I adopted Bailey, a mixed Golden Retriever-Chow mix, when I got out of the Army. It was 1992, I’d done my part during Desert Storm, and was set to be a Civilian with a house and a dog.

She had a tough time adapting to me getting married and giving up her half of the bed, but I sent my bride and Bailey to obedience training and they learned to communicate.

Bailey got me through some tough times over the 15 years she was in my life, even alerted me to a crook trying to break in through my back porch screen door with her growling and bought me time to grab my firearm and scare the thug off.

She diligently guarded both of our two children from the day each was brought home from the hospital, sleeping in the crib room and later in the bedroom both share.

The years caught up with Bailey as Winter set in. Her muscles deteriorated to the point that she couldn’t stand up to eat or go potty, and finally she stopped eating completely.

I made her appointment at the vet last Friday, and we had one last great weekend of brushing and petting. I took her in today, and sat with her the entire time. She knew. As weak as she was from having not eaten in days, she still managed to hold her head up and look me in the eye right up to the end.

When the time is right, we’ll go to the local shelter and begin again. Bailey was my third dog, and I believe strongly they’ll all be waiting for me at the gates.


Dave from NJ