Those of you who are dog lovers like me probably know how hard it is to lose a pet. Some people even consider their pet as a true member of the family, and when that pet passes, you feel a similar grief that you might if you lost a loved one. Almost 2 weeks ago, my family had to say goodbye to our beloved, sweet Bailey after 13.5 years of being a part of our family. Bailey was so special to us. Krista and I always considered her our other sister. She was spunky, rambunctious, and unbelievably loyal. She had a way of melting the hearts of anyone in her presence, even if they weren’t a “dog person.” Most people who knew her associate her with the pool. Bailey LOVED to swim. She was always the first one in the pool in the morning each summer, and the last one out each evening. Neighborhood kids would want to come swimming at our pool just to swim with Bailey. She was so special to so many people, and she will always remain a part of my heart forever. How could she not, considering I spent more than half of my life with her by my side at the time of writing this.
A few of my favorite Bailey memories…
- When our last dog, Whitney, passed away, our house felt so empty and sad, so we went to a farm in Richmond, IN just to look around at some Jack Russel Terriers. We had no intent on coming home with a new dog that day. The main litter we went there to look at were kind of rat-like and yappy…so we weren’t interested. As we were walking back to our car, we saw a cage that appeared to be empty, but then a sweet little pup poked her head from behind a curtain, and instantly we were in love. We took her home with us that day.
- When Bailey was just a puppy, my sister and I were supposed to be cleaning the bonus room for an upcoming family party. However, instead of cleaning, we decided to dress Bailey up, create a full backdrop out of construction paper, and have a photo shoot.
- Every year, as soon as the pool was opened for the first time after winter, Bailey would jump in before it was even cleaned or heated. She didn’t care that the water was freezing and there were still worms in the pool…she clearly wanted to be the first one in each season.
- Before Krista went to college, we took Bailey to Hummel Park to have a “sister play date.” We had a picnic and even let her swim in the creek!
- When Ryan and I were in high school, we had a snow day so we spent most of the day creating a tunnel in the snow for Bailey to run through.
- One time we took Bailey to the dunes of Lake Michigan. She loved running through the sand and playing in the water. Our aunt ran down a huge hill and Bailey followed her all the way down and back up. She was always quite the athletic pup!
- Whenever I was home from college during the summer, Bailey would wake up early to go outside, then come upstairs and lay in bed with me until I got up. She always had to sleep right in between my legs!
- One year we spent almost 2 weeks at our condo in Siesta Key during Christmas break, so we took Bailey with us even though dogs were not allowed there. This was one of my all-time favorite trips. Whenever we needed to take her out, we would put her in a Vera Bradley duffle bag and run her downstairs to the car so nobody would see her. At the beginning of the week she always fought getting in the bag, but by the end of the week, whenever we said “time to go potty,” she’d run and climb into the bag! Bailey absolutely loved the dog beach and the marina.
- When Briggs was born, Bailey was always very protective of him. She’d always sit by him and keep an eye on him. Because of this, she earned the nickname “Nana,” like the dog from Peter Pan. She continued her duty when Kinsie and Kerigan were born too. Whenever my mom watches the kids and takes pictures of them, Bailey is often photobombing because she was always nearby to make sure the babies were ok.
Below is a video to honor our sweet Bailey. If you were one of the lucky ones to know her, leave a comment with your favorite Bailey memory. Enjoy!