Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Where I Am At

The food and water dish I just can't pick up.

The empty truck that makes me burst into tears as I approach.

The little piles of hair on the floor that I can't sweep up.

The collar I hold onto and carry around like a security blanket, refusing to let go.

Those things, and so many other things pierce my shattered heart.  I miss my boy so much.  The amount of comments and messages I have received on my blog, on Facebook and twitter, in my email, and on my phone are testament to what an amazing boy my Bailey was.  He touched so many lives, and not one person who came in contact with him - in real life or virtually through my blog or Facebook - left without a smile on their face.

Bailey just made life better.  For everyone he came in contact with.

Everyone's dog is special.  Bailey was supremely special in a way I can't put into words.  He and I had a connection that started when he was 4 weeks old and crawled into my lap.  I swear, he picked me.  Numerous strangers would tell me as they watched Bailey watch me and move where I moved, "That dog sure loves you."

I didn't have to train him to walk with me.  He just did it.  It was like he knew what John and I wanted him to do, and he just did it with minimal encouragement.

Bailey worked with me in the Allagash when I was a ranger in northern Maine, he went to grad school with me (he was allowed with me in the building), then came with me to work in the woods as a forester.  He spent office days under my desk with his chin on my foot, and days in the field running through the woods, never out of sight.

Unless he saw a moose.  He had a thing for moose.

When I say we were never apart, I mean it.  He has been by my side through every move, every sadness, every joy, and every celebration.  He was always there.

So to say it is hard to be without him is an understatement.  John and I are never going to be used to him being gone.  He gave us the best 10 years of our lives.   Now a part of us is missing - it is like walking around without an arm...or more accurately, with a hole in your core.

Thank you everyone for your support and kind words - if I haven't gotten back to you it isn't because I don't appreciate it, I am truly overwhelmed at the volume of response I have gotten - like I said it is a true testament to the wonderful special boy that Bailey was.

In an attempt to focus on the best memories, and maybe heal this hole in my heart just a little - I am going to continue Muttley Monday's for the time being.  I am going to be posting some pictures from some of the good times when Bailey was with us, starting with puppy pictures.

Thank you all for your support.   I am going to start training again tomorrow - I mentally have not been able to train for the past week because of what was going on with Bailey.  I wanted to spend every last second with him that I could, soak in every single thing I could.

I miss you Bailey, Bubba, Bailey Boo, Dubba, Doo Doo, Baby Dog, my sweet Baby Boy - for the rest of my life, I will miss you.

54 comments:

Matty O said...

Like I have told you, I honestly can't comprehend.

As Frank is a big opf and comes running into me full steam (forgetting to stop before he crashes into me and makes me fall) I sit there and try to make a mental memory of his joy for life. I can't fathom living without our "children".

I hurt for you.

Michael said...

I just read your last post a few minutes ago and then saw this. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. My heart truly goes out to you. Our dogs are truly family and it hurts so much when they are gone. I have been where you are and felt how you feel and know just how bad it hurts. Bailey was a beautiful and wonderful dog. Take care of yourself and take time to heal.

Jon said...

Virtual Hug Mandy!

Bailey wasn't just a dog, he was a companion and basically your kid! Remember all of the good times you had with him. They will be with you forever!

You had me in tears when I read your nicknames for him. It always those small things that mean the most.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Yep. This one brought a tear to my eye. Awesome post.

It is crazy how much an animal that we can't even talk to on a verbal level becomes so ingrained in our lives. Man's best friend is the biggest understatement ever.

Your idea to keep the Muttley Monday's going sounds like an amazing idea. No better way to remember him than share your memories.

You've got a whole world of support out here. Hugs!

CouplaHounds said...

Your loss is felt by so many and your grief shared amongst friends.

We will all miss Bailey, even if we never met him, and know that he is still chasing moose somewhere....just not where you can see him!

Doug W said...

SO sorry Mandy, I just caught-up on this. Sending big hugs!

Matthew Smith said...

I can imagine losing my Maglee, so I don't really understand what you're going through. Hang in there!

Evolving Through Running said...

Very touching post. You can feel the love in every word. Glad you had such a wonderful friend, and will have wonderful memories.

Mike said...

So sorry you lost your buddy. Posting a bunch of pictures sounds like a good idea. I look forward to them.

Kim said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I do understand what you're going through. We lost our dog to cancer in Feb. and it was one of the hardest times in my life. I walked around with her collar for a while, like a security blanket. Just something to keep her close. I still go by it (it's on our mantle) and will smell it just to smell her again, like she's still here. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her and wish she could be here with us again.

Many sympathies sent your way. I hope that all the good memories will help ease the pain.

Claire said...

