Man’s best friend? Perhaps. My best friend? Without a doubt.
Baylee came into my life in the fall of 2003. I remember that day vividly, arriving at the farm where I picked her up and spotted her hiding under an old boat amidst all the clutter in the rickety old barn. Still remember the look of the owner as I passed on all the puppies clamoring for my attention and selected the runt too scared to come out of hiding. But when I reached down to pick her up, from that moment we formed an inseparable bond.
Over the next fifteen years she became my porch sitting buddy, my camp fire companion, my guardian, and protector. She was my shadow and had an uncanny ability to sense when I needed a good lick on the face.
She saw me through a divorce, several girlfriends, a new wife and three traumatic moves but just accepted without judgement the changes happening in our lives.
Life always has a way of coming full circle and Baylee and I arrived back home together in 2013. But over the past five years, I started noticing the white in her coat, and around her muzzle. This Spring I noticed the life was fading in her eyes and I starting wishing my friend would pass in the night in peace and without pain. I know that may sound harsh or cruel, but I wanted her to go out her way at home.
Baylee passed last month, and there are still days when I come out to sit on the front porch that I sense her presence and expect at any moment that she’ll climb out of the green foliage of the hostas planted along the porch and join me. I suppose it’s my way of grieving the loss of a special friend.