My sweet Bailey,
I have written about you so many times on this blog: your antics, your unconditional love, and your precious neediness.
I have rubbed your head so many times as I wrote on this blog, on my book, and just anytime you came over for a head scratch.
I have snuggled with you on countless occasions. When the world felt too mean, my dreams felt too big, or my abilities felt too small.
I have hugged you more times than I can count. Your strong and steady presence like balm to my soul.
But now you are gone. My sweet Bay. You are gone. And the world just doesn’t feel right. I am writing about you, but you are not here to rub, or to snuggle or to hug.
You always came when I cried. Always. You were like an emotional savant. You just knew the moment my tears started to fall and you came running; ready to be hugged. But you are not here. And I miss you so much.
It’s not fair. You were the happiest, sweetest girl. You did not deserve to die because of something weird you ate that got lodged in your stomach.
I am so sorry that we didn’t realized it sooner. We all (even 3 vets) thought you had a stomach bug, an intestinal infection. Not a deadly obstruction.
You came through surgery so well. You were such a fighter. We were all so hopeful.
Infection started raging and your body couldn’t fight anymore. And we had to say goodbye.
Bailey, this house is so quiet without you. You were like the heartbeat of this house. You were always here. Always loving. Always ready to please. And oh how you pleased us. No dog has ever brought a family more joy.
You fiercely loved the kids. You endured dress-up sessions, dance parties, hugs, being tucked into bed with covers and all, outdoor baths, stray cats being welcomed into your backyard, and questionable homemade dog treats. You had your moments with Andrew…nipping at his butt to get him to play, trying to steal his blanket every chance you had, and stealing his socks. You treated him like your true sibling-and he loved it!
Thank you for loving my son.
Thank you for being my daughter’s protector. She felt so safe with you in the house. She knew you would never let anything happen to her.
Thank you for being such a good friend to my husband. You were his outside buddy. He loved being outdoors with you, as well as laying on the sofa petting your upturned belly. You knew when he needed you to be playful and when he needed you to be quiet with him. You really were that man’s best friend.
And thank you for being my constant companion these last 6 and a half years. We spent every day together. You knew I hate to be alone in the house. And so you stayed close all day. You made sure I could see you. You barked at any perceived trouble (even if that trouble was in the form of a deer outside) You made sure I took writing breaks, that I exercised, that I laughed.
You are gone and it hurts. You are gone and my heart is broken. You are gone and I don’t understand why. You are gone and I miss you. My kids are heartbroken. They are confused and hurting. They miss their Poochie and they cry for you-they cry for themselves.
We miss you sweet girl and right now it feels hard to breathe. The pain feels too intense, the house too quiet-our grief too loud.
I remember the day you brought me this:
And I determine to pray. Granted, I yell a little in my prayer, and I cry a lot. But I pray.
I remember the time you plopped your head on my Bible during my quiet time:
And I find myself running to God’s Word and laying my head on its pages, pleading with God to fill the void with His truth and comfort.
I remember the day you befriended Foxy the cat:
And I go snuggle her (so not the same) but I am reminded of you and somehow feel closer to you.
I remember the day you sat at this closed door for an hour, not realizing the one next to it was open…
and I ask God to lead me through the next open door. I cry at the door that has been closed, but trust another one will one day open.
I remember the day you had to wear the cone of shame:
And how you felt like your world had ended. Then the joy you experienced when the cone came off.
I realize that the cone of grief is blinding me to hope, and it feels like I will wear this burden forever, but one day the grief will lessen and the cone will come off.
I remember the day you laid down in my lap exhausted and just needing to know I was there:
And I ask God to let me lay in His lap and reassure me that He is still there.
Bailey, how is it possible to have learned so much from a dog? You were one of the greatest teachers I have ever known. Thank you for preparing me for the day you would leave this earth. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for being with me every day for the past 6 and 1/2 years. Thank you for being my best friend, my writing buddy, and my furry tissue when I cried. I wish I could hug you right now sweet girl.
I miss seeing you just outside the door as I write (which is probably why I’m not in my office)
(you had no problem sleeping while I worked!)
You will never be forgotten Bay. The kids have created a memorial by your food bowl. It will stay for awhile. They need to feel close to you in some way, and this is how they’ve chosen to do it. (I hope you have an infinite supply of tennis balls in heaven!)
Thank you Bailey Rose Bleakley for being our furry child and best friend. You were one in a million and while our hearts are broken, we rejoice at having loved and been loved by you!
Until we snuggle again……
Your eternally grateful family
And just to help me smile I like to remember these moments too: