When Bailey got out of bed yesterday morning, he could barely walk. He was shaking and could hardly keep his legs under him. I took him outside to go potty, only to watch him stumble around the grass like a drunk man. Every time he tried to shake his head, he fell over.
When Rob arrived home, he noticed that Bailey’s eyes were flicking back and forth, almost like he were dizzy and couldn’t focus on anything. We made an appointment with the vet for today, and watched as Bailey’s condition remained unchanged through the evening. We were hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, because we couldn’t let our sweet old boy suffer.
All five of us went to the vet with Bailey today, because if we had to let him go, then we were all going to be there to say good-bye to one of our beloved family members. The kids grew up chewing on Bailey’s ears and riding on his back, and through it all, Bailey never said a word. No barks. No growls. Nothing. He has always been such a good boy.
At the vet’s office, we found out that the part in Bailey’s brain that keeps his balance most likely ruptured. Apparently it happens often in older dogs. Most of them recover, they just have to re-learn which way is up and which way is down. He will most likely have another repeat or two of yesterday, but after some re-wiring, he will be fine. Thank goodness!! He is still a happy boy, loves his food and can’t wait to go for rides in the car. He is getting old, but doesn’ t appear to be suffering, so we brought our sweet boy home.
I cannot even begin to tell you how happy and relieved we all were.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting Bailey, let me tell you a little bit about him.
He has cataracts and cysts, growths and dandruff. He has chronic yeast infections in his ears that stink to high heaven. He can’t hear, can barely see. He can poke an eye out with his hips. His skin is dry and he sheds like crazy. He sleeps through everything. His breathing sounds like a freight train. He is a very well-travelled dog, having flown all the way to Alaska and back. He loves his tennis ball, slobbers profusely and has very bad gas. He yips when he has to go potty and woofs when he is convinced you have forgotten to feed him, but if a stranger were to break into the house, he wouldn’t say a word. He would most likely sleep right through it.
And you know what? He is the best gosh-darned dog there ever was. You can look into his eyes and see right into his big, beautiful heart.
13 years ago this month, a little black lab puppy was born in Helena, MT. That puppy, who, through a strange turn of events, came to live with us, has changed our lives, and we are grateful for everyday we get to spend with him. There are many adventures yet to come, and Bailey’s going to be right there, leading the way.
WE LOVE YOU, BAILEY B.!!!!