November 27, 1998 to May 21, 2007
Today, Denise Mann of Wakefield, Rhode Island sent us a memorial life tribute of her boy Bailey. It is one of the hardest parts of running the foundation that I am continually met with tragic tales of loss. And, yet, I know that it is one of the most beneficial ways that we can both recognize the power of the human-canine bond and keep the memories of our loved ones alive in our hearts.
It was a tough job creating this particular page through my tears, as it evoked similar memories of our Darcy’s cancer. The tribute also reflects the pain of an additional loss and of a Golden soul that honestly defies description. You may need tissues for this one, though. It is the most amazing (albeit heart-wrenching) story I have ever experienced—so beautifully exemplifying the emotional and healing capacities of our Goldens.
Take a few minutes to take in Denise’s story. It may help to put your life into perspective, as you come to understand the incredible amount of pain that one family has endured.
Our Bailey — Healer of Broken Hearts
Bailey never won an award or trophy. He was never an agility star. He did not participate in search and rescue or assist the handicapped. He was simply my best friend. He spent his life giving his heart and soul to his family, and did an absolute splendid job of it.
Not only a beautiful golden red on the outside, but a beautiful golden heart on the inside. His only desire in life was to be with us, along with a full bowl and lots of treats along the way.
He laid by my only child’s side for six days after he took his own life while we were away on vacation. He endured the aftermath of hours when the police and coroner were at our home, patiently waiting by my side until I finally noticed he had no food or water. He acted as marriage counselor while my husband and I tried to pick up the broken pieces of our lives. He never judged or picked out who was wrong or right— he just knew he wanted to be with both of us. A nudge of the nose, a paw on a thigh, a stubborn “I’m not moving until both of you come with me” or sleeping in the hallway between us until we were both in the same room.
Four months ago we brought home another golden baby. He loved him right from the beginning and patiently taught him all he knew. Towards the end he seemed happy to rest and give the job of watching over his parents to his baby brother.
We buried our best friend yesterday under our Magnolia tree. He suffered from a malignant tumor in his nose and hung in with us for nine months before the blasted tumor began pushing out his eye. Through it all, he kept his “smile” and his wagging tail and his love for his family. He was with us only eight and a half short years.
I know the moment he passed, my son was at rainbow bridge calling “Furball!” Bailey, we miss you, we love you and look forward to the day when we all meet again at the bridge. My heart will never be the same until then.