Friday, June 8, 2007

Sad Eyes

I’m very sad tonight. Earlier this evening I had to have my dog, BAILey, put to sleep. I know it was the only thing to do, but I’m sad and I miss him so badly it hurts.

I met my BAILey seven years ago on St. Patrick's Day when my daughter and I were at a dog show at the Arlington Park Race Track. It was a large event and there were dogs of all kinds showing off their training and tricks. We were walking through just kind of looking at the dogs when we noticed a whole bunch of dogs up for adoption in the back. They were jumping and barking... except for one. That one was BAILey, except his name was TJ then. He was limping, emaciated and was recovering from what appeared to be some pretty severe abuse. He also had the sweetest eyes I had ever seen. That dog really needed someone and I had to take him home. We named him BAILey for the Irish Creme and because all my animals have some sort of police related name. We figured we kind of "bailed him out" so it fit perfectly.

It only took BAILey about three minutes to get adjusted to our home. He moved right in and within a few months, he had almost doubled his weight and was a healthy and happy dog, minus the occasional limp. He had previously suffered a fracture to his leg that was never treated and had healed a little funny. Sometimes it hurt him, not too often, though.

We played, we cuddled and BAILey always kept my secrets. He loved to be talked to and he would climb up and lick my nose every time I did. I laughed, he tailwagged and we were happy.

Several weeks ago, I noticed that BAILey was becoming very skittish. He was hiding, cowering and shaking. I chalked it up to the noise from the thunderstorms, but when the storms stopped and BAILey didn’t, I began to worry. He didn’t appear to be in pain but we tried pain relievers and tranquilizers and nothing worked. BAILey was become more and more skittish and worse, aggressive.

He began bothering the kids at night when they were sleeping. Barking at the door, jumping on their beds and always whining and shaking, panting and pacing. He wouldn’t go outside without a lot of coaxing and when he did, he hid behind the shed and there was no choice but to just wait him out.

I awoke in the middle of the night to my daughter’s literally bloodcurdling screams for help. The dog just started attacking her while she slept. Fortunately, he did not bite her but he scared the crap out of her (and me) and he scratched her up pretty badly. It took all my strength to pull the dog off of her and when he looked back at me, growling with those aggressive eyes, I knew that this dog was no longer my sweet BAILey and it was no longer safe to have him in the house.

At the vet’s office, I saw the last look in BAILey’s eyes. In them was my sweet and loveable BAILey, the one I will always remember. I have no idea what happened to him, but my heart is just aching for one more nose lick from that 80 pound, shedding, always begging for my food furball :(

I really loved that dog.

21 comments:

Tink said...

Oh no... I'm sorry for your loss. It's so hard to lose a friend like that. It sounds like he had a tumor or somethingHang in there... Hugs from me!

Forest Dogs said...

We are so, so sad poor Bailey had to go over the Bridge, but there really was nothing else you could do. We know it was hard to do, but he was obviously had something wrong, even if it wasn't obvious.

The good thing was that he had a loving home and some good years living with you hooman beans... and he was very lucky to have you, and you him. It was very sad it ended like it did, but when a dog gets it in his head to be mean, then that dog isn't himself.

Remember him how he was - he sounds like a wonderful friend.

(Our mom, Annelisa, couldn't write this, because she was crying over the keyboard, but she wanted to say she was sorry to hear this)

Scott said...

Sorry to hear of your loss, it is really a sad occasion when those decisions have to be made. It sounds like he did have a great life, especially considering the circumstances of his life before you found him. You did more for him than most would have done.

Leanne said...

I'm so sorry. He definitely had something affecting his behavior/brain. That had to have been a very hard decision to make.

We're coming up on the one year mark from the loss of our own dog, and it's still tough. You'll always remember BAILey as the sweetie you always knew.

{{{hugs}}}

Mimi Lenox said...

I came over to tell you that your beautiful globe has been placed at the top of my blog today - and I read about your loss. I am so very sorry. That is so sad and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Your globe is really beautiful and I hope in some small way, will bring you peace today.

TeaMouse said...

I'm sorry for your loss - Bailey sounded like a wonderful pet, unforutnately something went wrong, someone had suggested previously maybe a tumor.

At least you can take comfort in the fact that you rescued an abused pet and have shown him some happy years filled with lots of love.

pjd said...

Sounds like you were the best thing ever to happen to him and that you gave him a great life during the time he had. It's been five years since I had my last pet put to sleep (Alexander, a 14-year-old cat), and I will never forget the look he gave me and how he felt on the vet's table.

Rockycat said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

Jessica Morris said...

(((hugs))) I am sorry you lost your dog. Is that him in the picture? He is beautiful!!

gledwood said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your doggie by the way. He looked a real character


G

FalnAngel7 said...

Sorry to hear about your dog. I know how hard it is to have to put a pet down. I've done it with 2 cats. I basically grew up with them as sisters since I had no siblings of my own. But sometimes we have to do what is best for them, even if it isn't what we're ready for. Hope your kids are doing ok with this.

Michael C said...

I'm so sorry for the loss. We had to put down my wife's cat several weeks ago. She had a blood clot and lost the use of one of her front legs. The cat was born and then abandoned in my wife's yard. She had her for 17 years, virtually half of her life, so the separation was pretty difficult.

I'm wishing you nothing but happy memories to help with the pain.

Kendra said...

i'm sending thoughts your way. you literally have me in tears right now woman. i don't know how you had the strength to do that. i would just die inside. ok, i'll stop i know this isn't helping, but keep your head up and try to stay strong. i hope your pains goes away soon. :)

krystyna said...

I am so sorry too, and I understand what you're feeling.
Peace be with you!

Crystal said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I know how hard it is to put down a beloved pet. (((hug)))

dancefit said...

I am so sorry. I know the feeling. That is why I thought twice about getting another dog. Two years later I got another golden. The happiness from owning a dog outweighs the sadness. I love my dog Sydney and could not imagine my life without her. You will always remember Baily.

mar said...

I am so sorry about your loss, here via Mimi...

Mymsie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Awful :( I wonder what happened to Bailey?

Crimson Wife said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your dog. Bailey sounds like he was a wonderful companion! One of the few times I've seen my DH cry was in college when he heard that his parents had to put down their 18 yr old terrier Shannon :-(

The Gal Herself said...

I love how you said that BAILey always kept your secrets. What a beautiful tribute to your bud! I can imagine how hard it must have been, but putting him down was the most loving thing you could do for him and your family. Please, when you are ready and your heart is open to it, go to a shelter and adopt another dog. It's obvious from this post that you have a gift for loving animals and creating a good home. Not everyone shares your gift for empathy, you know. When the time is right, you will find there's room for another fur person in your life. And my prayers go with BAILey. (Oh, those eyes!)

Lady G~ said...

Losing a loved one is never easy. Even when it's a pet, they are part of the family too. We have a Golden Retriever. His name is Nicodemus. He has a way of comforting us. When someone is ill, he'll just lay at their feet and keep them company. Pets give so much and ask nothing in return. I'm so sorry for your loss.

You and your beloved family are in my prayers...