Bailey

July 15, 2014

culture, Freshly Pressed

When I found Bailey at the pound, he was so malnourished that the Humane Society mis-identified him as a hound dog – just a depressed pile of bones and droopy skin. He could only walk about 15 feet at a time before he’d need to stop and rest for a moment.

Then, as we fed him and exercised him he grew. And grew. I went from being able to pick him up and put him in the back of the car to, well, having to just swear at him helplessly if he didn’t feel like getting in. This was 12 years ago. He’d eventually get to about 150 pounds, almost no fat. His dog bed was a twin mattress.

He was never an easy dog. Not even the rosiest of glasses could paint that image. He was protective and bad with strangers and would shed baffling amounts. More than once he lunged at something while on-leash, and pulled me completely off my feet.

He would refuse to pee. God, I would get so insanely mad at him out in the dog run – in the cold, or rain. I just wanted him to get on with it. I knew he needed to go, yet he was refusing to partake in a function so basic it’s practically involuntary. Then, when he’d acquiesced, he turn in circles. Endlessly. At one point I began to imagine that he had some weird doggie ritual that required him to add one spin every time he pooped.

We went on countless camping trip, hikes, and picnics. He saw some amazing places. And if we went without him somewhere, he was devastated. He was always too smart and too sensitive for his own good. He would be despondent before the first suitcase was out of the closet. He was so loving to us, though. Standing there with his head on the bed, me reading and petting his head. I bet I could count on my fingers the number of times in 12 years he didn’t greet me at the door when I came home, tail wagging, often letting out a deep, happy howl.

He loved the water, he hated sprinklers. He had a bark that terrified those who heard it, but he would whimper helplessly if he needed to go down the hall and a cat was in his way. He loved to chase hunks of wood, but mostly so he could take it in to the grass and chew through it. He loved popcorn. He hated fireworks. He loved our other dog Clancy, and would not abide for a moment any dog that messed with him. He was, I guess, a dog. He was my dog.

Today he’s gone. Today when my daughter inevitably dropped part of her breakfast, no one was waiting, expectantly, to grab it. Today, when my wife got up, no one led her in, announcing her arrival to the living room. I feel sad when I expect him to be there and he’s not, and I feel worse during the parts of the day that are easier because he’s gone. I feel the weight of guilt for… who knows. Nothing.  Everything. For the times he came and sat in a room simply because I was there and I didn’t even say hello; and because he trusted me absolutely but one of the last things I had to say to him, as the vet came in with the syringe, was a lie: “It’s going to be okay.”

He drove me crazy. He cost a fortune to feed. The doorbell ringing set him going like a firestorm. I had to time my walks with him when I was reasonably sure no one else would be out walking.

And all I want right now – all I want – is to get to take him out in the dog-run one more time, and say, “Take as long as you need, buddy. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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151 Comments on “Bailey”

  1. Morgan Says:

    Bless You for taking him in and loving him!

    Reply

  2. mistyslaws Says:

    I am so sorry, B-man. I’ve been there. It is tough. I’m glad you got to be his person and he your good boy. This was a very nice tribute to your very own best friend.

    Reply

  3. k8edid Says:

    I am bawling as I type…when I got my Shelby from the rescue organization, one of my first thoughts was that I would lose her some day. I love this tribute – it is perfect in many ways. I am sorry for your loss but so glad that you had his love and devotion, and vice versa.

    Reply

  4. suzie81speaks Says:

    I’m so sorry. I lost my elderly cat a few months ago – she was just as frustrating as you described Bailey to be on occasions but there hasn’t been a day that has passed that I haven’t missed her… He was lucky to find you. All the best.

    Reply

  5. talesfromahungrylife Says:

    Ah yes the guilt…I remember it well. In all the ways that mattered, you made everything better. And believe it or not, if he’s not suffering now, it is okay. Great post.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      The best I can figure is the guilt stems from the animal having such total faith in you, and you somehow failing to protect them forever. And, of course, the countless times you took them for granted or moments of frustration where you thought about how much easier things would be if they weren’t around.

