My Dog Is Dying (Part II)


The title of this blog says almost everything.

I will add a few things, though. This time is EXCRUCIATING. So much so that I will not be answering phone calls for the foreseeable future. Answering emails will be touch and go… and forgive me if you comment on this series of blogs and I don’t respond. Although writing this provides a temporary pain-killer of a sort (and since I don’t drink alcohol or take drugs, I am grateful for it), responding to people is very hard.

I know the world is awash in horrors at the moment. (When hasn’t it been?) I know agony and death are all around all of us, all the time. War and plague and the climate catastrophe and poverty and cancer and children with horrible diseases and lonely, frightened elders ….. I know there is something privileged and maybe even selfish about my agony. I know, but please don’t say cruel things if you’re going to comment, please.

I hope those of you who, like me, have had your life saved by a dog and who understand the contract for heartbreak we enter into when we love a dog, might see some of your own journeys here and might know you’re not alone. I am very grateful you are reading this. I will try to continue these blogs until …. 

Part II

My dog is dying.

But not today. The vet can’t really say when exactly, Bailey will die except… well… months. Which could mean weeks, or actual months. Today Bailey behaves as though everything is fine, better than fine. He found a pool of sunshine to lie in on the living room floor. He took his medication with roast beef. Now he’s having his morning nap right behind me on the bed. Is he wheezing slightly? Is his breathing a little labored? I don’t know. I am so acutely aware of every single teeny tiny thing. Because the vet has told me

My dog is dying.

I hug him and pet him and feed him treats and pick him up when he wants it and stroke his velvety ears and his plump tummy and he rolls on his back with his four paws in the air and his mouth open, tongue lolling in a physical poem of joy and I want to rake my fingernails over my cheeks and tear strips of flesh away so the pain of that will distract me for a second from the pain of knowing

My dog is dying.

My Best Beloved and The Dog He Did Not Want.

Bailey is not the first dog in my life. I’ve loved many dogs, and cats and a budgie, and a rat (oh, Emily!), and a turtle and some fish and three squirrels, among other animals. Bailey, though, is my Heart Dog, a title something akin to the Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior order of chivalry in Britain, but even that does little to describe the bonds between such a dog and their human.

It took me 23 years to persuade My Best Beloved to adopt a dog. He didn’t like dogs.

Shall I tell a sweet story? Okay, I’ll tell it even though

My dog is dying.

Here it is:

My Best Beloved, who didn’t like dogs and didn’t want one, upon understanding how depressed I was back in 2010 and how much I believed a dog would help me, said, yes, of course then, we can get a dog, and of course, because I’m not a monster, he will live in the house, but not upstairs.

Okay, fine I said.

That first night, though, My Best Beloved, agreed with me Bailey might be lonely and confused without his humans around him in a new home, so he should come upstairs and sleep in his crate at the bottom of our bed, but he couldn’t get on the bed. Okay, I said, if you’re not comfortable with that.

But Bailey wanted up on the bed so much. Well, said my Best Beloved, he can get up on the bed for a bit, but he can’t sleep on the bed with us. Okay, I said, if that’s just too much for you.

And that lasted a little while, until one night My Best Beloved went to settle Bailey in his very posh crate and Bailey, with an expression on his face I can only describe as sneaky/delighted dashed around behind him and hopped back up on the bed, bouncing up to the pillows and diving in. If a dog could go squeeeeeeeee surely that’s the sound he would have made. Oh, fine, said my Best Beloved, he can sleep on the bed tonight, but not all the time. No, sure, of course, I said.

Bailey has slept on the bed with us every night since. My Best Beloved now says, Where’s Bailey? if he’s not right there. Round about 5am every morning Bailey wants to get under the covers between us, head on a pillow, and have a cuddle. Every morning we let him, even though he can get quite pushy with his paws.

My Best Beloved doesn’t like dogs. Didn’t like dogs. He loves this one, though, and Bailey loves him


Sometimes, every once in a while, Bailey looks at me as though to say, Tell me the story again of how we found each other. and I tell him, out loud, while he stares right at me. I’ll tell you that story, too, sometime, if I can bear it. Right now, I need to cuddle Bailey again, because

My dog is dying.



