For anyone who’s read my blog for some time, you’ll know that I have three amazing dogs. Before we even considered having children, we had dogs and they were our kids. We took them everywhere, bought them presents, Santa came for them at Christmas. They were spoiled and loved like you wouldn’t believe.
Things changed when we had kids and while our dogs were still loved, it was a different kind of love from what we had for the kids. Life started to get busy and distracting and the years started passing (my son is now three … how did that happen?) and all of a sudden, one of our dear friends got sick.
It happened so so fast. Almost two weeks ago, my husband had brought in our Bernese Mountain Dog, Bailey, to the vet because she wasn’t putting pressure on her back leg. It turned out that she had a torn ligament, but she wasn’t a good candidate for surgery because she was an older dog. She was nearly 10 years old, which is quite old for her breed – 7 is a veteran!
Two days later, my husband noticed a lump on her side. I took her in hoping it was just an abcess or fat cell, but it wasn’t. Our vet took a sample and said it was a tumour. Things were still okay and we planned to do a biopsy or remove it if she could, so we still had hope that our pup would be alright. We made an appointment for the following Wednesday for a biopsy and tried to just let her rest.
Before Wednesday could come, she developed a cough, so the vet decided to do an x-ray before a biopsy, to see what was going on in her chest.
This is where the bad news came.
I’ll never forget that moment, when the vet came back in the room and said that she did the x-ray and Bailey’s stomach was fine, but her chest was not. She had a tumour on her heart.
My heart broke.
The tumour was pretty big and since it all came on so fast, the vet predicted that she would have a week, maybe two, until she passed, since the tumour could burst at any time and she could bleed out within minutes. I cried with the vet. I phoned my husband and I cried. I phoned her breeder, who we were good friends with, and I cried. I sat down with Bailey at the park near the vet office and cried.
For nearly 10 years, she was my pal, my friend, my favourite of the bunch (don’t tell Gracie and Cooper). She gave the best hugs, was the goofiest dog, and had such a presence that I couldn’t imagine our house without her.
The next day, she stopped eating, and just yesterday we had her put down. She was tired, we could tell, and ready. I don’t want to wash the sweater I wore yesterday because it still smells like her. I can’t even read to my daughter before bed because all of the books in her room remind me of Bailey. I go to bed and look around for her, expecting her to be in one of her favourite places. I know our other dogs are wondering where she is, though I don’t think the kids can feel it yet. They got the chance to say goodbye and I hope they remember her.
All that can be said now is that I’ll miss her; I’ll miss her smell, her random barking, her hugs, her little quirks, and just her. I loved her so much and she left giant paw prints on my heart. Our house won’t be the same without her.
Rest in peace, my dear Bailey girl. xx