09/01/2005 to 09/05/2019
May you Rest In Peace; joining Beaumont, Bentley, Buster, Cousin Mango and Grandma over the Rainbowsbridge. I know, in my heart, ALL of you will be there to greet me when I transition from this realm. Love doesn't simply end; until we are ALL reunited for eternity...I love you, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I didn't meet my "FOREVER" DAD until I was 6 years old; here's MY story:
I was a "rescue" cocker spaniel from NY Abandoned Angels Rescue; an amazing organization with a dedicated network of volunteer's and an amazing founder, Dolores Rodriguez (please research the organization).
My name in rescue was "Billy the Kid;" after the outlaw. Upon adoption to my FOREVER home, I was renamed "Mr. Billy Bailey," after the affable uncle in the 1947 Christmas classic, "It's a Wonderful Life."
I met my FOREVER Dad after waiting 2,354 days from my birth (09/01/05) until my "Gottcha" Day (02/11/2012). I learned that I was purchased as a puppy and had "bitten," in my first home; that "family" turned me in to NY Abandoned Angels Rescue. I spent a significant amount of time in rescue at the founder's personal residence.
At approximately 2 years of age, I was adopted out to a couple from CT. I lived there for awhile; but they used an electronic "shock" collar on me to "train" me on what furniture I was permitted to be on and what furniture I was NOT entitled to be on.
One day, the "shock" collar malfunctioned and burned a hole in my neck; to this day, hair has never grown back in that area. At that point, the man decided to return me to rescue (NY Abandoned Angels).
My FOREVER Dad:
I met Bailey in January, 2012. I lost my spaniel, the prior year. I felt my heart was open to bringing a new friend into a FOREVER HOME.
I drove from Boston, MA to Flushing, NY on a mild, winter Saturday morning. I met several dogs and was encouraged; by the rescue, to spend time with each of them individually. I walked them to a neighborhood park. I walked two (2) dogs that day; Billy, n/k/a Bailey and Dino. Dino was a beautiful spaniel but extremely strong; squirrels were his goal. Bailey, was still healing from his neck wound, he reached his FOREVER HOME on February 11, 2012.
"GOTTCHA" DAY: 02/11/2012
Bailey's quote: "To live in the hearts we leave behind is NOT to die..."
Bailey's songs: "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Milder
Nicknames: Mr. Billy-Bailey (It's a Wonderful Life; Christmas Classic)
Commands: Bailey understands SIT, PAW, STAY, DOWN, ROLL
Grooming: Who wants a brush job...roll...other side...roll
I remember every time that I walked in the front door, Bailey would get so excited; he'd run to get one of his toys then run away and have me chase after him or he would follow me into the kitchen and roll over on the carpet and have me pet his belly as he waved his front legs up in the air in happiness.
I remember our weeknight walks for takeout sushi from Samurai Sushi and then a stop at Brix Wine shop for a bottle of wine. Bailey was a "celebrity" in his Back Bay neighborhood.
-Bailey TRAINED me. Bailey's internal clock knew when breakfast, snack, dinner and snack would be served to him.
Adventures: Bailey loves to hike and our adventures took us to the following locations: Ogunquit, ME; Provincetown, MA; Truro, MA; Boston Common and Boston Public Garden; Charles River Esplanade; Lincoln Woods State Park, RI; Cutler Reservation, MA; Blue Hills, MA; Castle Island, MA; Manhattan, NY; Central Park, NY; Eagle Rock Reservation, NJ.
-Bailey LOVES swimming and long walks in the city, beach and country; he can walk and explore for hours ☺ Whenever the opportunity arises, Bailey loves to jump into the water and swim doing his dog paddle. He could spend the entire afternoon in the water and take short breaks in between his laps ☺
-Bailey LOVES to travel, patiently riding in the car until we reach a new destination with brand new scents for him to explore.
-Billy-Bailey aka "The Bear," he moves and walks like a bear and forages for food. (trust me, he's well fed ☺) I would say to him: " This is my bear, I've never had my own, real life, living bear." Bailey is like having a real life "Winnie the Poo."
-Bailey LOVES grilled chicken; hamburger meat with brown rice; grilled salmon, pizza crust AND fresh watermelon...Bailey HATES Steak and ALL forms of tough red meat; I never realized it but that's just like me!!!
-Bailey LOVES small, squeaky, plush toys; he would pick them up, run, drop them and then roll all over them; I'm guessing to mark his scent.
-Bailey LOVES his gourmet treats from Polka Dot Pet Bakery; his favorites are: Cod Chips, Salmon Chips, Henny-Penny chew sticks and the Chicken Little treats. Sometimes on our urban walks, we would end up at the front door of the shop...Bailey loved to go in...smell all the treats and pick out his own bone from the vast selection.
-I remember after every trip away from the house, you run down the hallway to our front door, run inside and immediately check on your toys. I always say: Do you think someone came in and stole your toys?
