The Life of Bailey Whippet
We drove 2.5 hours to see a little brindle and white whippet puppy. At just under 6 weeks old, he was a little tiny thing that easily fit my two hands. Much too young to be leaving his momma, and me not knowing any better, his then owner and breeder sent him and us on our way.
The 2.5 hour drive home, he cried in my hands, in my lap. I coo’ed and whispered softly to him.
Once home, he was greeted by our two golden retrievers, Calvin and Abbey… Calvin was very large, weighing in over 150# and just a big ol’ bear of a dog. He was not impressed with this little bundle of energy, now named Bailey. But, over time they all became buddies.
Bailey slept with me, curled up by my chin, he’d hang his little head across my neck. While he was learning to house-train, I’d get up a couple times of night and take him out to potty.
Bailey went with me on errands, to take the girls to school or pick them up and often to work. He was my little baby. We took him to the Whippet Races held at a park in the next city over from us. We had ideas of letting him race, when he got a bit older. He loved it there and would scream, bark and cry at the “bunny”, which was really just a peice of fabric… The excitement was just so great and catching for all the owners and whippets.
Bailey, fast as a.. well, as a whippet, got away from me a few times in our yard. He seemed to have an almost uncanny sense when one particular dog would walk by our house. Bailey just loved this big doberman and would run circles of excitement around him. The doberman enjoyed it too.
Bailey has had 3 other canines as part of his family with us. In addition to the two golden’s, we brought home a female whippet, Bean. She was dubbed “devil dog” for quite some time, and rightfully so. She’s a story for another time.
He’s dubbed the ‘heat mooch’. He lounges on the couch, or any soft or warm surface. If he can find a soft AND warm place to snooze, all the better. He’s made his bed with us and has slept with us from day one – soft, cushy and warm. He’s an average sized whippet, weighing in around 28 pounds. Yet we have found that when he’s in bed, taking up our space, he tends to gain another 30# or so. He’s next to impossible to move. We call it “dead dog weight”…
He knows what the words “take a shower/bath” mean. Unlike many other dogs who would run the opposite direction at the mention of a bath, Bailey will typically beat you to the bathroom door. Not because he, himself, likes to bathe, but because more often than not, bath means heater and heater to any skinny whippet is a good thing in and of itself.
The Butt Tuck
I always wanted a video of Bailey’s Butt Tuck. When he gets over excited, or wet (of all things!), he tucks his butt up and runs around acting so silly. There is no way for me to describe the silliness. But I have always been certain that had I sent a video in to America’s Funniest Videos we’d have won.
Singing, Talking and Whispering
Bailey can do all three. Not the prettiest of voices… but we’ll sing together and I can even say “whisper” and he tries to be very quiet.
Rabies Vaccine & Close to Death
In the summer of 2003, I took the 3 dogs (Calvin passed away earlier that summer) to get updated vaccines. I really just wanted rabies and that’s all we did.
Within a month, Bailey was lethargic, dehydrated, lost weight – it came up suddenly. Rushed off to the vet. His body’s immune system was attacking itself. His white blood count was down and he was required to have IV’s, medicine and stay at the vet’s office for a few days.
It didn’t take long for him to bounce back. Had I waited at all, we’d have lost him.
Bailey had a toothache and off we went to the vet. They did some blood work and said informed me that we’d have to hold off on doing the dental work. His liver wasn’t functioning properly and we needed to take some supplements in hope of helping it improve as well as antibiotics for his tooth. The vet wasn’t sure what was going on with his liver, if it was ‘left-over’ issues from two years ago, or what was wrong.
I was to bring him back in two weeks for a recheck of his blood and then hopefully, proceed with his dental work.
Late in the week before I was to bring him back in, I seemed to think maybe his rib cage was just a bit wider than normal.. but the more I looked, the more I thought no, it wasn’t. He played, running and being silly, ate and lazed around as normal.
We were gone on a family outing on Sunday, the day before his vet appointment. When I got home that evening, I noticed his belly was swollen. He looked like he was pregnant, not huge, but big.
Monday (4/18) morning in to the vet first thing. The xray showed fluid in his abdomen. Dr suspects a tumor. After much talking, they gave him some fluids and I brought him home.
Tuesday (4/19) – My heart is breaking. I feel so much guilt, so much sadness, and I’m mad. He’s on 8. I’m headed to the store to get hamburger and chicken broth to make him some yummy dinners.