Friday, January 25, 2013

A Best Friend Named Bailey

Bailey camping in MN 2012
Well... it has been a really long time since my last blog post.  However, that doesn't mean that there has not been much to report on.  Our lives have been quite packed full of interesting events over the past few months- both good and bad.  Perhaps I was procrastinating writing the post because I did not want to admit that it had truly happened.  But alas, our Bailey deserves a blog post of his own.
Picture Perfect! 
Car trip to Ohio
As many of you know, Bailey our nine year old (almost ten) golden retriever was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer a mere week and a half after unexpectedly losing our 6 year-old puppy, Kona, last July. He was rushed in for immediate surgery and they removed a very large tumor in his spleen, but at the time, it looked hopeful since the cancer had not visibly spread to his liver or other organs.  After the surgery, Bailey was like a spring chicken!  He was back to his old frisbee-loving self.  Our hopes were high.  The vet explained to us the six month test:  If the cancer came back in the next six months, it would be bad news. If it did not show within six months, it probably never would. Well, in December we noticed some gradual changes in Bailey and realized something was wrong.  The cancer was back just shy of the six month mark.  We were crushed. We painfully had to put our best friend to sleep on January 7, 2013.
As we reminisced about Bailey, there were many smiles and fond memories.  We adopted Bailey from the Longmont Humane Society only a year and a half into our relationship.  When we first brought him home, we thought there was something very wrong, as he had not pooped in over a week  Just when we began to really worry, we realized that we were just watching too intently, and well, he was...bashful.
Bailey with his soul-mate, Daisy
He made us a family. He showed us what it was to live.  He loved life.  He loved to play.  He loved to love. He loved to hike, swim, play ball at the dog park, and in more recent years, LOVED his frisbee. He would often whine to play multiple times a day, even when he did not feel well.  He went with us on MANY camping trips where he had reign of the campground, exploring and running through the Colorado mountains, a true free-spirit. He accompanied us on many daily walks.  He loved to run around, chase the squirrels (and deer), but always stayed close by- loyal as ever. He tried to rule the roost by chasing all the birds and squirrels from his yard. We joke that he was a well-traveled dog, as he made several trips to and from Colorado and Iowa and then this past June, I took Bailey with me for a week vacation in Ohio where we spent each day romping in the Cleveland Metroparks and running through the waterfalls of Olmsted Falls.  He was truly in his element!
What a good big brother... 
When our friends and family think of Bailey, however, I think many would remember just how loving he was.  He would constantly nudge you for a stroke and wanted to be the center of attention.  He was a very loved pet, companion, and family member who lived a very full, eventful life.  We will miss him more than we can often express. We miss you, Bailey and will love you always.  You continue to complete us.

1 comment:

  1. Les,

    This blog brought tears to my eyes. Bailey reminds me so very much of our dog Lily. Now a dog owner myself, I realize just how very, very special dogs can become in our lives if we let them. Losing an animal is a sorrow unto itself. As I mentioned on FB, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of a beloved family member. He truly was a beauty both inside and out.