Remembering Bailey

Today started off terribly. I was very cranky when my 4 yr old complained his way into my room and almost woke the baby- who had woke me up an hour earlier. I whisked him out of the room and we sat in the dark on the couch. That is when I heard a sound. A panting sound- but not the normal kind. So I followed it to the dining room and turned up the light a little and found Bailey, my 7.5 yr old dog laying under the chairs, struggling to breathe. He didn't respond when I called his name. I was a litte scared to touch him incase he was in some sort of seizure, but I got my husband up and Bailey responded a bit, and when I did pet his head he calmed down a bit. Less than an hour later he was gone. I was getting breakfast for the baby and the other boys were at the table eating and my husband was looking over at the dog when ran over and threw the baby into my arms. He tried to get him to start breathing again, but it wasn't any use., The vet office had just opened and we were about to call, he probably wouldn't have made the trip though.

This dog has caused me a lot of worry lately. He has been groaning more when resting and last month we took him to the vet when he wouldn't put weight on his back leg. It was swollen. X-rays showed bad joints, arthritis and his tumors. He had tumors ALL over him, some small and some LARGE. The vet tested them- the big ones- and they were fat. The one on his bad leg was blood. But we were told it was good- not cancer, and would heal. He has had his bad and good days in the past month. A few weeks ago, he was laying in the middle of the yard, wouldn't move. The temps were dropping and he moved into the back corner of the yard. I had to go out and pull him up and guide him in. Last week he slipped in the mud and couldn't get up at first. Sunday he scared me completely when we pulled into the driveway and were about to get out of the car and he was jumping all around with the others and suddenly his front legs bent and he fell forward, when I got to the fence he looked disoreinted but recovered fine and was up and happy in a minute. Yesterday he was fine. Today he is not fine.

Bailey was my baby. We got him about a month before we got married back in 2000. He was the runt of the litter. So, so small. He went everywhere with us. We took him to swim in the lake, to visit my husband's G'ma, Dessie, hiking on a 12 hour trip to OK, he slept in bed with us up until our 2nd child was born. He knew when I was sad and would come and sit with me. He protected us and slept under the crib when we brought our first son home from the hospital. He knew how to communicate with us. From pawing at the door to cocking his head to the side and sneezing and snorting to tell me he wanted the scraps on the table. He was not just a dog.

My oldest cried for about an hour with me. My 4 yr old said 'we can get a new dog' and 'why are you sad?' my 2 yr old yelled at me when he asked where his daddy took Bailey. He yelled he's NOT gone and that he wanted to see him. The ground was frozen, and I couldn't bear the thought of him buried in the back yard so we called around and found a crematory....and just the thought make the knot in my stomach harder.

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