It was a tragic day in August when I had to say goodbye to my beautiful sister, Brandy. A tragic run in with three off-leash dogs at a campsite in Eastern Oregon ended her life too soon at just under 4 years. I will save the memories of Brandy for another day, but in the meantime I will share a photo we shot in her last few weeks of life as she had just begun to love swimming! She was a beautiful girl with a wonderful spirit and we will forever miss her.
With the loss of Brandy, my family went on the ultimate search to find another perfect golden retriever to fill the hole in our hearts. After great amounts of research crunched into a day’s time (thank you, retirement!), my mom found a litter of 8 in St. Paul, Nebraska that had just been bred by such beautiful parents, Joy and Aspen. Of the litter of 8, there were only 2 girls, and only one was available for reservation. My mom, so overwhelmed by how much Joy looked like Brandy did, reserved one of the pups without hesitation.
Loup Valley Goldens – Joy and Aspen
As the weeks went by, my family did our best to cope with the loss of Brandy along with prep ourselves for the introduction of a brand new puppy into our homes. I first laid eyes on my sister when she was only 3 weeks old and watched her grow up with the rest of her litter. We didn’t know which of the two girls we were going to get, but how can you decide? They were all so precious!
Joy and Aspen’s girls
“Miss Red” at 6 weeks – before we knew she was our little girl
As she was born in Nebraska, we would have to either take a road trip or fly out to pick her up and bring her home with us to the Northwest. My mom wisely opted to fly, and invited me to come along to escort her on the journey! I took two days off from work to support 5 flights in one day on our “Amazing Race”.
Portland to Seattle at 5:30am > Seattle to Denver > Denver to Omaha (PUPPY!!!) > Omaha to Denver > Denver to PDX
Once we got to Omaha, we met at the hand-off spot outside of the terminal and it was love at first sight! We had a quick chat with the breeders, thanked them over and over for such a sweet and beautiful little girl and the opportunity to start over.
We said our goodbyes to the breeders and returned into the airport terminal to get ready for our quick turn around flight back West. Once through security, we got the little beauty out of her carrying case and let her show us how much personality she had. She made us laugh non-stop with her puppy wiggles and prancing steps – we found it difficult to get a still photo!
Bailey says, “LoOk gUyS, I’m WaLkInG MySeLf!”
On our flights home, the airline protocol was to leave all pets on the floor in an appropriate carrying case, but the great flight attendants were more than accommodating and were even offering to take photos of our journey home. She was too cute to keep on the floor!
Bailey, mom and I – on a plane to Portland!
After getting her to Portland, my dad picked us up from the airport and held her on the drive home. She instantly fell in love with Dad, probably because he hadn’t been harassing her and petting her for the past 5 hours. That night, the house was once again filled with laughter, warmth and four legged footsteps – a very welcomed contrast from the past 2 months of silence and mourning of Brandy.
The next morning we got onto a skype call with my brother in Europe and went through the important task of naming the new addition to our family. After several names were thrown around and my brother proposed “Bacon” as her name (you know, so that Dad could have Bacon in the car, Bacon in bed, Bacon on the couch) we unanimously chose Bailey “Bacon” Even and started to call her by name immediately.
Enjoy the following photos of my beautiful sister, she will turn 1 Year old on August 14th!
Bailey meets her brother, Matt for the first time over Skype
Pirate Taz is no match for Bailey Bacon
Helping me untie my shoelaces
Little as can be
Autumn Potty Party
Classic Car Model
Learning about the backyard
Out like a light
Tall enough to be nosy
Happy In School
Sister Sleepover! (pillow hog!)
A Lady and a Scholar
Making Friends with a Doodle
Helping at the Beach House
Pondering Life’s Deeper Questions
We love you, Bailey!