Monday, May 23, 2016

Bailey My Dog And Work Companion

My dog Bailey died this weekend. It was very unexpected. Saturday after a brushing and back massage he suddenly became lethargic and lost most of the use of his back legs. He is a yellow lab and one of our first thoughts was possible hip dysplasia. Over the course of several hours he worsened until we finally brought him to the emergency clinic. We were stunned to learn he had a tumor on his spleen that was bleeding. He's always been a pretty healthy dog. Overnight they stabilized him and we brought him home. I was not ready to have him put down. He seemed much better and we were given medications to use. We were told he would die from this eventually but it could be months before another bleed occurred. Not an hour after getting home he became sicker and sicker and by nighttime a decision was made to take him back in to get the shot and end things. I didn't go. I wasn't fully on board with the decision and I didn't want to grieve in public. That sounds selfish and probably is. I said goodbye at home laying on the floor with him.

I had him for about 9 years and he was 11 years old. He was my work companion every day. I had taught him how to pick things up and hand them to me as it is hard for me to bend my knees. He did it cheerfully time after time. He loved sniffing all the new smells only he could smell every time I brought new inventory into the house. More than once he had to deal with a sudden toppling of a death pile (you all know what I mean). Working from home we spent every day together. Today I will try to use the work to move forward but my ears ring with the silence.

I never realized the huge hole he would leave in my life and the grief I would feel. Below is a recent picture I took. He is modeling a vintage accordion fence I was listing :)

Edited to add:

As I get through this day I keep hearing little noises and my brain automatically thinks Bailey. I decided to write a little list like people do about themselves except about Bailey. So here are 10 things you didn't know about Bailey.

1. He loved to give people a lick or a poke. He couldn't pass by a person without a quick lick or nudge of his nose. It drove me nuts at first :)

2. He knew lots of words. One that made people laugh was "personal space". If he was hovering around begging for attention too much all I had to say was 'personal space' and he'd go lay down. He knew all the basics. Down, sit, stay (wasn't the best at staying). 

3. He didn't like fruit or veggies. 

4. He was a lab but had no apparent hunting instinct. Bunnies, squirrels, birds would not cause him a second glance or even a first glance really. He loved people though and other dogs. 

5. He got very anxious riding in cars. It made it hard to take him anywhere. He would pant and pace and drool and whine. Once stumbling around he put my flashers on  and bumped the gear shift into another gear. Oops. After that I put a seat belt on him. 

6. He didn't really like to play. He'd chase a ball once or twice and that was it. He loved to walk though and just be pet. 

7. When he ate he'd go to his bowl sniff it and walk away, rinse repeat several times. He'd rarely commit after the first sniff unless I was cooking. Then his appetite seemed to get the best of him and he'd start right in. 

8. He had yellow hair

9. He liked to dance.

10. He'd high five you if you asked.