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My Heart


ModKonnie

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My heart is broken. I have never been so sad. I keep waiting to hear his paws on the hardwood floors, hear his pant and see his smile. My 12 year old lab, Bailey, who is my heart, my best friend, my love, is in Heaven.

In 9/2011 one day Bailey and I were watching TV together and he stood up and started throwing up. He does this occasionally so I cleaned it up and laid on the floor with him while I talked and petted him. A few minutes later he did it again and I began to worry. I went into the kitchen to get paper towels. When he did not follow me and instead went into the hallway I immediately became worried. I heard a sound like water hitting the floor and ran in there to find he had diarrhea, but it was completely red with blood. My heart stopped and I freaked out. I called the vet hysterically crying and got him into the car. It took me less than 10 minutes to get there and they were on it immediately. He continued to diarrhea blood and the vet told me some level in his blood was high and they thought he had pancreatitis. The vet said it was very possible he was not going to pull through. My boyfriend and I were devistated. Bailey is my heart. I sat on the floor with him while he was hooked up to IVs until I had to leave. I just kept telling him "Momma loves her baby" with a smile on my face and his eyes would light up. Bailey lived for me. At 8:00 the next morning I was waiting for the vet to open to see my baby. I had prepeared myself all night that it might be the end for him. I went into the back. He was sleeping. As soon I touched him and said told him "hey baby, mommy is here" and woke up and wanted out to see me. I knew right then he would make it. My vet could not believe his recovery. He had to stay for a total of 3 days and when I took him home my vet and all his techs told me that the only reason he made it through is that he loved me so much, they had never seen anything like it. I was sent home with instructions on what to watch for, his new diet guidelines, and some medicine. Bailey was all better.

At the end of October on a Saturday afternoon Bailey began throwing up again. My vet told me if he started vomiting, bring him in without hesitation. We called their after hours service and they met us there. My vet was sad to see us again because he was doing so well at his check up a few weeks back. Bailey had to stay and that Monday I took him to a specialist. I had him scoped and they found an ulcer in his intestines and sent off some biopsies. I was able to take him home after a few days with lots of new meds. A couple days later I got the news of his biopsies. It was cancer. Allimentary lymphoma, very uncommon in dogs, more common in cats. I took him to an oncologist and she was wonderful, very optomostic that with meds he would live his life out. The chemo meds he was on, Leukeran, had very few side effects and she told me of a specialty compounding pharmacy I could get the pills from that saved me hundreds! This was early-mid November and we celebrated his 12th Birthday on 11/12.

Life went on as usual and Bailey was doing fantastic! He was behaving as if he was 6 or 7 years old again! His gate was not very lame, he had more energy, he stopped shedding (which I still cant understand why) and I was able to take him on short walks again. I thanked God everyday for his recovery.

Then, about 3 weeks ago at 5:00 in the morning my boyfriend got up to feed Bailey, his brothers and new sister (we had 6 total). I heard 2 of the dogs fighting and did not hear my boyfriend so I jumped out of bed thinking Bailey was getting hurt. I rounded the corner from the hall into the living room and BAM! Slipped on the hardwoods and went down. I dislocated my ankle, broke 2 bones in my ankle in 2 places, broke my leg, and pulled a tendon. I had surgery a week later on a Thursday and came home the next afternoon. My mom came to stay with us for like a week and could not get over how well Bailey was doing. I am in school and taking summer classes Monday and Wed so my mom took me to school Monday. When she picked me up she told me how Bailey laid by the front door the entire time I was gone waiting for me. Every once and a while he would perk his ears up thinking he heard me and would get up and start barking. Bailey loved to bark! She said he could not understand why I left with my mom but she was the only one to come back. When I got home he was all worked up and I could tell a little stressed out. That was around 3:30. He calmed down but around 5:00 he threw up and had diarrhea. I was ready to take him to the vet when he stopped vomiting and relaxed. I kept his food and water from him that night and over the next 2 days gradually got him back on his normal eating schedule.

