I think this is more for me than anyone else. Dog people probably get it. If you’re not a dog person, you probably won’t. A good dog creates quite a bond. A lot of people compare it to the bond a parent has with kids. I don’t know about that, but they are, “Man’s Best Friend,” for a reason. I have had big dogs with my parents and small one’s. When I was in college and then radio, I didn’t have a dog. I didn’t feel like my schedule permitted. I toyed with getting an English Bulldog, but the girl I was dating at the time convinced me to get a pug. So I did. They are great dogs! Yesterday, about an hour into the afternoon show, I got the news that we lost Bailey. We knew it was coming. Bai was 19 and a half and had been knocking on that door for awhile. Yesterday, he opened it. Even when you know it is coming, it isn’t easier.
Lauren (my girlfriend) met Bailey when she was living in Phoenix. She and my mom volunteered their time for Pug Rescue. Bailey was 10 and wasn’t getting much attention on the adoption side. Most people lean towards puppies over senior citizen dogs. He wasn’t exactly social, but Lauren took a liking to him and decided she’d adopt him. We added a thrid to our pug army. When we first got him, he was grumpy, demanding, and marched to his own drum. He was pretty anti-social.We thought we could give him a couple of good years. Never thought he would be with us for almost 10.
It is such a weird feeling when you lose a dog. Last night, I stared at the futon, in my home office, for what felt like an hour. For much of last year, he layed in his bed on that futon while I worked from home. You start to remember little things when people pass. It is the same with a dog, I think. I remember he would sleep on my pillow, when we first got him. He eventually got his own. He also used to hoard all the dog bones in his bed. It was like he was the gatekeeper when it came to bones. We would take him on walks that turned into carries. His legs couldn’t go the distance. In the last year, they had really deteriorated. He lost nearly all the muscle in them.
He reached the point where he needed a little support to stand. Especially while he ate. He used to start barking and demanding food. Every morning at 5am and every afternoon at around 5pm. Eventually, we just held him while he ate.
Still in the last year, our entire neighborhood came to celebrate his 19th birthday, he went to his 2nd Bark In The Park at the Reds game, and made it to WAMMFEST.
This morning, I just stared at his food bowl and cried. We won’t need to fill it and hold him while he ate. He spent his days at our neighbors. We called it daycare. That is where he chose to go. I say, “chose,” because I believe they can do that. On Monday we took him for a quality of life check up. I fed him Tuesday morning and told him that he could stay as long as he wanted, but it was ok to go too. I let him know that we didn’t want to make the choice for him. Ironically, his mom took him for a walk, in his stroller, Wed night and told him the same thing. We face timed after his walk and he had Penn Station fries for his dinner. (His favorite). Yesterday, he passed peacefully at daycare. I think iin his way, he said his, “Goodbyes,” to us the night before. I think he wanted to stay, but his little body wouldn’t let him. He didn’t want us to see him go, but he wanted to be someplace he felt safe
I will miss his demanding bark. I will miss seeing the kids take care of him. They were so good with him. He was a lot to ask of two teens and they did well. A dog’s journey should be longer than they are. Bailey had a hell of a 19 year run. He leaves a huge whole in our hearts. Maybe you can relate and maybe you cannot. I think this was more for me. Thank you for loving us old man. It will not be the same without you. #RIPBAILEY