Monday, October 31, 2011

A Perfect Fall Day

Chris and I had a great weekend, but it was sure topped off by a wonderful Sunday with each other and with friends. Update: we went to Vandy on Friday for a check-up for Chris and the Dr. says that he is progressing and looks to be improving! Such a blessing and answer to prayers. Back to Sunday...after an encouraging and challenging church service and a fun lunch with friends, we came back to church for trunk or treat. So fun to see all those kids and families from the community!

When we got home, Chris built a fire in the fireplace so we could warm up after a chilly afternoon outside. We were going to carve both our big pumpkins, but stopped after one, our "J" pumpkin for our little punkin' on the way. Can't wait for next Halloween!

Then we roasted pumpkin seeds, something we have never attempted.

We flavored them 2 different ways, each very characteristic of us. Chris made the garlicky, salty ones and mine the sweet, sticky ones.

Just a fun night with church family, friends, and my best buddy. Too bad Fall goes so fast. I could use a couple more weeks!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puppy Love

Have you ever loved a dog? Chris and I have. If you've loved one, you will understand what I'm talking about. If not, then just take my word for it. Chris and I had The Best Dog in the Whole Wide World for 6 1/2 years. We adopted our Bailey-boy 6 years ago when he was 6 weeks old. Who could have left this adorable little ball of fur at the adoption center:

There has never been and never will be another dog like Bailey. He was polite, waiting to be given permission to eat that pizza crust. He was scared of the vacuum cleaner, the broom, exercise balls, the Vet (thermometer), the sprinkler, bathtime, and people with hats on. However, if someone rang the doorbell, watch out! He would sound like he was coming through the door-great for scaring away salespeople! By all means, don't let a cat walk through his yard or a dog walk by on his road. He wouldn't chase a frisbee and he wouldn't fetch worth a darn. However, all it took was one time for him to lean against you while you were sitting or nuzzle his nose in your hand and you were hooked. He lived for walks and trips to the park.

2 weeks ago I noticed some bruising on his belly when we were playing in the yard. I took him to the vet and to make a long story short, after many tests and visits, it was determined that he either had a fungal infection or later-stage cancer. How could this be? Our six-year-old puppy at heart who looked completely normal was sick! Anyway, we started treating for the fungal infection and hoped it wasn't cancer. He may have been a little lazier over the past couple of weeks, but he just seemed so normal.

Yesterday, our Bailey-boy passed away. It breaks my heart to type that line. I'll spare you the details, but we are so thankful that Chris came home at lunchtime to be with our puppy.  2 weeks we knew he was sick and now this. Shocked, heartbroken. What a lonely absence in our house.

OK, I have to move on. If you didn't know Bailey, I want you to know a little bit about him because, yes, he was the best dog in the world. Here are some pics of our best buddy.

He would take any chance he got to sneak a few minutes in our bed!

He LOVED hiking and camping. The first time we took him camping we worried about how he would behave in the tent. Well, he came in, curled up in a corner, and slept like a baby.

Trips and walks were the highlight of his life. Say the word trip and he was in the car ready to go. He lived to go on walks.

He went everywhere with us. He was just so good. This was the bridge at Grandfather Mountain. Bailey was terrified, but because he was with his beloved Chris, with shaky legs he made it to the other side.

He also made it his life's duty to rid every toy he was every given of its stuffing. He wouldn't rest until every last bit was strewn across the floor. We went through a box of his old toys yesterday, mostly consisting of stuffed animal carcasses.

This was last Wednesday night, we were in the garage with Chris who was working on beadboard for Jackson's bedroom.
What a pretty boy.

It is so weird to come downstairs and not find him laying in the sun coming through the windows with one eye/ear always on the door. Or not finding him on his favorite spot on the landing of the stairs. Or not being greeted by a happy face and wagging tail when you come in from a long day of work. Or to not be able to watch him chase crows and squirrels in the backyard, fully convinced each time that this was the time he was going to get one. Or to know for the past 6 years that you could go to bed and feel safe because Bailey would never let anyone in to hurt us. Or to simply feel that warm body leaning up against you, perfectly content to be petted and loved.

Bailey-boy, we miss you and we always will. I'm sure there will be other dogs and we know Jackson will love to have a puppy to grow up with. There will never be another one like you, though. Not another one with soft, velvety ears that I loved to pull on quite like yours, who cocked his head in that adorable way when we spoke and looked for all the world like you might open your mouth at any time and talk to us. We will move on and can't wait for that exciting bundle coming in January. We wish you could have met him and know you would have protected him. Our house will never quite be the same without you.