      Reply

      • talesfromahungrylife Says:

        I understand perfectly! When my chocolate lab had to be put to sleep, I tortured myself with the same thoughts. I still think about what I could’ve done to change things (and she died 7 years ago!) But in the end, it was beyond my ability to fix. It sounds to me like Bailey had a great life, and maybe he’s taught us to be a little bit more patient…with our pets and ourselves.

        Reply

  6. Maggie O'C Says:

    I’m sorry and you got me crying at work. Dogs are the best. I have a giant like yours who will swim the Columbia but won’t go out in the rain and is scared of the cat. He’s a good dawg and you gave him a good life. Everyone who loves dogs dreads this day. You did good.

    Reply

  7. Elyse Says:

    You gave him a wonderful life that he wouldn’t have had. He was a lucky guy. After I lost my shepherd Goliath (who looked very much like Bailey) I cried every time I picked up a Cheerio that my then 1-year old dropped. There are things you just shouldn’t have to clean up.

    Thanks for reminding me that dog-loving isn’t all perfect. We just adopted a rescue puppy and I will think of Bailey (and Goliath and Charlie and Cooper) every time I want to throttle him.

    My heart goes out to you and your wife. And to your daughter who will someday only know pictures.

    Reply

  8. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    A wonderful tribute to a good friend. You were his good friend too and you gave him a much better life than he had in his earlier life. My sympathies.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That’s one thing about shelter animals – you often get glimpses of a previous life that seems pretty terrible. Bailey, early on, was terrified of men wearing hats. Who knows why.

      Reply

  9. pensitivity101 Says:

    My thoughts are with you, as are all other dog owners who know exactly where you are right now.
    Bailey knew he was loved, and he knew it was going to be Ok, just as you told him. Sadly, we have to make the decisions that are best for our loved ones, not for us. It hurts. It goes with the territory. But knowing that, doesn’t make it any easier.

    Reply

  10. Seafarr Says:

    i understand as I have two loving dogs I would be devastated to lose and I know one day I will have to.

    Reply

  11. Shay Says:

    I am sobbing. This is a beautiful piece, I think you should send it to a local publication. All of us Bendites love our dogs

    Reply

  12. donofalltrades Says:

    Sorry to hear about your big boy, Bman. I’m dreading my 13 year old leaving this planet for greener pastures before I’m ready for it as well. Funny how aggravating they can be, but they sure do make life better somehow. The circling before the poop part is classic. That’s my jojo right there. I’ve wanted to strangle her before, but I’m going to be just a little more patient with her from now on. For Bailey’s sake.

    Reply

  13. Paul George Eberlein Says:

    A life saved and then lost is still a life to be cherished. When the time comes for a new dog, the love you learned to give Bailey will continue, paid forward to his successor.

    Reply

  14. Go Jules Go Says:

    Oh, I’m so, so sorry. This was a beautiful tribute to a dog whose frame could be overshadowed only by his (and his owners’) heart(s)!

    Reply

  15. toni596 Says:

    Wonderful tribute and spoke to all the things I experienced with my Dobie, Captain. If there is a god in the universe, we will see them again.

    Reply

  16. peninda Says:

    Thank you for writing this, for letting us share your loss and pain. For me this post has real meaning.

    Reply

  17. Transitioning Mom Says:

    How special was his life that he got to share it with you, and how richly he rewarded your rescue. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  18. Jay E. Says:

    Too many feels!

    Reply

  19. Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. Says:

    Beautiful photo, perfect companion, heartwarming remembrances.