  1. Dave on April 20, 2022 at 3:11 pm


  2. Karen Smythe on April 20, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Oh god, Lauren, I am so, so sorry. I have known such a love for my cats, too, and the grief. Unbearable at times. I still cry thinking of them, and it has been years. There is nothing I can say to make you feel better, but you are understood. Completely. And how lucky you and Bailey found each other.

    • Julie Denny on April 20, 2022 at 4:31 pm

      Lauren, so heartbreaking. I am so sorry. Your love for Bailey has been so clear for so long. And we have shared it. I’m holding your hand.

  3. Dawn Miller on April 20, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    I’m so very sorry, Lauren. Words can’t express. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  4. Leigh Nofi on April 20, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    I am so very sorry Lauren. My love and prayers are with you all.

  5. Michael Redmond on April 20, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    I’m so sorry, Lauren. Been there with the 17-year-old kitty I had since her first weeks (“the other woman” in my life), now I have a five-year-old pup who lights up the house. Grief is the price we pay for love. I don’t know what else to say. /mr/

  6. Mardi on April 20, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Hugs to you Lauren. He is lucky to have you two as his humans. You have given him a sweet life. He has given you great joy and unconditional adoration and eternal memories. All the rest is commentary ♡
    Enjoy every moment. And let go when he needs you to. Hugs again…m

  7. Catherine Barroll on April 20, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    Hold him close, that’s all he wants , to be with you and unafraid. And never mind , the world can suffer without you bearing witness to it. You have your most important job right now, loving and seeing him through this final door.It’s a small comfort , but you are exactly where you need to be, doing what you should be doing. Everything else can wait, but Bailey can’t, this is all the time you’ve got. Hold him close, then let him go to the warm Light, and the green grass. He’ll wait for you up ahead. Where he’ll be, time is nothing and love is waiting.

    • Tony Dillistone on April 20, 2022 at 7:13 pm


  8. Isabella on April 20, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    ❤️All my love to you Lauren as those of us who have become so fond of Bailey over the years sit with you during his last days surrounded by your love and our best wishes for a painless peaceful release.

  9. Shannon Allain on April 20, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    I’m so sorry, Lauren. I remember when you adopted Bailey (despite Ron’s hesitation :). I wish Bailey and you all the best as you navigate this stage of a pet’s life. Oddly we are going through a similar journey into the unknown with our beloved Charlie. We were in Florida this week touring colleges with our youngest when Charlie suddenly developed a lame back leg. We are not sure if it is a stoke or a spinal injury. I’m trying to keep him comfortable and loving him as best as I can while we figure it out. It’s all we can do for our fur babies. Sending you all strength at this trying time.

  10. Mim Easton on April 20, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    I love that you are thinking of all of the love and joy between you, Your Best Beloved, and Bailey. The loss is already a great anguish. But only because of the greatness of your love and connection.

  11. Rebekah on April 20, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    I want to hear all the stories about Bailey, and about you and Bailey and Ron. Sending love to your beautiful family from ours. x

  12. Linda Crosfield on April 20, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Made me cry. I love how Bailey wormed his way into Ron’s heart—and bed. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You two have given him a wonderful life. Hugs.

  13. Trevor C. on April 21, 2022 at 1:25 am

    I identify, Lauren…

  14. D-L Nelson on April 21, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Bailey was so lucky to find you (and Ron) to accompany him through his life.

  15. Linda C. Wisniewski on April 21, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Lauren (and Ron),

    I’m sorry poor little Bailey is near the end. He’s been such a good addition to your family, and I love reading about him and even meeting him once or twice.

    Holding you all in my heart.

  16. ron davis on April 23, 2022 at 8:55 am

    It’s so true Lauren, I do love little Bailey. More than I ever imagined possible. That’s one of the many gifts he’s brought into our lives, we learn new things about ourselves, and even this old dog (me) can learn new tricks. You’ve helped me understand the value of One Day At A Time, and together with you I’m enjoying each day with Bailey. love, Ron

  17. LeeAnn on April 23, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for this gift of the story of Ron, Bailey, and The Bed. Cherished by me.

    I happen to know that your best beloved is one of the world’s greatest salespeople and business negotiators. Now he has been bested by a little fluffy white dog, in a masterclass of joy and quiet persuasion.

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