Suzy Snapper
Thursday, February 16, 2006
In the continuing trend that is my week, my brother had to put his dog down yesterday. We are all devastated. She had cancer and had lived a very good life.

Bailey came to us unexpectedly 10 years ago this May. On a day that was full of trauma and drama, my niece was injured by an errant baseball. She caught a line drive right in the face and suffered severe lacerations and broken nose, cheekbone and eye socket. She was just 14 years old and it was a life changing event.

That night, once she was home and safe, but very uncomfortable, her aunt called. Somehow, someway a pup had been found abandoned in a house not far from where she lived. The black-and-tan pup was no more than 2 weeks old, dehydrated and shivering and given the events of the day, her Aunt felt it might be a fitting end to a terrible day for both Shan and the pup.

The little wee pup, a rottweiler, had to be fed at first through an eyedropper because she was so little but Shan took to it like a born mom. Long before she was a mom herself. She decided to call her 'Bailey', as that was her favourite character at the time on TV - 'A Party of Five'.

Bailey grew up to be the sweetest, most loyal companion anyone could ask. She had the most soulful eyes and just begged to be a lapdog. She did have some medical problems, including hip dysplaysia and some abandonment issues but never once did she show aggression or any sign of a bad temper.

When Bailey was 4, my pup was found also under bad circumstances. I had no home at the time and was in the process of moving, so my brother took Molly to his home and Bailey became her surrogate Mom. They went everywhere together and were great friends. But Bailey also told her stories. Molly, to this day, thinks she's a Rottweiler and not a Border Collie.

A few months ago, Bailey seemed to be shrinking. She wasn't complaining and showed no outward signs of problems but she just didn't seem right. Visits to the vet showed nothing of concern. But then last week, that changed. She couldn't keep any food down or in.

My niece called me yesterday frantic. Bailey was in terrible pain, and vomitting blood. Poor Shan was doing her best to keep the kids from seeing the trouble - as Hayley's now 4 and will remember this. My brother took off from work and came home. It was nearly too late and Bailey collapsed in his arms on the way to the vet. The cancer had voraciously attacked her and there was nothing to be done but to save her from her pain.

Hayley has so far only asked once where her 4-legged best friend is. 'Bumpa, where did Bailey go?', she asked with the innocence only the young can.

'Well, Hayley, Bailey was very sick so she went to Heaven where she won't hurt anymore'.

We all held our breath as she contemplated the development.

'Ok, Bumpa, now will you play Barbies with me?'

I guess the questions will come later. We will all miss Bailey so much, but I am only thankful she is not suffering anymore.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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