Seven years ago today I was qualified with the amazing and wonderful pup you’ve all come to know in the past week if not before. For those in our offline life, you probably love him to. I’ve been trying to think of poetry to describe how I feel and demonstrate my gratitude to him but no words can truly express my entire feelings.
Bailey came to me at a time in my life where I felt isolated, withdrawn and with many close encounters with depression. For those of you who know me well, know I absolutely adhere to the idea of therapy dogs. And until I was thinking about it today, I hadn’t realised that as well as being my guide, Bailey has helped me in many other ways.
I have better confidence than I have ever had in my life. People laugh when I say this because as most of you know, I lived in America for a year before I had Bailey. But the difference there being, I wouldn’t go anywhere alone and if given half the chance I’d grab onto someone’s arm.
Bailey started a healing process for me. He helped me concentrate on getting out and about, trying new things and being more social. He built me up into someone I’d never thought I’d be again.
His courage and determination to work well is somehow transferred to me. We are a partnership on so many levels. If one of us is having a bad day, the other picks up the pace.
I give him food, water, a safe and warm place to live, as many toys as he could possibly want, care of his health and well being, exercise and above all, love. But not even that seems equal to what he’s given me.
He gives me loyalty, trust, companionship, a forever listening ear, he keeps me safe whilst we’re out and about and I never feel alone when I’m with him and in his own doggy way, he provides me with love.
So Bailey, after seven hard working years, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. I wanted to reach this milestone with you and now that we have, anything that comes after is a pure bonus.
I won’t apologise to anyone for saying this, I love you Bailey Bop and you are my best friend. When others have let me down, you are always there to pick me up again. Your unwavering love will always be appreciated in my heart and I hope you know, in your own way that I love you so much.
Thank you Bailey for being my first guide and here’ to many happy years to come whether in or out of harness.