-I remember you came with me to the protest rally against the Muslim ban in Copley Square, Boston, MA. You would go ANYWHERE with me, you trust me unconditionally and I love you unconditionally.
-I remember laying in bed and telling Bailey... "jump, jump...you love grandma's featherbed." After my Mom passed, we inherited a new featherbed that she had recently purchased before her sudden passing.
-Bailey is a very strong, athletic, muscular dog...He is always very protective of me and I'm always very protective of him.
-Bailey saw me through the death of my mother, Aunt Vera, Aunt Barbara, Uncle Kenny and his canine companion, Mango.
-Bailey is OBSESSED with licking Palmer's Coco butter from my fingers and toes.
07/09/18 - After a "challenging" Manhattan, NY; Bronx, NY; Montclair, NJ road trip, I told Bailey... "You're CRAZY as HECK but I LOVE you." I remember, when a stranger tried to pet you in the elevator of The Muse Hotel, you snapped at him as if to say, "stay away from me and my Dad."
09/24/18 Bailey has taught ME so much...about unconditional LOVE, patience, acceptance and understanding. It's ALL better with LOVE.
10/19/18 I remember when you stepped on an acorn and it was lodged between the pads of your rear leg; you walked a block and 1/2 before alerting me. #Trooper
03/30/19 Sometimes when Bailey looks at me, I think his is staying here for ME; so, I'm not alone. Sometimes he looks so tired and worn down after doing things that brought him so much joy over the years...swimming, hiking, beach days.
04/04/19 After being diagnosed with canine congestive heart failure, we could still do our longer urban walks until about 05/11/19. That was the last day that we walked down to West Canton St. and Bailey stopped at the liquor store to get his treats from the doggie treat bowl on the counter. On the way home, he just STOPPED...turning his head, breathing in the fresh air, his ears blowing in the wind...taking in his neighborhood for the past 8 years...What is he thinking? Is this the last time I'll breathe all of these scents in? ☹
After Bailey's diagnosis, I began to cook his meals to cut sodium from his diet. Bailey LOVES chicken or hamburger with brown, watermelon, pizza crust and fresh, grilled salmon. Bailey dislikes steak and chicken liver. His preference for treats has also changed, he's lost interest in his evening chew bones; he prefers small bite size treats now instead.
-Sometimes, Bailey just STOPS on our walks; watches younger dogs with their pet parents, running and jumping...it's almost as if, he's reflecting; "Hey, I used to do that once too."
04/06/19 Lincoln Woods State Park -- We didn't walk the 3.5 mile path like Bailey used to be able to do but we did walk, rest, walk and rest. Bailey LOVES nature and he smelled everything and enjoyed water walking and sitting with the breeze blowing his ears in the wind.
04/20/19 We traveled to Provincetown, MA for the weekend with Bailey. He enjoyed running on the beach at Race Point and walking down the pier, always pulling towards the ocean. He LOVES the water.
May, 2019 - Bailey can still muster the energy to lunge after his neighborhood "arch" enemy; a dog three times his size. Today, he caught me by surprise, I didn't see the other dog approaching; he lunged and pulled my rotator cuff in my right arm.
-Bailey has ALWAYS been a "garbage picker;" much to my chagrin. I would always tell him: " I'm going to get you a "part-time" with the trash department as the neighborhood mascot" ☺
As Bailey's heart disease progressed, we adjusted his medications several times and added new and, sometimes, stronger medications. On one of our visits to the cardiologist, I was told his heart was very weak and he COULD pass away at home. I added a yellow sticky to the inside of my front door to remind myself to NEVER leave without KISSING him and TELLING him...I LOVE YOU.
June, 2019 I remember that we shared a soft serve vanilla ice cream cone at Castle Island on the first, hot weekend of the summer (2019).
07/22/19 Me = crying in the shower...Bailey has virtually NO interest in his toys anymore ☹
07/26/19 Bailey doesn't even come into the kitchen anymore when I'm cooking dinner, there were years that I had to blockade him out.
07/28/19 Concerned...Bailey has NO interest on food that hits the floor-ODD.
08/03/19 We traveled to Point Judith, RI; Bailey enjoyed the shoreline but it was a bit too rocky so we walked the beach and a grassy knoll for awhile...(at this stage, he OFTEN stops, pauses...turns his head, takes in every scent and breath...almost "in appreciation" for his life in this realm...sometimes, I think HE is staying here for ME; that shouldn't be the case ☹
08/05/19 I know that Bailey is not well when I'm cooking chicken and he is asleep in his bed ☹
08/05/19 I think, Bailey is WORN OUT...Is he staying here for me? Love doesn't END...I'll see you again "MY DOODLE DOG," in another realm.
08/10/19 I love you...yesterday, today and tomorrow.