    Reply

  20. Michelle Becker Says:

    I’m so sorry for you. The pet thing is a deeply emotional connection, especially dogs, who seem to intuit your emotions. No dogs here, but, this evening, we took Benazir, our ancient, 12 yr.old chicken, off the roost to come out and play with the other 45 chickens. She ate some whole wheat bread, a few leaves of grass, and then was ammenable to being put back on the roost. Her days are numbered, as are our own…..but we get the larger numbers, it’s a bitch.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      One of the hard things, too, is the way many people often genuinely can’t understand what it is you’re so sad about. As if you lost a commodity, instead of a companion.

      Reply

  21. Taswegian1957 Says:

    Your post made me cry. The hardest thing about having pets is losing them.

    Reply

  22. apotts31 Says:

    I still look to the landing where my big guy once kept watch as if he might suddenly be there once again. My heart goes out to your family. May he live long in your hearts and memory.

    Reply

  23. Jessica | Defining Wonderland Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, B-Man. We went through the same thing last year and it’s just heartbreaking. There sure are some great dogs out there and yours was a wonderful tribute to one of them.

    Reply

  24. geralynwichers Says:

    Aww, I’m so sorry.

    Reply

  25. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface Says:

    Animals always love us and always leave us. I’m very sorry. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  26. Sarah Day Says:

    So sorry you lost your pal. It’s alway so hard to say good-bye.

    Reply

  27. List of X Says:

    A big dog with an even bigger paw print on you. I’m sorry about Bailey.

    Reply

  28. Simple Heart Girl Says:

    Reading your wonderful post about your dog made me miss mine. She’s been gone almost 4 years and I STILL miss her. Whenever I see someone walking their dog I can’t help but think of her. I miss walking her. So sorry for your loss. I know the feeling all too well.

    Reply

  29. Life With The Top Down Says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of Bailey. It sounds like he made your life very full…in more ways than one.

    Reply

  30. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    Aw B-Man, I’m so sorry for your loss. This brought tears to my eyes. 😦 You did a beautiful thing though, saving him. Hugs.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      At the time, it was between him and this peppy golden lab. We would often wonder how different that would have been… “but then we wouldn’t have had Bailey” was always where the conversation concluded.

      Reply

  31. pensitivity101 Says:

    To all pet owners in this situation, look up Rainbow Bridge (author unknown), something I was told about and referred to in my post ‘waiting’ (19.11.2013)

    Reply

  32. Sandy Sue Says:

    Part of the family is gone. I understand.

    Reply

  33. Judah First Says:

    I’m crying and I don’t even own a dog! But I imagine losing one of my kitties this way would also be devastating. Beautiful tribute!

    Reply

  34. Dana Says:

    So beautiful and sad. We lost our rottie/shepherd cross over 4 years ago, and I still cry when I think about her. My heart goes out to you.

    Reply

  35. pegoleg Says:

    Oh, I’m sorry for your loss. Bailey’s chasing squirrels in heaven now.

    Reply

  36. remediator Says:

    I always knew you were smarter, funnier, and better looking than I am. Now you’ve shown you are more loving too. Well at least I’ll always be older.

    Reply

  37. Lorna's Voice Says:

    You didn’t lie to Bailey, B Man. Everything is fine for him. He’s in your heart. What safer and happier place could your pal be?

    Reply

  38. susielindau Says:

    Bailey sounds like he will be missed.

    Reply

  39. Lorien Says:

    Oh God. I’m heartbroken for you, and so touched by your story. You gave him all that he could hope for–a new lease on life, an opportunity to thrive and genuine love in a caring and supportive family. But knowing all that probably doesn’t help too much right now, because there is definitely a visceral sense of loss when someone so close is suddenly not there any more. I wish you all the time in the world to process your grief, patience with the mourning process, courage to mend your heart, faith in the way of things…

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Thanks. The strange part is the way I’ll keep seeing him out of the corner of my eye, because my brain fills him in where he “should” be. Thanks for the help, brain.

      Reply

  40. Every Record Tells A Story Says:

    *sad face*
    Lovely tribute….

    Reply

  41. Warm Southern Breeze Says:

    What a bunch of crap. Now, I’m gonna’ cry. Thanks for nothing.

