Bailey as we knew him, IO (pronounced E-O) who he became, left us December 16 at 4:45PM at Apline Vet Hospital. That wasn’t suppose to happen. He was only four years and 4 months old, and he had finally found his ‘forever home’ and totally perfect person, Rick.
The call came from Rick yesterday at 2PM that IO was very, very ill. We jumped in our car and drove to the vet to have a few minutes with IO and with Rick. It was hard to see our super mighty, and previously healthy, dog so, so sick. He was in so much pain that he had been standing and not sleeping for at least 20 hours.
It was even harder for Rick who had just days before thought his buddy was fine. Now he’s gone. That is such a blow. I could see the sadness in both of their eyes. IO working so hard to keep breathing and Rick wanting his buddy to pull through, as well as, wanting to do something to eliminate IO’s pain.
It is all so sad that he’s gone. Yet even such a short life did indeed leave many a paw print on so many people’s lives. IO came to us as a rescue boxer in December 2009. He was known as Moose at that point. We got him just after CrisMarie lost her brother to colon cancer. He filled a hole and pulled us through a hard stretch. We named Bailey. He was full of life and kept me company as I held a space for CrisMarie to deal with her loss. We both loved Bailey dearly and soon learned as he grew that he needed someone other than us. It wasn’t easy to consider letting him go, until we saw Bailey and Rick together. From their first visit, Bailey seemed at home, like he had found his best friend.
Rick named him IO and together they started off on many wild adventures. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, rafting and IO was calm and settled. It was so cool to witness.
But it wasn’t just Rick. IO had many friends: Tracy, Jodi, Cindy, Brooke – to name a few. I love to discover the people who knew IO and their stories of how he touched their lives.
I honestly don’t know why he had such a short life. I do though believe that he had a rich, full adventure and that he was well loved and loved well.
Dogs are and have been so important in my life. They are such wonderful teachers. They live fully. They are loyal. They know how to play. They are blindly forgiving and shake it off when life throws them rough stuff. They will protect what matters to them. They love without hesitation!
Moose, Bailey, IO had all of these qualities. And he offered all of those lessons to each of us who knew him.
As result his indelible paw print remains heavy on my heart today.