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My Sweet Girl,

Oh, how I miss you. With Thanksgiving coming up I am conjuring up images of you and the pleasure you derived from Turkey. Of course you ate your turkey everyday, but you always knew it was my favorite holiday and for the first time in many years, and perhaps in protest, I am not making my favorite dinner this year.  Instead we having it with friends at their club. Perhaps it was fortuitous that Ronna asked us this year to join them; I am not feeling in the holiday spirit by any means. It just does not seem like the holiday season without you and I am thinking of skipping the tree as well because without you here to search under it for a new ball, bone or toy, what fun would it be?

I know I should go through it all for Safari, he loves the Christmas tree and knocking off the ornaments, so maybe I will, but I am not feeling the seasonal glow, let’s say. Then there is New Year’s Eve and I will be thinking about how I really hate 2011 because of losing you and then it will be 2012 – a new year without you in it. I am not sure this will ever get any easier for me, Bailey. We were just so joined at the hip and so perfect for each other – I cannot imagine another doggie bearing your greatness. My friend Jeff told me not to think of it that way and I know he is right. he said, just like people, doggies are all different and no two will ever be the same. I understand that logically, but mentally I am not there. He just went through it with Marlowe and now he has Harper and they are very different and he loves her very much, but I still think he has an extra soft spot for Marlowe that will always be there. I never even met Marlowe and I can just feel it from talking to him about it. I think Marlowe was much like you – tenacious and feisty, smart and beautiful and attached at the hip.

So the question is to give thanks or not? I cannot give thanks for you getting cancer. I cannot thank God or whomever is in charge of taking you from me at your young, senior age of only 10. I guess I can think of some things to be thankful for. I am thankful that you still ate like a horse to the very end! I am thankful you NEVER looked sick- EVER! You are the most beautiful dog on or above the planet.  I am thankful that I got more than a year of fun with you after your diagnosis. I am thankful for your Red Maple Tree we have dedicated to you in Buhl Park. I am thankful for the thousands of miles we logged on foot and by car. I am thankful for all the doggie friends we made and the people that we met along the way. I am thankful for all the fun we had going shopping together at our many stores in Coconut Point. Most of all I am thankful that we found each other through Petfinder, kissed each other literally thousands of times and shared a love that most people never feel as strongly. We were lucky for sure, just not for long enough, but as you said, Bailey, we had a lot of quality time together and that is more important that quantity.

I still cannot help but miss you so don’t ask me to. I do love hearing about all of your adventures and I am VERY thankful for your letters and I am thankful you are having a blast in Hyfryd and have met good dog friends and that you are taking care of little Barkley – who I miss as well as Bingo. So keep those letters coming my sweet girl. Know that you are are very much missed in so many ways, but I carry you with me in the Ruby heart necklace and earrings Russell had made for me in honor of you. Your leash stays with us always in the car so you travel with us in spirit and we celebrate you everyday in our thoughts, pictures, magnets on the car – you name it – we are still attached maybe not within physical reach, but in the most spiritual way, in our hearts and especially mine.

Thankful for your love always – Mommy