    Reply

  42. She's a Maineiac Says:

    So sorry for your loss, B-man. He sounds like such a special dog. Your post made me cry.

    I often talk with my kids about my pound puppy Princess, and I tell them she was my best friend, a true angel on earth. She’s been gone over 23 years and I still think of her all the time. The thing that makes me smile is I know she was surrounded by lots of love and I was blessed to have her all those years.

    Reply

  43. mindofahummingbird Says:

    That was beautifully written. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing. As I read, I felt like I was reading my own story with my rescue pup Anna. She is 10 now and I fear the day when my life will change forever, when we inevitably will have to part. Xoxo

    Reply

  44. pithypants Says:

    They do become family, don’t they? Sometimes it is only in their absence that the full beauty of a thing can be appreciated. So sorry for your loss – it sounds like you had an awesome companion and provided a very fine life for Bailey.

    Reply

  45. Col Says:

    I read this with our dog Beau at my feet. Before we got him, I’d have had little idea what you were on about. Now we have him, I think you got it spot on. Sorry.

    Reply

  46. TheCrazyBagLady Says:

    i’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he had a happy life together with you and the family.

    Reply

  47. natella111 Says:

    It is so touching… I can feel your grief. I hope Bailey rests peacefully in doggy-heaven…

    Reply

  48. Peach, Plum, Orange Says:

    The worst part about having a pet is knowing that they will leave this place before us. Sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  49. Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews) Says:

    you are a sweet soul – and I know precisely how you feel. for whatever aggravation our rescues cause (and it can be PLENTY), I would miss every annoying moment if they were gone. hang in there. it gets easier (and worse) and easier again

    Reply

  50. LucyBre Says:

    I’m so sorry, only yesterday I realised how old my own dog is getting. Sometimes we take dogs for granted x

    Reply

  51. ravenna42 Says:

    Even though I had a feeling I knew where this was going when I started reading, there was no stopping the tears as soon as you said he was gone. Amazing story told with beautiful words. I am incredibly sorry for your loss, but am happy to know you saved his life and gave him 12 wonderful years. ❤

    Reply

  52. franhunne4u Says:

    Sorry for your loss. Have lost a pet 2011. “Just a cat” – in case you are a dog owner who despises cats – and she was sick and was not with me for the same amount your Bailey has been with you. But it hurts like hell. Every single time we go through this.

    You will get a new one, won’t you? Not today, not this month, maybe not even this year, take your time to grieve a little, you have lost a family member … But you have the right attitude for a dog owner and there is another stray or rescue dog out there that will need you – and I hope you will cross his path and remember you once crossed the path of Bailey and what a difference you made for this dog.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      No, no – it’s the companionship, not the breed. We have a couple cats. We lost one last year and it felt like time. We lost another one years ago, and it was devastating.

      Reply

  53. gigimalvira Says:

    Your story made me cry, it’s a beautiful story, it remind me of my dog he passed away 5 months ago. I’m sorry for your lost.

    Reply

  54. rhonwynalyna Says:

    My heart goes out to you. I had to put one of mine to sleep last year. Boo frustrated me like nothing else could but every tine my son fussed he came to get me. Each and every visitor was loved. No yard could keep him in. I miss him, too. Take care. No other dog will replace yours, I know.

    Reply

  55. wakingofthebear Says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, although it doesn’t appear that your blog needed the boost.

    Reply

  56. nanashirl Says:

    Loved what you wrote-I too was owned by a rescue Boxer-he came to “here boy” so his name was Boi. I didn’t have a lot of years with him because of the condition he was in when he was rescued-it took its toll on him, but the years we had were good ones. He knew he was loved as soon as he got in my truck and entered my house where three other boxers cautiously greeted him. For all our babies running free over that Rainbow Bridge-we miss y’all.

