Bailey by Marisa and Linda Marchman / Grandma and Mom


Dearest Bailey,

I vividly remember the x-mas eve that Torrey brought you to our home. It was a surprise, he said for Marisa. What a surprise! Torrey took me to the side of the house, where he had tied you up. There you were, a roly-poly ball of fur. I sat down on the cool pavement and you jumped into my lap and made yourself comfortable. I was hooked.
I held you in my arms and cried.

Marisa was indeed surprised. She begged me to let you stay and promised to take care of you. I wasn’t sure we would keep you. The next morning, x-mas day, 1992, we went to visit Norene, Kim, Dana and Jordan. We sat on their kitchen floor watching you play and slip on the smooth surface. We discussed possible names for you and Dana thought you looked like the color of Bailey’s Irish Crème. That’s how you were named. You were now an official member of the family.

You were very smart and potty trained quickly. Our neighbor, Duke, built a beautiful doghouse for you and for the first year of your life you slept outside. Marisa and I trained you with the help of the expert dog trainer, Elsie. You learned quickly and graduated with honors.

You became an indoors family member and slept in the bedroom with Marisa. You had many toys and delighted in bringing them to us. You would wait for us to throw them and you would retrieve them and bring them back to us. You loved to play tug-a-war with your rope; we would let go suddenly and you would tumble backward.

When you were about 2 years old, we took you to a doggie Ophthalmologist to have your eyes examined. She said you didn’t have anything wrong with your eyes. She suspected “water on the brain” or something similar and suggested we get a CAT scan to see what was wrong. She told us you were the worst patient she had ever seen and your Mom and I left the office in tears.

Our lives went on. You gave us many moments of joy. You were a great comfort to us during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Although you were also frightened, you sat by our sides as we huddled under the dining room table. You were with us when we went to live at aunt Dotty’s and Uncle Irving’s house for three weeks. You also gave us grief. You started to have frequent ear infections and one time, in particular, it was very serious. On a very rainy Sunday, Thanksgiving Weekend, 1997, I awoke to find you lying, nose in to the bedroom wall, unable to get up. Jim Bailey was here to buy my car, and he, his son, and Steve carried you into the car and to the Chat-Oak Pet Clinic. The technicians from the clinic carried you in on a stretcher and I remember thinking that this was the end. For four days and nights you stayed in the hospital, the doctors treating a severe ear infection. I visited you every day and sat on the floor with you, coaxing you to eat. The nice woman, who helps at the clinic, would bring you chicken that she cooked at home. Your Mom also visited and sat with you. Finally, you were eating a little and I brought you home. Your recovery was long, but you survived, albeit a slight head tilt and a tendency to circle. This was caused by damage to the inner ear.

I remember the summer the groomer didn’t pay attention to my instructions. When I came to pick you up I didn’t recognize you. They had shaved off all your golden hair leaving just a tuft of hair on your tail. What a sad sight. I cried all the way home.

Your hair eventually grew back but your health started deteriorating. You poked your eye on your “scratching bush”. It healed but you developed cataracts and you were going deaf. Your circling became constant and now you get lost in the yard when you wander away from the porch. Your deafness is complete; your blindness is complete. You jump when I approach you because you cannot hear or see me. You have had seizures, one of which, to my horror, I witnessed in the wee hours of the morning. Your bladder doesn’t work too well; you pee in the house or on your pillow outside. It is not unusual to come home and find you totally wet and sitting on the wet pillow.

You seem unhappy, unable to adjust to your world of darkness and quiet. It’s hard for you to get up. You no longer play with your toys. You eat very little. You have lost weight. The only time I see you somewhat happy is when your Mom visits and that is only temporary.

I look at you now, sitting on the porch, unaware that a tiny sparrow is poking at your food and bathing in your water. You close your eyes, put your head down, and go to sleep. How I wish you could tell me how you are feeling, if anything hurts. You would probably tell me that you’re very unhappy, and that your life as it once was, is no longer. You would probably tell me that you have lived a good life, surrounded by people who love you very much. You would tell me you’re ready to move on and that you don’t want to suffer anymore. You would probably thank me for taking such good care of you.

And so, dear friend, as I was crying when you came into my life, I am crying as you get ready to leave my life. I want to remember all our special times. I want to remember how special you are and what joy you brought to my life. I want you to know that I love you enough to want to end your suffering. So for the last time,

“Goodnight Bailey. Sleep tight. See you in the morning.


We Love and Miss You,
Marisa and Linda Marchman