I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Friday, March 14, 2014

The beginning of good bye to my dearest friend...

Some sunny snuggles after receiving my fur-girl's news

My best friend ever!

Still always making sure I'M ok!

How do you begin to say good bye to another part of our your life?!

My sweet Bailey has been limping off and on for a while now.  
I had hoped it would just be arthritis, or making a sprained muscle/joint.
Yet, deep inside...I had another feeling...

The vet began her examination.  Checking range of motion...perfect.  And then starting to work her way down Bailey's legs and joints.  And on the leg she has been favoring...there it was.  The yelp.  And Bailey never yelps unless she is truly sore.  She never shows signs of discomfort, because she is always so busy being so darn happy and loving.
Bailey has never EVER shown a grumpy bone in her body EVER.  

For all my girl has ever been through due to poor breeding issues, and the many times she endured painful treatments...she never stopped loving and being the most beautifully tempered dog I've ever known.

The vet hoped that where she showed the sign of discomfort would be good news.  She hoped it would be related to the joint and possibly arthritis.  But I agreed to an X-ray to be sure.

The vet tech brought Bailey back, who was so stressed and just crammed right up to my side.

The vet came back in...and I knew.  And there it was...the line I hate hearing more than ANYTHING in this world:  "I'm so sorry, it's not the news I had hoped to tell you."

And I knew.  This was the beginning of good bye.  My girl has bone cancer.

And I haven't been able to stop crying since.  

I know many people think, "oh who cares?!  It is just a dog!"

Well, this dog is more than that.

This dog NEVER left my side for WEEKS and months after my first miscarriage.  She laid on my lap while I was frozen to my couch day and night.  She licked my tears that wouldn't end.  She would look in to my eyes like she knew my pain, and all she wanted to do was take it away.

When I ended up the hospital for 5 weeks after PROM with Zac...she stuck to me like glue when I got to come home for my 5 hour daily passes.  And when I came home without either of my sons...one still fighting in NICU, the other passed to heaven...my sweet Bailey once again took her post by my side.

She watched over Evan like he was a piece of glass.  She loved him, and would walk so nicely beside my and the stroller.  Almost like SHE was the proud momma!!

She has comforted me through negative embryo transfers.  She has comforted me through our last miscarriage.  She has laid by my side and rested her head on my lap, and just brings me such comfort and peace.  She has helped me through so many moments of anxiety and frustrations.  

Her eyes.  I swear they see right in to me.  And I swear it's like I can see her understanding.

She has been the silliest clown and has made me laugh.  She has been the greatest walking companion.  She is just...the greatest.

If you are not a dog lover, or pet owner and just think this is ridiculous...I feel sad that you don't know this kind of unwavering companionship and true meaning of devotion and love.

Last night I said to my husband "all I can think about is how very much I just want to go on one more boat ride with her!"  She loves being on the boat with us when we are fishing or just enjoying a ride.

Last year we bought a camper, and took her and Nash (our other boxer) with us to the lake a few times.  And she loved it.  And I loved having them with us.  And I want that again.

I want to take her for a walk at the river dog park when trees are starting to bloom.  She is the best walker with me there.  She never leaves my view.  Just walks along side me.

The saddest part is...likely none of these three hopes are going to happen.

The vet told me that usually once an animal starts showing signs of pain, this type of cancer has typically already spread to the lungs.

She went through all the possible treatments.  None of which we will subject Bailey to.
She is over 10 years old.  
She has been through enough procedures.  And treatment wouldn't extend her life much more than 6 months anyhow.
We refuse to have her final part of her life one of pain and discomfort from surgeries and treatments that may have no affect at all.

So we have decided to provide her pain relief with medication.  And just take it one day at a time.
The vet estimated that without treatment for the cancer she may have about 4 months.  But that is the guess.  All we can do is monitor.
The hart thing I realized today...she showed signs of pain a while ago now when she would get bumped by Nash.  So...I really don't know if 4 months would even be accurate.  
But again...one day at a time.  

I hate the looming "when".  I hate planning a good bye.  I hate thinking about how it will be without her.  And who is going to be my comfort pal, and my snuggle buddy, and my confidant.  

I hate the reality of losing her.  And losing such a connection to the most major part of my life.  I know that sounds dramatic...but I tie her to my infertility journey, losses, Evan's life, and an ended journey of hoping for another child.
Without her...it just feels like so much has come to an end with her.

But I am so so so grateful to her for so much love.  For her friendship.  For the way she managed to bring me out of such sadness.  And I will never allow her to suffer.  When I see that it is more than she deserves...I will find the strength to say good bye.

When we had to put our first boxer Tag down, I wasn't able to go with my husband because it was literally the middle of the night and Evan was asleep.
I was able to have my final memory of my sweet Tag a happy one...watching him so excited to go for a truck ride.

But with Bailey...because she has been with me through so much...I owe it to her to be with her to the end.  And I can't imagine it any other way.  It will break my heart.  But I need to be with her to hold her and snuggle her and thank her as she falls to her eternal slumber.

Man, I hate this.  

I hate good bye.

So for now, we will take each day one at a time...and will watch her.  
Today I went and bought her a cozy new blanket...just for her.
I let her have a chicken finger (it's not like it will hurt her now!).
I've washed the dogs pillows, and they are both happily sleeping side by side.

She has always slept on our bed...but she will definitely be at my side during the night now.

I wish the weather would get a bit more sunny and warm so that I can take her for a walk, just her and I.

I adore having a dog in the family.  But this is the part that makes it so hard.

She isn't just a dog.  

She is our family.  

And I am going to miss my best friend so very much.

I love you Bailey.  And I thank you for being more human than any actual human I know.  Thank you for never leaving my side, and for your unwavering devotion and love.

I am going to spoil you rotten these days/weeks, whatever time we have left!  


  1. Oh, Heather, I'm so sorry. I hope that you get the nice weather so that you can take at least one more special walk just the two of you.

  2. So sorry to hear the news about your furry friend. I know the comfort of a beloved companion. It made me cry to think of you there when she dies, since I've had to put a few pets down myself. Thank you for sharing about finding comfort in God as well.