    Reply

  57. Therese Lu Says:

    You put into words all the feelings I had when I lost my Bruce. I wrote about him too in my blog, but I guess even in writing I try to mask the pain behind some humour. It’s been almost a year since he passed and your post still strikes a chord. Thank you for sharing. http://thislittlepiggysaidso.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/gentle-giant-2/

    Reply

  58. obzervashunal Says:

    You chose him when you didn’t have to, and somewhere, somehow, he knew this and was grateful for you. I feel your loss, but also your love for an amazing spirit who came to stay in your life for a while. Where ever he is now, I’ll bet you you are what he talks about most…

    Reply

  59. sunshine chaser Says:

    What a wonderful tribute. You were lucky to have each other.

    Reply

  60. Susan Says:

    What a beautiful tribute! You gave Bailey 12 years of love he wouldn’t otherwise have had, and he gave you 12 years of the same. Sadly, the lifespan of our dogs and cats is always going to be shorter than ours, but that makes their time spent with us all the more precious, doesn’t it? You are sad now, but inside you know how much sadder your life would have been if you had left him in the pound and never shared his life. Wishing you comfort in your sorrow.

    Reply

  61. cg Says:

    I know how you feel, about your dog. Mine is 18. She takes forever to pee when it’s snowing outside.

    Reply

  62. Carole Parkes Says:

    Too moved to write more.

    Reply

  63. robertlampros Says:

    Thanks for sharing about him. Great dogs are like one of the family, irreplaceable. Those beautiful memories will never die though, and believe it or not, he’s way happier now.

    Reply

  64. landonpayne Says:

    That was absolutely beautiful. My condolences to you and your family. Bailey was handsome and you painted an incredibly moving picture to describe his personality!

    Reply

  65. landonpayne Says:

    Reblogged this on Landon Knows Best and commented:
    Beautiful tribute from a man to his best friend. So moving.

    Reply

  66. Adrian Petry Says:

    Reblogged this on not so private history and commented:
    Dedicated. I am terrified of the day when I write my post about Baxter.

    Reply

  67. akulgoel Says:

    Reblogged this on AKUL GOEL and commented:
    Wish I had a Dog like that

    Reply

  68. Stacey Bender Says:

    A wonderfully written tribute to your Bailey. He is still with you, somewhere.

    Reply

  69. heatherbcosta Says:

    Having loved and lost many canine companions, i feel your pain.

    Reply

  70. Students of Merlin Says:

    He loves your post. Even though you can’t see him he still there going crazy when the door rings. I hope I’m not speaking out of turn… I just can feel him wanting to know this. Mx

    Reply

  71. suzie81speaks Says:

    When I read this the first time I hoped it would be Freshly Pressed. A beautiful post…

    Reply

  72. alesiablogs Says:

    Precious. I am dealing with an older dog right now. He has got me through a brain tumor, loss of a marriage, and loneliness. He is my best pal. I get this. I truly do. Hang in there.

    Reply

  73. Mountain Gypsy Says:

    You have truly struck a chord with many. It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so opposite on so many topics but bring in a rescued dog (or cat) and suddenly everyone can relate and agree at some level. Your kindness, compassion, determination, patience and unconditional love for your beloved Bailey is something just about everyone can relate to. We understand the loss, the emptiness and the void in your life(s) now.
    This is a great piece of writing and you have given Bailey a wonderful tribute. I hope that there will be another rescued dog in your future, every dog looking for a home should be as lucky as Bailey was to find you.

    Reply

  74. Ke'ala Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m heartbroken for you. You gave him a wonderful life & I’m sure he’s very grateful for you & your family.

    Reply

  75. Gurpreet Anand Says:

    Reblogged this on Carpe Diem, Sieze the day & enjoy the moment and commented:
    Reminded me of Jack and the wonderful times spent with him!

    Reply

  76. ssbbwbipolarmama Says:

    So sorry for your loss

    Reply

  77. stvrsnbrgr Says:

    Bailey never knew one moment of disappointment with you, not one. You even let him spin in the rain. And you’ll never forget him. We keep what we give.

