We have two four-legged children in our house and although they don’t speak, their wagging tails, soulful eyes, and nails excitedly clicking on our hardwood floors speak volumes.
Miss Bailey turns 10 today. Only we don’t know that today is truly her birthday. But it’s been 10 years since we adopted our first girl and rescued her from the Humane Association, which we jokingly call the Bastille. She is, after all, of royal descent, being part Corgi, part German Shepherd.
I will never forget the day we got Bailey. We had been married for a few months and couldn’t stop talking about how we longed for a dog…a furry friend to take to the park and play ball with (and try to house break for months upon frustrating to the point of ripping your hair out months, but of course you don’t think about those things when you have puppy lust and romanticize dog ownership as nothing but tail wagging and ear scratching…for the dog, not the owners.)
The hubby and I both agreed that adopting a dog from our local animal shelter was the route we wanted to take. No pedigreed pooch for us. No sir. We wanted a dog truly in need of a home. The hubby called me one day at work, ten years ago this fall, and said he had found a sweet puppy with huge ears that really needed a home. They called her Punkin. We called her Bailey. They said she liked to eat potato chips in the break room. We took her for a walk around the shelter parking lot. She was skittish and jumpy. Mostly she was starved for affection and love and needed reassurance that no one would harm her ever again. She’d been removed from her home as an abuse case and her front right leg was crooked from a break.
Bailey still has issues, but she has come a long way. When we first brought her home she was terrified to be walked on a leash. She’d plant her paws firmly on to the asphalt and cower with fear. Now she loves to go for walks in our neighborhood, although age is creeping up on her and it was difficult for her to make the usual one mile round in the heat of the summer. She gets scared during thunderstorms and hides under furniture. When I got pregnant in 2001 with Miss C I was determined to break her habit of sneaking under the covers with us. But if I start to feel sorry for her I remember that she has it luckier than most dogs. You see, she has her choice of sleeping on not one, but two, sofas in our home.
Earlier this year I worried myself over an odd growth on Bailey’s side, and convinced myself she had some sort of terminal doggy cancer. The hubby took her to the vet and broke the news to me. It was a fat roll.
Tonight Bailey will have white cake with strawberry icing and pastel sprinkles and if Miss C has her way, we will be going to the store to buy Bailey a Disney Princess collar.
Happy Birthday Old Girl. Thank you for all the love you have given us over the past 10 years.