Eleven years ago I was going through a bitter divorce. At the same time, a good friend was struggling with what was to be the last stage of her battle with cancer. Due to her illness, Kathy needed to find a home for her 5-month-old yellow lab puppy, Bailey.

My two teens and I were the fortunate family that took him into our home.
We managed to survive the early years with Bailey, including his chewing on shoes, clothes, my son’s jet ski life vest, and constant counter surfing any time we turned our backs.

Now, the kids are hard working adults and owners of their own yellow labs with many of their own stories to tell: Buddy, who as a puppy jumped out of the back of my son’s truck on a back country road and a few years later pushed an air conditioning unit out of the 2nd floor window, and Brodie, my daughter’s lab, who made a special effort to swim out to greet the only boater on the water in Charleston, SC, where she lives. As you may note, they have kept the “B” theme with the names.

For the last five years, it has been just my companion with me at home. We are getting old together. I had a knee replacement two years ago, and he now needs a lift when getting up on my bed. But at 11 ½, he still is doing great.

Bailey started out as Kathy’s puppy. I am grateful she chose such a wonderful dog. I know he was and is a gift from God. I am so blessed to be his adopted mom.

— Anne from Frederick, MD