Those of us who love dogs like humans, may connect with this. If you know me, and follow my website or Bailey’s Blog or have ever come to my home, you know what this mess of a dog meant to my heart. And if you aren’t a crazy dog lover like I am, that’s ok too, but always remember, pain is pain, and we all can connect with others’ pain. So today, I want to share my heart and mind, as I sit here with tears streaming down on my hands as I type. But, they are good tears! Because while I hurt so deeply, I know I had to do the right thing on Sunday and say goodbye. This is as much therapeutic for me as it is a celebration of a beautiful 12 years with my precious Bailey.
When you don’t have children (and even if you do), a dog fills that role. They are on your mind, in some capacity, 24/7. The things we do, all For the Love of a Dog! Maybe you don’t shop for a Jeep because your dog loves them, or buy new couches to match your dog’s hair to hide the shedding, or carpet your entire stairs in a designer friendly fashion so she isn’t scared of slipping- or maybe you do. And, all of these things are For the Love of a Dog.
Bailey and I have been through more than a lot together, she never left my side through starting a new career, marriage, divorce, starting my own practice (think Jerry McGuire moment), and the happiest and darkest of times. Her love was unconditional, no judgment, full trust and respect (well I like to tell myself this at least..ha), and tail always wagging even if I left to get the mail for 20 seconds.
I’ll never forget the day I walked her to Puckett’s in Downtown Franklin, ordered breakfast and tied her leash to my chair. Next thing I know, while taking a big bite of a biscuit and sipping some sweet tea (don’t judge), a squirrel runs in front of us. The entire restaurant looked out the window laughing as she chased it down the road, with a metal chair bouncing down the asphalt making all sorts of commotion. I’ll hold on to these memories forever and look for the little laughs in the midst of the tears.
And, I wouldn’t trade a single day of it for the world. No way. Over this past week, as I’ve been agonizing when it was time, my Dad’s words gave me the clarity I needed. “Son, she has been your best friend for 12 years, it’s time that you are hers, and make the tough decision.” I just needed a couple of days to talk to her, love on her, and tell her I wasn’t giving up on her and would never leave her. I needed to see in her eyes that it was ok. Today, she went out peacefully eating a M&M McFlurry and peanut butter crackers- doing what she does best. I read to her the book “Dog Heaven” and assured her when she woke up, there would be squirrels and fields and little children and all of her human friends waiting to love on her. As I grieve over the coming days/months/years/lifetime, I will challenge myself to make this about a celebration of her life, and the life she put into me during the tough times. Thanks to all of you who have been supporting me through this, and we will all miss you and love you Bailey Adams.
Thank you sweet girl for making me a more loving and stronger person, and I’ll never forget your crazy a@#! I know you will be looking down on me as I try to share more of my heart, and probably haunt this new puppy when the time is right. But you know you will always be my first love, and have set the bar so high, and I’ll continue to honor your memory in every way, all For the Love of..not just a dog…my best friend.