08/20/19 Afternoon spent at Arnold Arboretum with Bailey, Tico & me...A good time was had by ALL ☺
08/25/19 Child: "Mommy that man went in the water with his shoes on with his dog," Castle Island, MA. Bailey wanted to go water-walking and I
-I remember Bailey did not like strangers coming into his home. If for whatever reason a repairman needed to come home, I'd have to book Bailey for a "spa day" at the groomers. Even with that, he would come home, nose in the air and run through the house, he knew someone was there in his absence. Bailey has an AMAZING sense of smell and sight.
-Bailey loves to roll on his back and throw his paws in the air, as if to say...PET ME, PET ME!!!
-I would tell him: " I LOVE you, my flat foot baby..."
I adopted Bailey in February, 2012; as soon as the New England weather improved (mid-March) I took him to a "family favorite" spot; Footbridge Beach in Ogunquit, ME...the beach was empty and I decided to let him run off-leash on the beach; BIG MISTAKE...He ran, ran and ran...I panicked, I start running after him on this nearly deserted beach...I kind gentleman greeted Bailey into his waterfront home and kept him until I was able to catch-up to him. I still have the piece of driftwood that he picked up and ran with that day ☺
In February, 2012; the first week of our adoption; Bailey bit my hand, causing 22 lacerations and a broken thumb. I avoided Mom until mid-March because I didn't want her to see what my "new" rescue did to my hand. The first time Mom met Bailey, I opened the front door of her townhouse and she was right there...she grabbed Bailey by the head and gave him a giant kiss on his forehead between his eyes, leaving a lipstick mark...Bailey was NEVER aggressive towards Mom...I was mortified, I thought he would snap/bite her...everything happened so fast...Bailey loves his Grandma ☺
-Mango came to live with us after my Mom passed away in June, 2013. Mango had a gentle, loving, friendly demeanor and he never met a person or animal that he didn't like. Mango is credited with helping to calm Bailey and improve his self-confidence inside and outside the home ☺
-When I brush Bailey and he is on his back, I say the "Three Little Piggy's" nursery rhyme to him with the pads of his paw:
*Bailey thought the smartest piggy was the one that had roast beef ☺
-Bailey has a biological clock, he knows when it's the weekend and meal time (breakfast, snack, dinner and snack). On weekends, he knows that our daily routine is different and he knows an adventure awaits him. Regarding his meals and snacks, he's pacing within 15 minutes of his daily timeframe waiting for me to prepare them.
-I wish I could go back in time and make you young again ☹
09/03/19 Bailey didn't eat his breakfast this morning and is extremely lethargic, I started crying and he mustered the energy to get up and check on me
09/03/19 I need to be strong for HIM.
09/05/19 Bailey is extremely lethargic, I mixed fresh chicken, grilled salmon and a handful of his prescription heart-diet dry food for breakfast; he won't eat.
Spoke to veterinarian and cardiologist.
09/05/19 @ 4:39 p.m., my iwatch just sent me an alert: BREATHE
09/01/2020 - Happy 15th Birthday in heaven my "doodle" dog. I love and miss you. I miss our weekend adventures, you were ALWAYS ready for a road trip in the car. You loved our hikes in Lincoln Woods Park, Cutler Reservation, the Blue Hills and swimming at Castle Island. Every time that I go to Castle Island, I think of you and walk past your swimming spot where we spent many hot summer afternoons. I buried one of your favorite toys in that location along with toys at Lincoln Woods and Cutler Reservation in our "spots."
09/05/2020 -ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY; It doesn't seem possible that a year has passed since you crossed over to Rainbowsbridge. I remember it like it was yesterday :( So much has happened in that time, we have been in the middle of a once in a lifetime pandemic...we left Boston for the house in FL for 4 months while the restaurant was closed. Each time I go to Castle Island, I take a photo of the tree that we sat under on your last day in this realm. I've taken it during each season...summer, autumn, winter and spring. It's amazing to see it change from full of green leaves to shades of orange and brown to bare then rebirth in the spring...it's a version of the circle of life in nature. I love you and miss you so much, thank you for choosing me to be your caretaker!!! All my love, Daddy Paul xo
09/01/2021 - Happy 16th birthday over the Rainbow Bridge. I love you and miss you!!! We traveled to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT to lay your cremains to rest alongside your brothers in April, 2021. Your flagstone marker is beautiful with your photo at Footbridge Beach in Ogunquit, ME. It's such a beautiful, peaceful place and it brings me comfort to know that ALL of my spaniels will be laid to rest next to each other after I'm gone. I hope you enjoy the day with Grandma and your brothers!!! I love you yesterday, today and tomorrow xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Daddy Paul and Baker
09/05/21 - TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY. I know that I write it often however, I can't believe 2 years have already passed since your transition over the Rainbowbridge. The world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic; we lost Cousin Ron to the virus in December, 2020 at the age of 52 :( so sad and tragic. Yesterday, Baker and I went over to Castle Island and walked the entire property. We stopped by the two rocks on the beach where I buried one of your favorite toys after your passing, we took a picture since the tide was going out to sea. I love and miss ALL of you!!! One day, we'll be reunited for eternity. I love you, my doodle dog!!! Much love, Daddy Paul