“Dogwear” and Bailey the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

"Moment to Moment"

I thought about Bailey tonight.  I remember her trying to stand on the lawn during the days after she collapsed.  She kept falling to the side and trying to right herself.  I would stand on the lawn with her and feel heartache like I had never felt before.

Bailey was fourteen years old when her homeopathic veterinarian, Julie Anne Lee, told us Bailey was now entering old age and a geriatric vestibular disability.  Julie Anne, the angel that she is, kept Bailey perfectly comfortable and held our hand as we all saw Bailey through seven months to her last breath.  There was no medical interference; Bailey died naturally  one winter afternoon in 2000.

Excerpt from My Journal:  January 17, 2002.

I remember staring out of my eyes and feeling my entire body paralyzed with the pain of knowing she would soon be leaving me.  It still hurts so bad I can’t stop crying. We were made for one another.  I’ll never find love like hers again.  I don’t know why we have to be separated, on a cord so long we can’t see each other.  Your little bouquet of whiskers tickling the backs of my knees, your little heartbeat when we hugged, your nose pushing a grape along the rug:  I think of these when I spot the tiny white scar on the inside of my forearm where your sharp baby teeth nipped me one day while we played on the livingroom carpet.

Hours dissolved as we rolled around, and barked at each other, with you grabbing the sleeve of my sweatshirt and tugging and tearing at it.  Lots of my clothes became worn and torn while we romped about so I called them my “Dogwear”.

You brought all the love, joy, worry and wonder into my life as we spent our fourteen plus years together.  One of the funniest things you did was nip the backs of our ankles as we walked ahead of you; when this happened I couldn’t stop laughing, and now I can’t stop crying:  I love my little Bailey.

Budda died and left behind a big emptiness: Bailey must have been my Budda.

Pass me a tape measure,

I  want to measure the

distance to heaven,

I need to know how many

stars I’ll step on,

before I reach the

entrance between the

gilt gates.

I’ll walk through and

there you’ll be

barking at a squirrel

climbing a tree.

You’ll hear my steps

and lunge straight at me.

We’ll walk together

without a leash,

we’ll walk wherever we please.

Dinner will come on a

tray with two bowls, and

once we’ve eaten we’ll dig

two holes.  I love you,

and you love me, and we’ll

sleep together under a tree.

I’ll be seeing you in my

dreams again,

until then, have fun in

your heavenly play-pen.

P.S.  It’s your turn to cook the vegetables tonight and I’ll do the cleaning up:  I will lick the dishes until they’re clean.  Oh, stop barking! I was only kidding, I know that’s your job. Woof!!

Julie Anne Lee, Veterinarian


Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

6 thoughts on ““Dogwear” and Bailey the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

    1. Yes Jannette,
      Shakespeare must have been a dog owner.
      “…hard on the living” That is the element at the core of every journal. The journal is a lifeboat.

  1. That was a wonderful poem mom. I would like to put that in my scrapbook with one of the pics I have of Bailey! It’s playful, like she was!!

    1. Hi Nina,
      You’re a sweetheart to remember Bailey in your beautiful scrapbook. Now for a few lyrics from her song:
      “…you jump and play all day long,
      You’re happy when we sing your song…Baiillee, my little Baiiilleee”
      Love from,

  2. So hard you feel like I did when my dog had to leave. it is hard to say the d word. Loved your words.

    1. Avril, thanks for your kind words. After ten years I seem to be having a relapse.
      I think it may be my current dreams where Bailey comes into them as alive as before she ‘left’.

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