Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bailey is home again.

Yesterday the vet called to say that Bailey was ready.

She may be, but I'm not. As long she wasn't here, part of me could believe Daniel, that she was really just still at the doctor, getting "fixed."

I'm so grateful for Niels during all of this. The morning after she passed, he went around the house and put all her things away in a box I can look at later when I'm ready to decide what to keep. I heard him crying as he did it, so I know it wasn't easy for him, and my heart swelled with gratitude that my husband loved my dog as much I as I did.

It got me thinking of some of my favorite Bailey memories. In my book, I described Bailey as "my heart on training wheels." When I first brought her home from my mom's house, I was a single career woman, a new homeowner, writing my first book. I was mighty independent, and not at all confident that I had room in my heart to love anyone unconditionally, let alone a pet.

It didn't take long to see that Mom was right. I did need a dog. As I opened my heart to Bailey, she showed me how to give and receive love freely. And one day, when Niels came to visit, she showed me how to recognize a keeper of a man, too.

I was quite sore from a car accident, and Niels was visiting me in Michigan at my townhome. I had just gotten comfortable on the couch when Bailey let me know in her insistent, enthusiastic way, that she needed to go OUT. Niels took pity on me and offered to take her outside. I told him where the baggies were, and warned him that if she went #2 that he'd have to clean it up.

A few minutes later, they returned, Niels went immediately into the powder room with the baggie. I heard him empty it into the toilet and then gag. I heard him wash his hands, and a moment later he came out. He never once complained or even commented how this little task made him sick. I thought to myself, "Now this is a man who will stick around."

We were engaged a few months later.

Before we were married, Niels bought our current house. Bailey and I had been living with friends nearby. It made sense that when Niels moved into the new house, Bailey would move in with him. During those few months, Bailey totally became a Daddy's girl. She LOVED licking Niels' ears. She still love me, of course, but she had a special affection for her Daddy.

It didn't take her long to look to her Daddy to take her out in the morning, and get her daily tummy rub when he came home from work. All day long she would watch for his car, and her ears would perk up if a Ford Fusion drove by. In her last weeks, Niels was kind enough to let me take the lead with Bailey's care, even though she was truly our dog by then.

Niels brought Bailey home last night. There's no way I could have done it. I don't know when I could walk into that vet's office again. They sent her home with a nice paw print, a lock of her hair, and a nice card.

We ordered a nice photo urn for her, which will be here in a few days. With the house getting ready to sale, we wanted something could blend into the background, but still let her be close to us.

Sweet dreams, Bailey Boo.

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