That Thursday I was home all day, I cannot drive with my broken leg, and he laid on his bed at my feet. I would pet him and talk to him and kiss him and he would smile at me. Any time I got up he was right with me. He was my shadow. If I took a shower he would lay next to the tub occasionally pushing the shower curtian open to make sure I was still there. I hated that I could no longer lay on the floor with him, or walk outside through the yard with him, I know he enjoyed that. I fed him his dinner around 4:30 and he was fine. Around 6:30 I laid down to take a nap because I had not been feeling great, he laid on his bed by my bed and kept waking me up whining a little. I thought he just wanted more food, that is what prednisone will do to you. So around 7:00 I got up and he followed me into the living room and threw up. I was really worried since he threw up just a couple days ago. My boyfriend went to clean it up and he pooped a little so he took him into the front yard and I crutched out there to be with him. He laid down and began vomiting again. I could hear his stomach grumbling so we gave him an anti-nausea med and he only kept it down for a few minutes. Called the vet and he said to try another one with pepcid, crushed up and use a tiny bit of water in a syringe. He kept it down for like 5 minutes and we called the vet back. He said to bring him in asap so we got him into the car. Made it to the vet wihout vomiting so I was praying he was feeling better. My vet is so awesome, they were there within minutes after we pulled up. They carried him inside. He had a fever of a little over 104, and they took x-rays. That is when my heart stopped. He had bloat. His intestine had turned and he would not even make it long enough for surgery. I knew this was the last time I would ever hug my baby. Last time I would ever kiss him, feel his fur, see him smile at me and light up. This was it. This was good bye. He was laying on the x-ray table when the vet gave him pain meds so we would have a minute to say good bye. I felt like I was in a bad dream. When it was time I had my arms wrapped around him with my face on his telling him how good of a boy he is and how much I loved him. I told him that he was going to Heaven and I would see him again. One minute he was there, the next he was gone. It was so surreal. My heart was broken. I kept kissing him and waiting for him to take a breath and look at me. He looked peaceful, like he was sleeping. I wanted one more second with him. I felt like I couldnt tell him enough how much I love him and how much he means to me, how good he is and how he is my baby.

Needless to say we didnt get any sleep that night. I kept waiting to look down and see him looking up at me for me to smile at him and tell him how much I love him and what a good boy he is. We picked his body up the next day and drove him to my parents house in the mountians of NC where we buried him and said good bye for now. My parents will live there forever so I will always be able to talk to him no matter where I am in my life. In the fall I am going to plant a hydrangea over him.

I miss him so much. I got Bailey when I was 17 and now I am 29. He was with me through a big part of my life. He tought me so much about myself. I do not have any children so my dogs are my children. I had a special bond with Bailey. He lived for me. Everyone who knew me knew that. I dont know how I am going to get over his death. I keep telling myself that this is not good bye, I will see him in Heaven someday and that I am going to miss him until that day comes but time will make it better. What makes it even harder is that he did have cancer but he was doing so great. Even his vets were amazed with how well he was doing. I keep looking at his pictures and thinking about the times we spent together but I cant get the image of him laying dead on the table out of my head. He did look peaceful, which helps, but he was dead. He is dead. I will never get to pet him again, or kiss him, or tell him how much I love him. I will never get to hug him and take walks with him where he has to stop and smell everything. Never hear him bark or see him smile or look up at me. He is not here to greet me when I get home or lay by my bed when I sleep. I tried to prepare myself for his death ever since he got sick the first time but it was no use. What makes it even harder is that the older he got the more he relied on me. A big part of my day was taking care of him. No one will ever be able to replace him. I have 5 other dogs who I love to death too but I do not have that bond with them like I did with Bailey. And just thinking about going through this with them some day makes my heart even heavier.

I read online somewhere that writing about your loss helps. It has taken me hours to write this because I keep crying. Bailey ran my household, or as my mom says "ruled the roost", and now it feels so quiet and empty without him. I miss him so much. I will be ok for a few minutes or an hour or so then I just break down. Any tips on things I can do cope? I cannot stop thinking about him and missing him. Its like I lost my best friend, my child and a part of me.

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Hi Kelley,

I didn't see your picture on the other post you posted. I can see it now. Bailey looks awesome. In case you read this first, I posted to your other post.

ModKonnie

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