    Reply

  78. MiryMosey Says:

    This is a beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing it. You didn’t lie to him, when we was young you saved him from suffering, and now you’ve saved him from suffering again. Thank you.

    Reply

  79. jtbv Says:

    I haven’t had the privilege (yet!) to experience the incredible bond between a human and his dog firsthand, but I believe it’s one that no bond between humans can rival.
    It’s a truly unbreakable bond that based a completely unconditional love.

    I once read about a story about a vet who had to put down a dog while a child was present. What happened next gives so much food for thought that I would like to share this story with you here.
    while the specifics of the story unfortunately have faded, it went something like this:

    The child and his dog had been inseparable ever since the child was born.
    Unfortunately, after a few years, disaster struck and the dog had to be put to sleep.
    After much deliberation the parents decide it was best for the kid to be there when the dog would breath it’s last breath.

    When the vet was about to give the dog the injection, some words were spoken about how sad it was that lives of dogs are shorter than human lives. When the kid heard this he said something that left both the parents and the vet wondering:

    The kid said that the purpose of life is to live a good life. Humans live a long time because they need many years to figure out how to live such a good life.
    Dogs, however, already know how to live a good life, that’s why they are only on this earth for a couple of years.

    I wish you all the strength you need in the time to come,
    warm regards,
    Jonatan

    —————————————————————————————
    I just started my blog called “charisma on fire”
    In my blog I hope to teach others how to have fun and meaningful interactions with everyone they meet without feeling awkward, so perhaps we can come a little closer to the bond that exists between a human and his dog.

    It would mean a lot to me if you dropped by, perhaps read my first post about who I am and why I started my blog.

    If I left you curious, you can find my blog here:
    http://charismaonfire.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  80. tokyomike55 Says:

    I’m not one to squirt tears much, so it’s a good thing I read this in Starbucks and had to hold them back, otherwise I would be blubbering right now. Beautifully written. So sorry you had to say goodbye to him. He sounded awesome.

    Reply

  81. L. Rolyat Says:

    Oh, my glasses have misted up. Dogs have a sneaky way of worming their way into our hearts and changing our lives forever. I love the way you have told this happy-sad story and truly feel for your loss.

    Reply

  82. buffalogrl25 Says:

    This is beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have two dogs now, but still mourn my now passed on loves. It is the hardest thing in the world, but remember how wonderful and special you made his life. And how he did the same in return. I am also a firm believer that if there is a Heaven, all dogs go to Heaven. So you’ll see Bailey again.

    Oh, and Rocky spins at least five times counterclockwise before pooping. And if he gets thrown off, the sniffing for the right spot starts all over again. So I think it is a ritual.

    Reply

  83. Browsing the Atlas Says:

    So sorry for your loss. I once heard dog trainer Cesar Milan say that dogs are not a part of the family. They are bundles of energy. But he was wrong. They are members of the family and are missed as much.

    Reply

  84. hshuppsalas Says:

    Our dogs are some of life’s richest blessings. So glad he enriched your years.

    Reply

  85. toliveandnotjustexist Says:

    No, you didn’t lie. It will be alright. Because he is free to run and be now, again, as he once was.

    It is the last true gift we give our animals. Knowing when it is time, and being strong enough to let go.

    He waits for you. With his deep howl to greet you and a pile of splinters at his feet. He waits, ever patient.

