It is warm (well getting hot really), the sun is shining and the sky is blue. I have been sitting in my beautiful sun-bathed garden and listening to the birds singing their little hearts out.
It is my birthday today. And yet…my heart is heavy. I should be feeling happy today of all days, but…we have a beautiful golden retriever (Bailey) who is now over fourteen and a half years old. He is not at all well and we are going through what every pet-lover goes through…should we end his life or keep him alive a little longer?
If only dogs could talk. I well remember the old song ‘If I could talk to the Animals’ – this shows my age! – sung by Rex Harrison many years ago. IF we could talk to him, Bailey would be able to tell us how he feels: whether he is in pain – he certainly can hardly walk now as his joints are stiff with arthritis and the fact that he doesn’t like the fits he’s been having – and whether he would rather still be with us, or be free from whatever ails him and be able to run around in a wonderful dog’s version of heaven.
There is a dichotomy to all this. Are we keeping him alive for his sake, or ours? When our previous golden retriever – Fergus – died several years ago, we decided that we would never have another dog as we missed him so much. After all our best friend had gone and we were bereft. About a year passed by and I just happened to be looking through The Golden Retriever Website, when I saw him.
He was the most beautiful dog I’d ever seen. Bailey is a large dog and much larger than our three previous dogs. I must say here, that to us they were all beautiful, but he is or was, an Alpha Male (or leader of the pack). You might think, ‘Then why was he on the website for sale?’ Good question, and we asked ourselves that as well. I emailed the owner. The husband thought he was too big and didn’t like him: at this time Bailey was in his prime at three years of age and his wife couldn’t take him out because she had a bad back.
So we took him on and we are glad we did. We have about two and a half acres of garden and woodland. Bailey I’m sure has been in seventh heaven. He has spent his days running in the woods and chasing anything that moves. Only problem is, he can’t run now and can’t feel the breeze ruffling through his fur as he used to when running helter-skelter through the trees.
Which now brings us back to the question above and I still don’t know the answer. It is my husband Jim’s birthday on Wednesday and… Do we wait a little longer?
This BLOG is dedicated to BAILEY, our friend. This photo was taken several years ago.