It has been 9 days since I had to help my boy Bailey cross the bridge. Benson, the puppy, and the cats are still looking for him. I know in my heart he is happy and waiting for me, and someday we will walk in the fields again. This time he will have no pain, have all 4 legs and be able to run and walk without stumbling.
I wonder what his life would have been like had those people not stolen him out of the yard, what it would have been like, to not been hit by a truck trying to get to me when I tracked him to their house, and they let him out so I wouldn't catch them with him. I wonder what it would have been like not to have to endure 3 surgeries, and eventually bone cancer growing in old broken bones.
Most people would have put him down then---the cost was too much---but Mr. Bailey was special. He never complained, he never growled or snapped at vets or techs who poked and prodded and stuck him with needles.--he only licked hands and wagged that tail! He walked with a limp for 5 years--he aged greatly before his time and he taught me so much in the short 6 years he called us family.
He taught me about stamina, and patience and fortitude and especially about attitude. I love you Mr. B------I will miss you until I see you again.
April 3, 2010.
I am reminded of the date today----7 months ago today was Bailey's Cancer surgery and amputation. Next week it will be 3 months since he left us to cross the bridge. It feels like forever since I have had that 180 pound weight leaning against me! Gosh I miss him! I have his dog tags on my key chain and when I pick up my keys I hear them and remember him and say a small prayer of thanks for the time he was in our lives. 6 years is not long enough.
Benson is now 6 months old (tomorrow) and such a joy--it amazes me though that he and Bailey, while the same breed have vastly different personalities! Bailey was such a "wagger" and Benson is not. Bailey was indifferent to smells and tracking things---Benson has his nose to the ground almost constantly. Bailey was quiet and only "talked" when necessary---Benson is a whiner and vocal. Bailey was only told once to stay off the couch in the living room-----Benson struggles with the concept that the couch wasn't designed with his comfort in mind. Bailey thoroughly enjoyed walks and outings------no matter where-----Benson----not so much----he prefers pillows and blankets to almost anything--although he does love the dog park! Bailey ignored the cats most of the time--Benson harasses them and I am sure I can see in their eyes the pleading to "bring the big guy back and get rid of the little one (even though 6 months old and 81 pounds isn't little)" Bailey hated raw bones---Benson adores them, and I am glad I don't have to cook them anymore! Bailey loved green beans---Benson prefers broccoli and wouldn't touch a green bean if his life depended on it.
I am anxious for some summer---I am tired of cold and rain and the normal Northwest spring---this week we have had hail, rain, snow, 68 degree weather and 32 degree weather. It is true what they say about the weather in Oregon--"if you don't like it---wait 5 minutes it will change!"
We are struggling with "growing pains" in Benson and the vet has ordered "rest"---which worries me---are his bones weak too? And if they are, how do I strengthen them without over-exerting him? Does this mean he will also develop Osteosarcoma? It has been 4 weeks since our last good walk---and he's still limping. The reading I am doing says this could continue until he is full grown at 2 years of age. Ahhh---the internet--- a wealth of information----sometimes more than we need or want. Sometimes ignorance is bliss! I will continue to explore ways to exercize Benson without stressing the bones. He is missing the dog park and the trips to PetSmart and Lowes. How will I make sure he is socialized and trained to behave around people and dogs if he is to "rest" until he's 2? He will be too big and strong to control at 2 if he isn't trained now.
The last 7 months have been a roller coaster and one I could have done without-----but then I probably wouldn't have Benson and I am sure I wouldn't have found so many friends and people that know exactly where the tears come from so quickly and unexpectedly, I am glad to find friends that understand the uncertainty and need to vent and ask questions and allow the vulnerability all while we travel through this journey called cancer. I wish none of us had to travel that road.