My family got our dog, Bailey, when she was only a few weeks old and a year after I was born. We all adored Bailey, even if sometimes we questioned her species as she seemed to be part pig. Bailey was a female Boston terrier who ate everything and was anything but picky.
Everyone loved her regardless if they were family members of ours or not, simply because she was always so happy. We loved to see Bailey happy and her being a dog made it so easy. Bailey, just like any other dog, loved to play, sleep and eat. This, along with emotions that were so relatable, were very endearing.
Memories were not all that were made. I think the best that Bailey gave us was her feelings. To see her happy gave us relief. I think that making anyone, any creature, happy gives you that same sense as you feel that you’re needed, that you are cared about. And, above all else, Bailey looked after us.
Once, while on a family walk, my 20-pound dog protected my 8-year-old self from what was likely a dog over 100 pounds — five times her size.
At night, as a child, I never feared the dark because my dog was always in the house with us — though sometimes her little black shadow startled me in the day because I didn’t hear her enter the room.
As a kid, I grew up calling Bailey in repetition so that she would come running to me — which made it sound something along the lines of, “Bellybellybellybelly.” This is the best memory I have of my dog and also the most feeling I got. She was always so excited to be called and I found it so funny to see her ears tapered back and her tummy jiggle as she ran like a gazelle.
Unfortunately, here at the end of her life, she lost all her hearing, sight and tummy rolls. The only thing that has made me feel any better about her recent death is that the next time that I call her, she will come running.
Annie Blakeley is a rising sophomore at Richmond Senior High School, is a band and chorus student and a member of First United Methodist Church in Hamlet.