    Reply

  86. sulabha1649 Says:

    I have always sheltered strays and now my home is theirs as my husband too adores them. They have enriched our lives thousand fold. We feel as blessed as you do in the company of your cherished friend and companion.n

    Reply

  87. pixe123 Says:

    That was a great tribute I also fear that my dog Ellie will leave me I hope that day isn’t soon.. Sorry for your great loss

    Reply

  88. itsmayurremember Says:

    Reblogged this on It's Mayur Remember? and commented:
    For the dog I never met, yet I know him profoundly- Bailey

    Reply

  89. telitru Says:

    Dogs are a reflection of their owners, they say, but sometimes I think I am reflecting my dog more than the other way around. Whenever we lose a friend, like Bailey, it is tough. The memories are great, though and if we are lucky we learn to be friends to our human friends like we were to our dog friends, minus the tail wags. : )

    Reply

  90. Kerinm49 Says:

    Looks like heaven to me:)

    Reply

  91. creativeconfessions Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. This is an incredible story and thank you very much for sharing it with us. 🙂

    Reply

  92. Sheeba Moghal Says:

    Maybe things were meant to be that way? Maybe has taken him on purpose? You were like an angel to him. Angels don’t stay longer. I faced the similar fate with my parrot.

    Reply

  93. silkpurseproductions Says:

    Tears are running down my face. I am so sorry for your loss. Bailey was obviously much more than “just” a dog. He was family. Family we tend to love with all their scars, habits and baggage they come with. We can’t help ourselves. You gave Bailey life, love and family. That’s all anyone needs.

    Reply

  94. abirhe Says:

    Reblogged this on midnightkxsses and commented:
    Dogs ❤

    Reply

  95. Sara Says:

    I am so sorry. It’s so incredibly hard to lose an unconditional friend. But you gave him a good life, a life he never would have had without you. You did good.

    Reply

  96. booksandmore81 Says:

    I know your feelings. Felt the same when my budgie died this year after living with us for 11 years 😦 your dog had a wonderful life with you and will always be in your heart

    Reply

  97. booksandmore81 Says:

    Reblogged this on booksandmore81 and commented:
    For everyone who had a beloved companion and lost it…

    Reply

  98. qpillowcase Says:

    I don’t have a dog, but I felt the love.

    He looks like beautiful dog ;-;

    the part about guilt – it’s like you realise that in a way, you loved helping and taking care of him like you would a kid. Of course life will be simpler, but not easier D’:

    Reply

  99. Brittany Cross Says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. I remember dog-sitting Bailey many times. He was a great dog. I especially remember all of the long walks, visits to the park, and also pleading with him to do his business. I would sometimes reason with him, like he could reason, “Bailey, you go potty right now and we will walk not once around the block, but twice!”. This tactic rarely worked, but we would still walk twice around the block. I remember Mrs. Clements very specific instructions in this area, “feed him, wait precisely 15 minutes, throw the ball for him (it helps move things along faster) and wait for the desired result”… this too rarely worked.
    But most of all, I remember simply being in the same room with him. I would be reading and he would be staring at me intently, as if to say ” Really? I’ve got this perfectly good toy here and you want to read?”. Most of the time I would read out loud to him, this seemed to calm him and still remind him that, “yes Bailey, you are still the most important thing in this room”.
    Watching Bailey was the first time someone had trusted me, solely, to care for a living being. I’m sure that I got more out it than Bailey did, so thank you for that!

    Reply

  100. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    Glad to see this one got Freshly Pressed. You and Bailey earned it.

    Reply

  101. atv333 Says:

    Awesome.. i adore your style of writing ..http://expertbloggertricks.blogspot.in

    Reply

  102. aliyahrevere Says:

    So wonderful! Its just what I needed to read on a day when my own dog is frustrating the hell out of me

    Reply

  103. popartcarolinateresita Says:

    Reblogged this on popartcarolinateresita and commented:
    Thats so sad. And very beautifully written. I am sure bailey will be watching over you.

    Reply

  104. lifewithcarly Says:

    I too am suffering with the same situation, my Bella who left our lives forever one day after her eleventh birthday. Two months on I still struggle, her cupboard still has her food and the bits I hurriedly put in their to save me from breaking down every two minutes. That cupboard is still untouched. I miss her bark at the postman, I miss her rolling across the lawn in the sun, I miss her snuggles… A beautiful tribute to your Bailey

    Reply

  105. carlagalinos Says:

    Firstly, beautiful heartfelt blog. It really is a tragic moment when Our beloved pets leave us. In my case it’s torture for days because I get extremely attached…I am so sorry for your loss. At least Bailey was blessed with such a loving caring owner like you to live out the end of his days with.

