We recently received this touching update from Bailey's mom, Georganne:
Bailey just celebrated his eleventh birthday on the 30th, and he had a special breakfast—egg and some smoked salmon (not a staple)—along with his regular food. The birthday hat didn’t stay on, but Bailey spent a leisurely afternoon in the garden. He also enjoyed time in his favorite place, the back of my CRV, or as my husband David describes it, the Bailey-approved vehicle. Bailey will only get out of the car if we take it around at least the block or if my neighbor Steve comes home. He loves Steve.
When I went out of town for a wedding last weekend, Bailey stayed home and was very spoiled by Steve and Karen next door; he feels very comfortable going right over to their house when I open the gate, and he loves being the center of attention!
I find it very amusing that Bailey is quite the gardener; as I’m mowing the lawn, he follows behind me, chewing off any of the long grass I might miss, and insisting on “pruning” any stray branches on the azaleas. Bailey approaches picking and breaking up all of the sticks in the yard with gusto. Now if only I could get him to put them in the trash bags, I would hire him out!
I can’t believe it’s already been more than six months now since I adopted Bailey. We’re quite settled in with one another, both easily falling asleep on the couch together, although when Bailey wants to go to his own bed, I get a wake-up bark to come to my bed. Or, as I discovered last night, when he wants the couch all to himself, he’s pretty adamant about my sitting on my side without stretching out over his!
Bailey seems to have become calmer and more accustomed to the environment. I’ll even go so far as to say that Bailey is getting used to Cocoa, the chocolate lab that lives behind us, in so much as he no longer rushes the fence, just a little bouncing with a reminder bark—I’m over here! I can’t say the squirrels or the ducks get that same consideration; he always gets a bit of a chase in when the squirrels “challenge” his space, but if he’s in “his” car, all the animals get ignored!
Even though he’s getting used to Cocoa, I’m careful to not expose Bailey to other dogs or cats, as I know that they wouldn’t be safe, and it creates unhealthy anxiety for both of us.
My yard is large and although he’s not always enthusiastic about chasing a ball for too long, he does get his exercise. I’ve begun bringing Bailey to my office parking lot on weekends for a good stretch. The office lot is huge and it’s set well back from any traffic; there are woods on either side. I keep him on a leash and there are no other animals around to create any anxiety for him. I recognize that Bailey still has some aggression issues, which is terribly sad, as he truly is a loving dog when introduced properly. I can only imagine how difficult his younger years must have been, and I’m determined that his final years will be safe and happy.
I’m truly grateful to have found this wonderful dog. I know it was an adjustment for me after not having had such a large dog for a long time, but size doesn’t matter—Bailey’s heart is loving and I’m glad to come home to him at the end of each day and share my home with him. I cannot thank PAWS enough for having saved Bailey and giving him his second chance!