Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another comparison

Eliza, January 2009
Owen, January 2011
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bailey Girl

Bailey was born on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where Mom and Dad lived in 2000. Her mom was a reddish golden retriever who got out one day, and fortunately hooked up with a yellow lab. The day I went to pick her out, all the puppies where scrambling at the door of the pen, and as I tried to make sure they didn't escape, one sat on my foot. I took her out to play and never put her back.

She made the 5 hour drive back to Gettysburg with me in a box on the front seat. That was the first of many miles she traveled in the car with me.
Bailey lived with me in Gettysburg, PA and Kent, OH when I was a campus minister.

When she went on backpacking trips with me she would always do double the mileage because she would run to the front of the group, then all the way to the last person to make sure we were all there. I got her a backpack eventually so she could carry her own food. I remember she kept running into people, trees, whatever, because she didn't realize she was wider with it on!
Bailey LOVED the water so much that when we were hiking, she would dip into every stream or river we came upon no matter how cold it was. She had icicles hanging from her belly on one trip. When Steve and I lived in River Run, we would take her over to the golf course when it snowed and she would chase sticks into the frozen pond.

During the first year I had Bailey, I took her to a cow farm where a friend worked. She had a look of pure joy on her face when she realized that she was allowed to roll in (and eat) cow poop. There was no stopping her and she looked like a chocolate lab at the end of the day. This fascination continued with deer poop unfortunately.

In 2003 we moved to Charlottesville for graduate school.
Our next door neighbor, Nia, would knock on the door and ask if Bailey could play.

As I have thought about her in the last week and people have re-told stories about Bailey, many involve her love of food. "Remember the time Bailey ate...
a sheet cake
a pork tenderloin (first time at the in-laws)
a stick of butter
the kitchen floor
the cake Kristi made for her mom's birthday(the weekend we moved in with her)
stuffed animals
a whole package of brownie mix
a box of 100 calorie packs
a box of Cheerios
a bag of Splenda
a bag of Lindt chocolates, with wrappers"
...the list goes on and on. And Bailey didn't have a guilty complex like Hazel. When she got caught, she just rolled onto her side and wagged her tail, saying, "Yep, I did it."
She was my baby and made out pretty well when I married Steve. She was spoiled, and then when she was 7, we got Hazel. She was pretty grumpy about this little thing that wanted to be with her ALL the time. But every once in a while she let her guard down and played with her. When we had Eliza, it seemed like she had a change of heart and realized that she had to stick with Hazel now that there was a baby taking up time and space. While she wasn't right at Eliza's side (like Hazel), she was always happy to see "her people" and she was willing to play sometimes.

It's very quiet without Bailey. Her barking drove me crazy, especially during nap time, but I know she just wanted to protect her family. I'll miss the thump, thump, thump of her tail when we walked into the room. In the last year, she didn't always get up, but her tail let us know she was happy to see us. I'll miss the clicking of her nails when she walked up the steps. I'll miss the nose nudging me to let me know it's dinner time (it didn't matter if the clocks were turned back). I'll miss the frustrated bark when I took too long to throw the ball. I'll miss seeing her all curled up on her bed with her paw over her nose. I'll miss seeing her under Eliza's high chair at meal times (she was smart). I'll miss the way she would claw at the water bowl to tell me it was empty. I'll miss the way she rubbed her face on people's shoes if they were real leather. I'll miss her gentle spirit and loving eyes. She was a good old dog and I'm so thankful for the years we had with her.

Christmas 2005
Christmas 2009Christmas 2010