    Reply

  106. erinaleen Says:

    This is very well written. I feel like I got to know Bailey through your writing. A fine tribute.

    Reply

  107. ramsaymi Says:

    A beautiful tribute. I am reading your post while on the train (thankfully it’s quite empty) and the tears just came. It reminded me of some of the dogs I’ve had the privilege of growing up with. They drive you crazy and when their gone you miss everything about them (even the tumbleweed fur and barking at the neighbors). It sounds like Bailey had a good life though. Sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  108. ccmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on ccmanny and commented:
    Brings back memories of my first pet. A dog who followed me everywhere I went.

    Reply

  109. leahrennes Says:

    As I am wiping down the tears running down my cheeks… I am sorry for your loss. Thank you taking an animal that need help in and taking care of him.

    Reply

  110. literalnut Says:

    Omg, I am sitting in my office crying. This is too beautiful.

    Reply

  111. Lisa Shaw Says:

    A good dog never lives long enough. You didn’t lie to him: It was and it is okay. The circle of life must close for each of us, but you gave him the best trip possible and no dog could ask for more.

    Reply

  112. Culture Decanted Says:

    I can’t imagine life not being a pack. I’ve outlived my fur family before, there is no consolation or words, I’m sorry for your loss. Bailey sounds like he had a wonderful life, that started less so. I’m looking down at my rascals as I type. Dog years is a mathematical cliche, nothing makes being genetically long lived easy. I like to think dogs care more for the pack than themselves, in which case I hope you find yours again.

    Reply

  113. Lunar Euphoria Says:

    Sweet puppy. It’s so hard when the furry parts of the family pass on. Sorry for your loss.

    Reply

  114. Elyse Says:

    B-man, I just saw that you were FP’d for this warm tribute that I’d read previously. I think the WP gods love a good cry, as they did the same for my post when we lost Cooper last year.

    I hope you and your wife are bearing up. I remember reading a NY Times article that said it is harder to lose a pet than a parent as we were awaiting the inevitable. They were right.

    Reply

  115. Katherine Says:

    This hurts my heart. I wish I’d known that the last time I saw The Love of My Life would be the last time. Bailey was very special and I feel privileged to have known him and grateful that I got to be one of the ones who could lie next to him on his bed.

    Reply

  116. walkfordays Says:

    Reblogged this on Walkfordays and commented:
    Take a minute to read this

    Reply

  117. Anka Says:

    I didn’t get to leave a comment last night. Baby was crying. Anyway, I’m sorry for your loss and I hope you and your family are doing well.

    Reply

  118. mrothwarren Says:

    What a beautiful tribute, and what an honest and heartfelt description of life with an amazing but sometimes difficult dog. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  119. earthmuther Says:

    I know how you feel. Ten years later I still miss my best friend and long time companion and only want him to…well, you know don’t you.

    Reply

  120. autumnashbough Says:

    Please put a hanky rating at the top of future posts like this. (“Bailey” was at least a 3 hanky post.) My coworkers have gone past weird looks. Pretty sure they are messaging each other to see if I’m getting a pink slip.

    Lovely post. Crap. Make it 4 hankies.

    Reply

  121. allpriceautosales Says:

    Reblogged this on Used Cars Trucks SUV's For Sale in Phoenix near Tempe Scottsdale AZ. and commented:
    Now that’s a Great story and worthy of sharing Thanks

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dresses (#36) | When West Dates East - April 15, 2015

    […] “The Byronic Man” is known for his incredibly humorous blogs — like this “internet is down post,” (my personal favorite). And then I read this one about his dog Bailey. […]

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