My world was torn apart yesterday when my dad had to put our family dog to sleep. Bailey was born on May 7, 1999 and I received her a few weeks later for my 13th birthday. She was the BEST dog. She loved going bye bye in the car, treats, snuggling and chewing on her chewies. I knew she was sick but never expected the phone call I got yesterday saying they found cancer in her liver.
We had lunch with my dad 2 weeks ago and he said he had noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. He had switched her dog food so he thought she just wasn't eating it. He switched her dog food back and she was eating but not gaining any weight back. Last week, he was in Texas for work so my grandma and grandpa kept her. He called them everyday to check on Bailey and they said she was doing great. Just playing and laying on grandma's lap like she always did.
Dad got back in town Friday and Derek, me, my sister Amy and the kids went to Manhattan Friday night. Bailey ran to the door as soon as she saw us and was so excited like she always was. I reached down to pick her up and was shocked at how tiny she was. I could feel every bone in her body. She ate her dog food, treats and acted like her normal self that night. Usually when we are in town, she sleeps with my dad until he wakes up the morning and then hops around beds to cuddle with whoever is still sleeping. The girl loved being under the covers and cuddling at night. I was surprised that she followed Derek and I to bed Friday night and wanted to sleep with us (and Zoe and Elsie). I of course let her! She slept right up against me all night Friday night and I am so glad I got that 1 last time. Looking back on it, I think she did it knowing that it might be the last time.
Saturday as she was on my lap I pulled her eyes back and noticed they were really yellow in the back. I immediately knew that wasn't right and looked at her tummy and realized it was yellow as well. I googled these symptoms and found numerous things it could have been. She was still running around, playing and eating that day but dad said he was going to get her in first thing Monday.
Saturday morning dad said she had accidents in his room during the night. He woke up to hearing her belly make all sorts of sounds and poop all over the floor. This was not like Bailey AT ALL. She has been potty trained for 11+ years and has been known to hold her pee and poop for HOURS when it's storming or she hears firecrackers because she is too scared to go outside (she ran away on New Years Eve of the millenium because a loud firecracker scared her. We searched for her day and night until we found her almost a week later). Dad called the vet right away Sunday morning and they of course were closed except for emergencies and thought she would be ok until Monday.
He took her in Monday morning and they decided to keep her for the day to run tests. They did a sonogram and noticed spots on her liver. They called my dad for permission to put her under so they could scrape the spots on her liver and test them. About an hour later we got the worst news we could have ever imagined...she had cancer all over her liver. All weekend we never thought this would be the outcome. We just thought she had a stone or something but we said if worse comes to worse and they say she is in pain and there isn't anything they can do, we would put her to sleep. We didn't want her suffering so the decision was made to put her to sleep yesterday at 5. I got the news at 3:30 so there was no way I could make it to Manhattan. 5 was the latest they could do yesterday or they would have to do it today. I didn't want her suffering over night and I gave her a big hug and kiss Sunday before we left so I knew she knew I loved her and I wanted her to be pain free. Dad went back in after they called to tell him the news and was able to play with her and hold her before they put her to sleep. He said the room was like a living room instead of a hospital room so she wasn't nervous and was up playing. She loves chewing on chewies so she was chewing on her bone on my dads lap until she went to sleep forever.
As hard as this is on me, I know its even harder on my dad. It's just been Bailey and him since all of us kids moved out and she is his little side kick. She sleeps with him, eats lunch with him when he comes home over his lunch break, takes a little nap with him on his lunch break and is right beside him every night when he reads the newspaper. Every Friday they load up in the car and make the 2 hour drive to KC where they spend the weekends with his girlfriend and her dog Moe. And every Sunday they make the 2 hour drive back to Manhattan. I pray that he finds strength to get through these next couple weeks and that he knows that she is always going to be right there beside him. You will forever be loved and missed Bailey.
RIP Bailey Marie Long
May 7, 1999-Feb 28, 2011