Today is a very special family member’s birthday. Honestly we don’t know when her actual birthday is, but we do know that she was born in 1997, which was the same year the hubby and I got married. We were young, in love, and had romantic notions of owning a dog, taking it for long walks, and feeding it doggy bon bons while it napped lovingly at our feet.
October 2000, Bailey and I hiking with the hubby at Edwin Warner Park in Nashville.
We had been talking about getting a dog and then one fall day he called me at work to tell me he was at the local Humane Association and that he’d found the cutest Corgi mix with remarkably huge ears who was an abuse case. She was a Corgi/German Shepherd mix they called Punkin. The workers at the shelter liked to bring her into the breakroom. They told us she loved potato chips. She rode home with the hubby in his red Suzuki Sidekick, and when I got home from work that evening they were asleep together on the couch.
At some point in her doggy youth, before she was removed from her first home, Bailey’s left leg was broken and it never healed properly. That’s never slowed her down. Although she is now more than 70 years old in human years, she is still in amazing shape, although this year she has difficulty making our neighborhood mile walk with us.
I don’t know what horrors she went through the first few months of her life, but since joining our family she’s lived a fairly posh life. When we first brought her home she was absolutely terrified of a collar and leash. Housebreaking her was a complete and total nightmare and since then I’ve sworn we’ll never have a puppy again. She ate a hole in the carpet in the stairs at our old condo, where she used to “lay lay sun sun” whenever the sunlight would stream in through our front window. Yes, hubby and I completely doted on her and treated her like a baby-a baby with four paws, huge ears, and a penchant for tennis balls and leftover milk in the cereal bowl.
Now I definitely complain about her. She can be annoying. Her barking at 5:30 a.m. and waking me up today wasn’t a good way to foster touchy feely love and affection for her on her birthday, but then Miss C got up, bounded out of bed and ran downstairs to sing Happy Birthday to the “queen” on her throne (our old couch downstairs.)
Bailey has been a good, good girl to us all these years and at 11 years old, she’s still going strong. She was our baby before we had babies. She helped us break in our first home. She slept with us in our bed until I got pregnant with Miss C in 2001. Our second Christmas card photo as husband and wife features me, hubby, Bailey, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. No, I’m not kidding.
Tonight she’s celebrating like the fabulous girl she is…with sweets and shopping at her favorite store. But she won’t be getting in bed with us.
p.s. I thought I’d lost the next photo, which was a prank ultrasound photo that the hubby e-mailed to our friends and family in 2001 when I was pregnant with Miss C. Yeah, we’re weird.