Tried to email you...not sure that it worked. Just wanted to you know that I'm thinking about you. Take care....

Ms. Duffy said...

I'm so sorry. One of our two dogs was hit by a car a few years ago and it was one of the worst losses I can think of in recent memory. It's so, so rough but eventually it fades... and pictures and smiles and remembering all of the good times definitely helps! I'm thinking of you even though we've never met or even spoken, and I truly hope that a world of good things comes your way to make it feel a little better. *hugs*

P said...

Oh, Mandy, my heart goes out to you! Losing a much beloved pet is a pain like nothing else in life. I still think of (and miss) our first dog Daisy, even though it's been over three years since she's been gone. "Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole."

Molly said...

Mandy, I am so truly sorry : (

I've been thinking of you these couple of days. My jaw honestly dropped open when I read your post about his passing.

JohnP said...

Tears for sure... again. Bailey was special for sure - I don't even like dogs but even I found a little spot in my heart for him! You guys are THAT awesome! :)

We will all remember. Please do share those good times!

Tough Chik said...

I truly feel for you and know that one day I will be in your place. I don't have kids, I have my dog. He is my best friends and I can only imagine the pain you are going trough. My heart aches for you. Rest in peace Bailey.

Colleen said...

I'm absolutely heart broken for you Mandy...

Bailey was an extraordinary dog, friend, buddy, part of you. He was just as lucky to have you as you were to have him.

I'm wishing you strength right now.

xoxo

Kristin Deaton said...

I am truly an animal lover. The one that cries at those ASPCA commercials so you can imagine me reading your last two posts. I can't do anything to hold back the tears. They just keep coming and coming. My heart is broken for you too. Bless you Mandy and may you have to strength each day to remember Bailey, honor him, and be able to do the things that he would want you to do.

Hugs

Mike said...

Words can't even begin to describe how heartbroken I am for you. The loss that you (and Kier) are going through is more than anyone should face alone. As you can see, you aren't alone. We ache with you, cry with you, rejoice with you in the memories you have and share with us. This strange and wonderful family of which we are all a part will pick you up, carry you, or sit with you as long as you need us :)

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

I am a fairly new follower but have been following your tweets for some time. Bailey was a handsome, dedicated dog who was blessed to be a part of your life as you with him.

I couldn't get through this post without crying. Losing a beloved pet especially one with the bond you and Bailey had is the most difficult thing. Period.

I'm thinking of you and my heart breaks for you. Virtual hugs to you.

Jennifer said...

Oh I'm so sad for you! I started crying halfway through this post. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Cari Mugz said...

I am so so sorry for your loss... we have 2 cats and a dog (Titan) they are such a part of our family.. such a heart ache, again I am sorry.

JenniferLeah said...

no words will help to heal your heart right now and just know that we are all here for you.
i love that you are going to honor Bailey by going foward with Muttley Monday--I look forward to seeing the puppy years.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and John

LB said...

tears are flowing for you

*~*~* Tracy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I cried yesterday when I read your post and am crying now. He was one adorable pooch.
Hugs
Tracy

mainely triathlon said...

Great that you can express you feelings here and leave tribute to your best friend :-(

Copychic said...

So sorry for your loss. :( Thinking about you. Nothing will ever fill the void that was Bailey, but he'll always be in your heart and memories. And I'm sure he'll be watching over you from puppy heaven. Hang in there, lady.

Lisa said...

So so sorry to hear about Bailey. Like what everyone else has said, I had tears in my eyes as I read this post. I have a pomeranian named "CJ". She is now 13 years old and definitely showing slowing down. She is part of the family, and I know it is going to be devastating when she is gone. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.. Hugs, Lisa.

DRog said...

Hi Mandy.
My condolenses and thoughts to you.
Thanks for the update....and for sharing your experience with Bailey. He was def ur biggest supporter.

D

Luke said...

I am very sorry for your loss, Mandy. I wanted to say something sooner but thought you may want space. I don't want to think about what it will be like to lose my best friend one day, but I know it will happen. Admitly reading your post teared my eye for both the loss of such a sweet friend but also the thought of me being in your shoes with Holly. Please accept my virtual hug.

misszippy said...

I am just so sorry! Your post was beautiful...made me cry. I know you have a huge hole in your life right now. I'm sending you big hugs.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

As I sit here crying, I want you to know my thoughts and prayers are going out to you, Mandy

talonstorm said...

So sorry. The hurt in your post brings me back to losing my berner, Tango. I would drive to and from work for the first few weeks holding onto his collar and crying. They leave a huge hole when they have been such a big part of our lives. Try to remember the good times, it really does help heal.

Allison said...

Tears are streaming down my face (and I did not wear waterproof mascara to work today).... Thinking about you so much; wishing I could help.....

