Every now and then, we are lucky enough meet a dog whose spirit and triumphs touch the lives of all those who know her. Bailey was one of those dogs. She came to Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption with severe hip problems and needed a special home that could go above beyond with her care. She found that home with Myra, a super-star foster mom for APRA with a pack of four other terriers of every size and color.

I was honored to photograph Bailey on three different occasions, and she was so photogenic that she snuck into the APRA calendar two years in a row without us realizing! Everyone who knew her knew all the physical hardships she worked to overcome, and that through it all she was as cheerful and happy as ever. The world lost her sweet spirit too soon when she passed away last week from a sudden and aggressive cancer.

Her mom Myra wrote these beautiful words for her. I hope you’ll keep Myra and her pack in your thoughts and hearts as they go through this difficult time.

“It’s hard to believe Bailey was my companion for less than four years.  When she first came to the shelter,  she got adopted before I had the chance to foster her, but the people brought her back almost immediately because of her hip problems.  An orthopedic vet recommended putting her down, but I disagreed because Bailey was so happy and interactive.  I figured water therapy might help to build her leg muscles and found Loving Touch.  I was taking her to treatment before I adopted her.  Folks think I did a lot for Bailey but the fact is what I did I was financially able to do – and she repaid me a thousand fold.   Then we hit the bone cancer and for the first time I could not do anything to fix it.  All that was left to do was love her and make her as comfortable as possible and wait.  Unfortunately, the wait was not long.

As all dogs are, Bailey was one of a kind.  C.S. Lewis wrote that each friend we have brings out a different aspect of our personality that no one else can bring out and that when that friend is gone, that part of our personality may become inaccessible.  I think that’s true with dogs too.  I adore all my kids; they all bring out different aspects of me.  Bailey was the perfect counterbalance to my more intense personality.  She was laid back and never in a hurry.  Over the last year as her orthopedic issues were greatly diminished (i.e, she was doing great and walking great) and we resolved the unfortunate heart issue that arose, Bailey’s personality bloomed even more.  She was goofier and more playful than ever (she was also more demanding in terms of trying to mooch food).  She was wonderful right to the end, wagging her tail, licking my face, swatting me with her paw to keep me petting her, loping along in her unmistakable stride trying to catch a bird.  And she remained incredibly patient and sweet to her siblings.  I told her to tell me when she needed to go and that I would make sure we were all okay. When  she said she needed to go I let her amble on over the Rainbow Bridge.  And there is a hole in the heart of every member of the C Pack.”







June 14, 2011 - 11:04 pm

Jen Varkoly - Myra, My heart aches for you tonight and my tears are for you, Bailey and the rest of your pack. I know there is nothing I can say that will make this easier, but please know I understand how you are feeling and I hope with time those sad tears will turn into happy chuckles and laughs when telling all the Baiely stories you have. I am truly heartbroken tonight as I have just found out Bailey has passed.

All my love Myra,

Jen Varkoly

June 14, 2011 - 7:20 pm

Betsy - Thank you so much for sharing-what a beautiful love story between an owner and her dog! I just lost my Maggie from cancer 4 weeks ago-I so feel their loss and pain. But, it is a relief to know that they are free from pain. Thank you Myra for saving this beautiful dog with such a kind soul. I can’t stop the tears from flowing! The wonderful pictures tells all-on how much love there was! What a beautiful dog!

June 14, 2011 - 4:48 pm

Heather Gulden - Bailey will be missed by anyone and everyone who ever met her. She could touch souls with her calm, sweet and constant flow of positive energy. I feel truly honored to have know her. Though I know the Pack hurts, we all can take solace that Bailey does not hurt anymore and she is warm, comfortable and pain free now. Amble on Bailey…see you on the other side.

June 14, 2011 - 4:29 pm

Joan Dillon - I know how your heart must be breaking. I think these dogs are our gateway to seeing how perfect love can be. They don’t seem to ask for much–well, they do mooch, but they are infinitely patient–well unless you say the word “park” and they are warm and affectionate, and there when you need them for a good cry or a good laugh–sometimes both at the same time. You are a loving momma and Bailey was a very lucky little dog to have found you.

June 14, 2011 - 3:17 pm

Pat Thomas - Beautiful tribute Leesia. My condolences to Bailey’s family, it is never easy to lose these animal friends, no matter what the circumstances, or how long we’ve had them. My heart goes out to the family.
Your wonderful photos will always remind them of the happiness she shared though.

Thanks for all you do Leesia,

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *