Bailey  's Memorial

Bailey
(2001 - 2010)

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General Details

Name: Bailey
Gender: Female
Age: 9 years old
Lived: Friday, 1 June 2001 - Friday, 16 July 2010

My Story

We were fortunate enough to meet Bailey in September 2002 at the Pawtucket Animal Shelter.  She was only identified at that point as a stray that was picked up and given a number #361.  To us she would become an integral part of our family and so much more than a number!  But we had to wait 5 days because she was a new admission to the animal shelter and they had to wait to be sure no one claimed her.  

When we saw her (and Henry tells this story so much better than I do) she just sat and starred at Hen, me and the kids. Other dogs were barking and jumping and it was somewhat chaotic but Bailey just sat still and kept us in her sight.  She did not loose eye contact with us. We knew she was meant to be ours.  DAILY I called the animal shelter to see if anyone claimed her and to our fortune, no one did.  We picked up Bailey on September 7, 2002. Hen always remembered that date. Her first vet visit was 9/9/02 and she weighed in at 37 pounds. She was approx 6-12 mos old at the time.  

They told us she was a spayed female.  Little did they know we would have taken her "however" she was!!!!!!  But two weeks later she started spotting blood around the house, on the couch, on her bed and the rug and let's just say she was not spayed. She was in heat!!!!  We were told by all means keep her away from other dogs and inside until she was out of her estrous cycle!  (There's a word I didn't know before getting Bailey!!)

Hen has a great story about how we came to name her Bailey. I'll let him tell that. All I remember was that in September 2002 Bailey was the 4th most common canine pet's name. And I think it had to do with Bailey Salinger from Party of Five. And for some reason we thought at one point, or maybe I did, that Logan would be a good name? I have no idea where I came up with that one.

God, did we love that animal!!! We used to consider her more a person.  I recall Hen and I signing her up for Basic Manners classes at Canine Mastery and we would go together (which I loved that this dog brought us all the more together) to this 8 week training class. She was brilliant and picked up quickly. We did 'clicker-training' with her. She was a quick learner. We would often be called upon the be the example dog for the rest of the class. I secretly loved it and wondered if other folks in the class thought "oh, there they go again!!" hahahahah...

I can only tell you the joy this dog brought to our family's life was beyond what words can do justice.  She was truly loved. Never experienced any violence or abuse with us.

In October 2008 she was diagnosed with Dilatative Cardiomyopathy. I was told in the old days before newer medical interventions and medications a dog with DCM would likely live 6 months. We were BLESSED to have almost 2 more years with her. I like to think in part because of the care provided: Regular vet visits every 6-8 weeks for chiropractic and accupuncture. Home cooked meals, supplements and herbal remedies. She was also on one heart medication. 

On Thursday, July 15th at 1:30pm she was panting heavily and needed to go out to have some very loose orange, reddish colored stool.  This happened again at 4:30am and again at 6:00am. She did not take food that day. When I came home from lunch at 1pm she was panting heavily, tongue out, drooling.  Little did I know she had a 104.3 fever. She would not get up to go to the bathroom. When I did get her up and out she walked 10 feet and laid on the ground.  I knew this was not good. I called my vet and we got her in urgently.  Her temp was 104.3. She was bleeding from her vulva in the office. My vet who was a substitute that day since my reg vet was out was the SAME vet (Pam) who diagnosed Bailey 10/08 with the DCM. How interesting that she would be the last person at Wolf Rock Animal Health Center that Bailey would see. It felt perfect in some way. A full circle moment. She hugged me and said Tom this is really serious. She suggested we go to the ER at Ocean State Emergency Vet Services here in RI. 

Bailey was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia where her immune system was attacking and breaking down her red blood cells. She was not able to oxygenate. Hence the heavy panting and fatigue.  She stayed overnight. On Friday she had an ultrasound and her heart was greatly enlarged and she was in congestive heart failure (CHF).   Her red blood count dropped to 17. (Norm around 35).  She was given a transfusion and put on oxygen.   

I think this is enough of the ICU experience for me to write. It was clear her systems were shutting down and she was telling us it was time.  Henry left work and raced to the ER (2 hrs away) and got there in adequate time for us to be with Bailey, speak at length with the vet and upon hearing she had less than a 50% chance of making it out of the hospital Hen and I found consensus easily in deciding to help Bailey out of feeling so very sick.

Henry gently and lovingly carried Bailey to a private exam room. With gentle music playing, we were alone with her for a good 15-20 minutes,  Henry was holding and petting her. He suggested I position myself in front of her face so I would be the last person she saw.  The doctor with little intrusion at all,  skillfully administered the two anethestic meds and Bailey first stopped breathing, and a few moments later her heart stopped.  At this point I realized my heart was breaking as was Henry's and yet we were so clear this was the right thing to do.  We both found beauty and perfection in the moment.

Bailey will have a private cremation and Henry will receive her ashes and place her in a memorial garden to rest peacefully.

I fight tears as I write this and yet feel blessed with a love I was able to experience with Bailey. She taught me how to love. Bailey taught me how to remain vulnerable. Bailey brought me love. 

I miss her so much and would love one more walk in the woods with her. Even in the rain!!

Thank you Bailey. I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH.

Tom

Henry's Additions

The day we chose Bailey or dare I say Bailey chose us will always be imprinted in my mind.  On a whim we drove to Pawtucket, and as Tom said above we toured the facility specifically looking for a Black Lab Pup that was brought in the week before.  As we looked at the pup - who was, how can I say this, going absolutley crazy jumping and barking.  I notice this beautiful, quiet black dog with a white chest and a touch of white on her nose.  I swear to you-she just sat there and stared at me.  She didn't budge, didn't make a peep just stared at me.  When she got my attention, she turned hers to Tom and then the kids.  We were hooked-that was it.  We waited 5 days and puppy #361 was ours.

September 7, 2002 was my day with 'Logan'. (I know this because I took the day off and I wrote it in my appointment book.)  I should explain- Logan was what I was going to call Bailey.  We had only two choices in mind- Logan and Bailey (as Tom said - Party of Five etc, etc).  The name Logan came from a conversation with my friend Claire (my Bally's workout buddy). 

As I was making the rounds with her that first day, I happened to take a new route home from Newport Ave - I was unsure of what street to take.  As I looked up, I notice I was on Bailey St, I looked at her (she was in the front seat) "You're Bailey aren't you" and that was it.

How do you describe what your best friend means to you?  It is impossible- I can say that Bailey knew me better than anyone.  I had no pretense around her - no role to play no agenda.  She knew me.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  She knew my relationship joys and sorrows.  She knew my stress and she knew how to clam me down when need be (which was most of the time).  One her favorite methods was to sit up beside me on the couch- shoulder to shoulder and she would raise her paw and brush my chest until I held her 'hand'. 

Bailey loved the beach and the woods.  Tom must have walked a thousand miles with her.  In the rain, the mud and the snow. (mostly the rain and mud :) ) Bailey didn't care - it was her joy- and her time with Tom. 

As the years went by and our lives changed Bailey was the constant-this amazing gentle, soulful creature who touched my heart.  Even through her 'holistic' vegan years and our secret trips through Burger King drive-thru for that one cheeseburger - she was an amazing addition to our lives.

Last Friday, was without a doubt the most difficult day.  I was grateful that Tom was there to speak when I could not and to be silent when I could, and Niko who took care of Jake so that we could tend to Bai.  I am grateful to the folks at OceanState who answered my endless unanswerable questions and who allowed me to carry Bai to the room and let Tom and I to make all of the decisions until the end. 

To this day I have never cried like I did that day-but i would not change a thing because that one moment was the price for almost eight years of joy. Bai will have a place in our memorial garden, under the shade of Niko's Mom's tree- just like she would have liked it.

Henry

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Honey.. we miss you so much. You are so beautiful and were sooooooo very loved. You were a perfect dog. We are so tha...
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He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, f...

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Passing

Place of Passing: East Greenwich RI
Date of Passing: 16 July 2010
Cause of Passing: Heart failure, autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Type of Funeral: She died at 6:45pm
Place of Burial: Bailey was cremated with respect and dignity by Angel View Pet Cemetery.
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