngest up on crutches, Bailey sat quietly. When Youngest was in a wheelchair, Bailey hopped up on his lap, or sat beneath it. One of the most stunning moments when Youngest was sitting in a chair, and I was kneeling on the floor helping him exercise the leg. Bailey was sitting on the couch with my other son and was very interested. Then Bailey moved to sit next to me, and kept watching. After I moved Youngest’s leg a couple times, Bailey got up and moved to sit beneath Youngest leg as if he could support it once I let the leg go.
We were all speechless at this. Bailey repeated this whenever youngest was in a chair if the leg was unsupported. And I just have to interject here that Middle Son was so awesome too, letting Bailey come over and stay with us, to keep Youngest company.
I’m not sure how any of us would have gotten through those tough days without Bailey. He was better than any antidepressant. His love was unconditional, steadfast and priceless.
Bailey was truly one of those special little guy. It wasn’t love at first sight…but it is forever.