Our latest edition, joining the family on December 12, 1997, came from the same shelter as Riley. There's not really much story behind our impulse to pick her up. Amy saw her advertised in the paper, mentioned this to me over lunch, and we went directly to the shelter to check her out. It was her name that caught Amy's attention, and though she was a little overwhelmed when we met, she came home with us.
Prior to coming to the shelter, she had spent her first nine months in a backyard, her only human contact coming for a few brief moments each day with her food and water. She has been a handful to train, but she has come along quickly. Blessed with a lot of intelligence, once she figured out the best thing she could do for herself is to attract favorable attention she has become a sensitive and, usually, very good dog.
The comment I made, several years ago now, concerning Bailey's intelligence was an understatement. Bailey is highly intelligent, and as is frequently the case, also very strong willed. She's certainly trainable, but sometimes requires persistence and patience. She responds well to strong leadership, so I can see how she might have been a handful for some people.
Bailey has also grown some since she was a puppy. We figure she was also about six months old when she joined us. She weighs about 65 pounds now, and needs a lot of exercise to keep her weight down. She has turned into a enthusiastic, if not terribly skilled, ball player.
Bailey has found her bliss: chasing dogs who are chasing anything else (balls, frisbees, etc.). She's not interested in chasing a ball herself. But if another dog is playing ball go, she's all over it. She would have made a fantastic cover corner in football. Her favorite buddy to play with is Nasdaq, a large black lab. Check out her playing in the wineyard.
Time caught up with Bailey this year. She got cancer, and after a month of treatment, she was so weak the decision was relatively easy. But losing Bailey was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through.
Bailey was one of those dogs who are more than just a family pet or a companion. She had a huge personality, and an intelligence to match. She was sweet with every dog or person she met, and always, ALWAYS, up for a good time. I am a better person for having known her, and I'm sure I'll never get over losing her.