Reminders Help Us Heal

There are reminders everywhere, which make my heart ache at times. Sometimes, I think I catch a glimpse of Bailey in the back yard, but then I realize it is wishful thinking. We put our Christmas tree up and found her ornaments. My son kissed them and said “I love you Bailey” and we gave them a special spot on the tree. I also saw these dog antlers at Target the other day and they stopped me in my tracks. I was quickly whisked back to Bailey’s puppy years when she used to wear them on her head, she was the cutest little reindeer pup!

The other day, I was listing items on ebay when I saw a husky dog walk up my steps. I couldn’t believe my eyes, staring at me was this beautiful dog with the prettiest blue eyes. I went outside and she was so friendly and loving. I could tell she was thirsty, so I grabbed a bowl of water. Her tag indicated her name was Layla. Then, something sparked Layla’s attention and she took off. I walked up and down the street calling her name and searching frantically, I was worried she’d be hit by a car. A neighbor came out and we were able to coax Layla back and hook a rope on her (like a leash). We found a telephone number on her tag, so I called and left a voicemail. I also called the vet number on her rabies tag and had the vet communicate my information to her owner. A little while later, I was able to reunite Layla with her family. They had been searching for 2 hours after Layla had escaped from her grandma’s back yard. It was so wonderful to see the family reunion, the spark in the owner’s eye and the wag of Layla’s tail! My heart smiled.

When we lived downtown, we had the same UPS delivery guy Jim for 3 years (aka DeeDee’s friend because my son referred to her as DeeDee when he was learning to talk). Jim was someone Bailey would have run away with forever, she loved him and would go crazy when she heard his squeaky truck coming down our street. You would have never known she was an elderly, ailing dog because she’d jump to her feet and take off running to see. He would deliver our packages then love on Bailey. He always had a milk bone dog biscuit, too. If we were not home, he’d leave the milk bone on top of our boxes for his sweet girl. Anyway, a box was rerouted to our new home and delivered by our new UPS guy. My son and I opened the box and a milk bone dropped out of the flap and onto the floor. We both just looked at it and lost it. We knew Jim obviously was the one who rerouted it and tucked a bone in for his girl.

Every single day, my son calls her. We have a vintage telephone and he uses that phone as his hotline to Rainbow Bridge. He shares what’s going on in his life, how much he misses her and always tells her to have fun playing. According to him, there are even times she’s unavailable because she’s eating ham biscuits or chasing squirrels (from the book Dog Heaven). The good news is, this is helping his little heart heal and I can now listen to the sweet conversation without crying.

During my morning run yesterday, there was an old, white faced golden retriever walking in a yard. I heard the owner say “come here Bailey” and it took all I had not to stop and put my arms around the dog’s neck. My face had a huge smile on it as I thought about my precious girl.

Lastly, a letter was rerouted to our home yesterday, it was from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. I wanted to share the first paragraph:

“We have recently received a financial gift from Downtown Pet Hospital in memory of your beloved Bailey. Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your pet. Losing a pet is never an easy experience. If you feel the need to talk to someone who will understand your loss and grief, please contact our grief counselor”. 

How amazing is that? We loved Downtown Pet Hospital and their generosity is awesome! We are so appreciative of their thoughtfulness. If/when we decide to add a new furry family member, without hesitation Downtown Pet Hospital would be our veterinary choice. Besides being loving and kind, they have a state of the art facility and are technologically advanced. They took such wonderful care of Bailey and I will forever be grateful.



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