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A Special Dog

Twelve years ago, a friend gave us a small Shih Tzu poodle named Bailey. He was three when we got him but he soon became a joyful addition to our family at a time when my children were really needing a companion. Being with all of us was important to him. He loved to be held, loved cuddling and enjoyed playing. Often, we took walks in the evening. Despite his tiny stature, he could walk for miles. But if the walk was too long we would sometimes have to carry him the remainder of the way home. Bailey loved playing ball games, Monkey in the Middle was one of his favorites. He also enjoyed doing tricks for us. My daughter taught him how to rollover, run through an obstacle course, and bark. He loved performing for her in order to get treats. He was a dog that loved people and had good manners. His heart was big and he was compassionate. If someone was upset he knew and he was quick to help that person feel better. His presence in my children's lives was such a blessing and he came with us where ever we went. Bailey had many adventures with us. His favorites were the times when he slipped away quietly and took walks by himself. These adventures stressed us out but God always returned him to us. One time someone broke into our home when we were at church and Bailey went missing. My children scoured our neighborhood and finally located the people who had our dog and carried him home again. He was like a boomerang when he went missing, God always returned him to us. We had many awesome adventures with Bailey. But the years passed and Bailey became old and neurological issues made it difficult for him to walk. I had to carry him outside so he could go to the bathroom and then I had to carry him back inside when he was done. Dementia began setting in. He became blind and lost his bladder control. At night he would get stuck under beds, next to chairs and on steps and begin barking for help. He wouldn't let us clip him and he had an odor to him that told us that his organs were beginning to shut down. We knew that it was finally time for him to be put down so I called his vet and scheduled the appointment for later the next day. I wanted to give Bailey one last amazing day of his life.

The day dawned beautiful and sunny. It was the perfect day with a coolness to the air. I carried Bailey outside and turned my back for a few minutes. When I turned around he was gone. Our poky little puppy had gone on his last little adventure. He was out smelling and exploring the world, something he sometimes did when we had him. We climbed in our car searching for him, doing circles around the streets near our home. Where could a dog like ours that could hardly walk or see have gone? Finally, we turned to social media for help and within minutes we knew his whereabouts. The police had picked him up near our home and taken him to the police station but they couldn't keep him there so a woman that was also looking for her dog took him to her home. She bathed him and cared for him until his owners could be found. An hour later we picked Bailey up from the angel who helped rescue him and drove him home.

We had a few more hours to spend with our dog who blessed our lives so much. I held him until he moaned for me to put him down. Then I nestled him into blankets on the floor and covered him so he wasn't cold. Later he begged for food and I gave him his favorite soft food to eat. Soon it was time for us to make the trip to our vet. I wrapped Bailey in blankets and held him all the way to the vet. He settled in, enjoying the ride and the attention. As we sat waiting for the assistant to come take us into the office, Bailey began moaning and talking to me. Finally, we were escorted to the side of the building to a room where we talked to the assistant and told her about Bailey's issues and why he needed to be put down. She listened and allowed us to hold and love him until the veterinarian could prepare him for the procedure. A few minutes later they carried Bailey out to insert his IV. He returned a few minutes later and the veterinarian appeared. Slowly, the liquids were inserted into his IV and his anxious, restless, hurting body began to relax. He slowly slipped away into a peaceful sleep. A few minutes passed after the last vial of liquid was administered. The doctor listened to his heart with her stethoscope and said, "He's received his wings." Bailey was gone. I was thankful that he'd had one last special day before he passed away

We sat there petting him and remembering our adventures with the dog that had given us so much pleasure. His pain and misery were over but his memory will forever remain in our hearts. He blessed us in so many ways. I look forward to the day when we can be reunited with him again in a place where he is free from pain, misery, and suffering.


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