Friday, March 02, 2007

Bye -Bye Bailey

It's been a bit like living in the twighlight zone here this week. Everything is real and tangible here in the house but I keep looking around for her.

This is a picture of Bailey. She was the present that the Muffin Man and I gave each other for our very 1st wedding anniversary almost 16 years ago. I wanted a dog in a big way and pretty much badgered him into driving down South about 45 miles to a kennel that was a bit like visiting Deliverance. A man with no teeth in a double wide trailer brought 6 of the cutest puppies you've ever seen into his living room. We sat on the floor and played with them all for a few minutes. I had my heart set on a black and white puppy that was Bailey's sister. But the Muffin Man would not hear of it and he had to have the brown and white Bailey. We brought her home at 5 weeks old and she fit neatly in the palm of my hand.

She was the most rambunctious in the litter, she was forever HIS dog. And we paid dearly for many years to come trying to tame that most willful and rambunctious pup. She failed out of puppy obedience school, she obtained a "note" in her file saying she wouldn't be invited back to stay at a local boarding kennel here in town. She ruined countless yards of carpeting. She peed on my mother's antique persian rugs. She barked obnoxiously for 12 years straight. She bit me when I brought Ava home from China. She pooped on my pillow once. She and I had an interesting relationship as she loved and doted on the Muffin Man and turned her nose at me. But like any semi-disfunctional family relationship I still loved the little gal. She had spunk. She lived life her own way and took a cat's philosophy of "I'm the queen...I'll let you know when I need you." I am canine...hear me roar. She had a little Gloria Steinem in her.

Ironically as she became quite old and arthritic and sometimes sick she also became more lovable. She softened a bit. She would come sit next me at night when I would read or watch television. She had this inate routine of circling several times before she sat down all curled up in a ball. The other night after I put the kids to bed I wholly expected to see her rumble into the playroom and watch Law and Order re-runs with me.

But she was already gone for two days when I absentmindedly looked for her tail wagging in the air. I had to help her pass if you can believe that. It wasn't exactly said out loud but I don't think the Muffin Man could do it. It took him several weeks to come to believe she needed a little help moving on. After kidney failure was uttered by the vet the decision was a tiny bit easier.

The weirdest of all weirdest things is that I'm the one having the hardest time moving on. I'm the one who casually and callously told friends I had new frisee' carpeting picked out for the MINUTE she went to doggie heaven, or wherever she was going. But I don't want new carpet, not yet. Ava was totally fine with the situation. She is already asking for a new pet, of course her father wants a new puppy right away. I can't even think of it. (Not to mention we have no business taking a puppy now with him traveling for business and me holding down the fort with the two kidlets.) At the grocery store we looked at Beta fish.

Can you get emotionally attached to a Beta fish? If so, I don't think I want one.

18 comments:

Gracencameronsmomy said...

So sorry. They are part of the family. I probably could get attatched to a beta fish!!

atomic mama said...

I am so, so sorry... Here's to Bailey.

Johnny said...

Sorry.

jessi said...

Sorry for your loss. The loss of a pet is never easy. And yes you can get attached to Beta's. They dance when you come into the room and you can make them poof with a mirror and they come to the top of the tank and just look at you. Mine jumps when I feed him and his name is Boogie and he is blue and purple and red and I just love him. Very easy to maintain but yes you can get attached

Smithon571 said...

I'm sorry, Perrin. Our sympathy to Muffin Man and your girls too. I dread this day in our family. Sadie came before my college gradution, our marriage and all three kids. The only thing that came before her in our life was our first home (and that was only by two days.) I know that our hearts will ache just as much as yours does now. Enjoy her memories...antique persian rug, really? OUCH :-0

Thinking of your clan.

Traci

Robin said...

So sorry to hear about Bailey. I know first hand how hard it is to help a beloved pet along. :-(

With regards to the beta fish, let me just say that my daughter has one in college as this is the only pet she can have. Her first fish died after 1 year and belive it or not, she cried. Her second one died just this past year and she cried again. So, I'm guessing you can get attached to a beta fish if that is the only pet you have.

jaj said...

I'm sorry for your loss; losing a pet is losing a member of the family.

Beth Swanson said...

Perrin,
I know exactly what you are going through. Bruce and I had to help Maggie move on a few months before going to China. I wanted so bad for her and Emma to meet. I had had Maggie since 5 weeks too when Bruce came into the picture she defected and became his dog. (He bought her fancy dog treats) I also understand about not getting another puppy right away. It's hard. I am glad I got to meet Baily. And yes, you can get attached to fish. Hugs to you, Muffin man and the girls. Beth, Bruce and Emma

Space Mom said...

I am sorry. It is hard to lose a friend....

Mommy Spice said...

Oh I've been there. We lost our pomeranian at 14 years of cancer, but tragically lost our English Bulldog last summer at 8 1/2 years. We are dog free right now, but I am getting the itch, and our Spicy Girl is too.

nikki said...

I'm sorry for your loss.
It will take some time to get used to, I'm sure.
Good luck with the fish, but yeah, I can imagine getting hooked on them as well!

Ani said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Susan said...

I'm sorry to hear about Bailey.

I had a Beta once at my old Job. Jimmy was his name (as in Buffet). He went crazy in the mornings when I came in to talk to him and it's like he would stop swimming to "listen" to my gripes. I always viewed him as a fish. Nothing more. Nothing less. That is until the day some azzhole in my company thought Jimmy needed a tank and not the beta bowl he was raised in and it slowly killed him. I came in one morning and Jimmy had lost all of his color and his flowy fins were no more. We did a two salute flush and it was heartbreaking to me. He was just a fish, afterall. So, subconciously I got attached to him. I also had a parakeet in college, Phoebe, who kicked it one day and I had no problems getting rid of her. I was going to get another one but who knew they were supposed to live 16 years? No new bird...that's probably the only pet I never had any attachment to. Don't know why. Hermit crabs are low attachment pets, too. Boring but have a low attachment factor.

Lee-Anne said...

Oooo, Perrin that's so sad.

My kids did the same thing when our rabbit "went on holidays" ~ "Can we have a dog now?" Sad but true.

Jewels of My Heart said...

I am so sorry for your loss. We had to put our big dog to sleep last year just after we brought our daughter home... It still breaks my heart I miss him so much and then we went on a family weekend and someone was staying at our house taking care of our pets... When we got home after 3 days my cat who is 15 and deaf was nowhere to be found... He must have gotten outside... I can only imagine what must have happened to him. I still cannot deal with this one... Sorry to ramble. Time will help and one day you will beable to celebrate Bailey's life instead of just feeling the pain of your loss. I do believe animals go to heaven and that gives me comfort.
God Bless

M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Oh Perrin, I'm so sorry.

B-squared said...

Sorry to hear the sad news. Sounds like lavender hairbows were good therapy. And you know what, I've said the very same thing about our carpeting recently...
Take care!
Bryn

G'night Gracie said...

So sorry to hear about your sweet Bailey. I lost my dog just over a year ago and in two months we had a new puppy - it was not planned. I still miss my Hopper. He was the happiest member of our family and I'll never forget him.