Praying for you to heal and sending virtual hugs.....

She said I need a goal said...

I have sent you my love in every social media I can find so you know how I feel and how my heart breaks for you. One thing and this probably won't help but when the pain gets really bad about Hunter and I feel like I can't breath I ask myself, if I could go back and choose to have her in my life and have to endure this pain or not having had her at all what would I choose. The pain, every tear feels better somehow because I wouldn't trade a single second. Bailey was a true gift.

rbuike said...

So sad to hear this :( Bailey was a great dog and we will all miss Mutley Monday's

Runners Fuel said...

I lost my dog 9 months ago, it is very difficult. I am truely sorry!!

melicious said...

Yesterday's post absolutely shook my world, the shock and the sadness was overwhelming, and I never met either one of you in person. As you said today, I got to know him through your blog. It was so evident how much a part of you he was, and vice versa. I have been through the loss of a dear dog as well, so I know your pain. Keep remembering, keep laughing, keep loving all the the great times you shared and know that he will always be with you. Take care! (hugs)

Liz said...

Mandy,
I am so sorry for your loss. Bailey was such a great dog.
-Liz Kolb (Debbie's Sister)

Big Clyde said...

I love those Bailey pics. My thoughts are with you.

Mer! said...

Tears....Mandy, Bailey was amazing, I never met him but just through his pictures and his little spirit, and as a dog-mom myself these moments are the worst. Bailey looks like he had an amazing life--while making yours brighter...what a very very loved little guy (big guy? :) he was.....thinking of you guys----these times are never easy and nothing really makes it "better," just time....thinking of all of you...

Jim ... 50after40 said...

My wife Michael told me about your blog today. I am so sorry, my heart is breaking with you. People who don't live with dogs have no idea how they help make your life beautiful - Undoubtedly he will missed everyday, but never forgotten. Best wishes.

Jill said...

Oh Mandy, I am sooo very sorry!! I remember reading so many stories about Bailey over the holidays and he always made me smile. I am so glad for all the special memories he gave you - I know how much they mean to you!!

((hugs))

Laima said...

So sorry for your loss :( Sending hugs!

The Green Girl said...

::hugs::

Jason said...

I am finally able to comment to this post, but barely. I read the first few lines everyday as I had this post starred but could not or did not want to finish reading it.

You know that we are here for you in any way we can be.

I'm sorry but this is one time that I am at a loss for words b/c of what he meant to you and to our close knit community of bloggers/facebookers/twitter'ers.....

Stay tough and focused on IMLP....

Black Knight said...

A beautiful post for Bailey. I am an animal lover so I can understand very well your feeling. The quote "He gave us the best 10 years of our lives" is touching. Even if we breed other pets we will never forget the old children who lived with us....for me they are "persons" not animals.
Sorry.
Ciao Bailey, run for us in heaven.

Forward Foot Strides said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I agree with Black Night - "He gave us the best 10 years of our lives" is touching.", is not only touching, but I'm confident that you gave Bailey the best 10 years of his life too.

Rest in Peace Bailey.

Aimee said...

Oh no! I haven't been able to read blogs b/c of moving/not having internet and I didn't hear about Bailey! I am so sorry Mandy! I know dogs are pets, but to me, they are more than that, they are family members. I am so sorry for your loss! I am sending you lots of virtual hugs!

Stacey (aka UltraPrincess) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know what you are going through.

I lost my baby boy 'Shamos' unexpectedly 7 years ago.... the constant crying will go away..... but the void in your heart will always be there.

I am sitting here bawling.... I want you to know that I know what it's like to love an animal as a child/ friend/ co-worker, etc.....

I just want you to know that my heart breaks for you and that you are not alone.

Stacey
xoxo

Regina said...

So many of us know how you feel, but sadly, it doesn't help to diminish your pain. Reading this post I felt your joy of knowing such a great friend and companion and the deep sadness of losing that friend and companion.

I look forward to seeing more mutley mondays from the early days. I hope you find peace and joy again. Hugs.

Kat said...

What a brave and awesome post. I have been thinking of you nonstop since I read your last one. Words can't express how very sorry I am and how my heart is aching for you.

I loved Bailey even though I never met him. He was just that kinda guy. He came alive for me through your words and photos and your obvious love for him.

Thank you for sharing him with us. He will never be forgotten.

Austin said...

i'm so sorry. best to remember the great times you had, and be thankful that Bailey had someone to make him as happy as he was.

Teamarcia said...

My heart just breaks to read this. I've so enjoyed your muttley Mondays and I'm beyond sad to hear of Bailey"s passing. May all the sweet memories of your precious companion live on in your heart always.