I was cleaning out some files today and came across a few small pages from a notebook that I immediately recognized. The pages were dated 3/27/20o9 the day after Bailey, our first Golden Retriever, was put down. The notes were made after my morning run (wow – I was still running back in “those days”) and recorded my experience during that particular run.
I’m transcribing the notes verbatim here (with a few clarifications in brackets) not as a way to say, “oh poor me – I still miss him so much” (although I do!) but because I know many Golden Kali followers may have lost a beloved pet at some point and probably have their own stories and experiences to share. In the end what I experienced during this particular run was incredibly cathartic and helped with my grieving process.
By the way the trail I was running on is the trail that would five years later become Kali’s “Creek Trail” that we shared so many great times walking along before moving out of the area.
So here it is….
Went for a run along the golf course – normal path. Went all the ay to the end. Felt very strong not he way out and for most the the run. The conditioning is evident. Should try to expand the distance over time = much of the challenge is mental.
I thought about Bailey throughout much of the run. I sobbed from time to time as I kept “seeing” him on the table [at the vet] getting the injection. His eyes – I hope he knew as he went down forever that what we did was out of love.
On the way back [way back home on my run] I was in a pretty good zone. An upbeat song was on the iPod and I was gliding along at a good clip. I pictured Bailey running freely at full stride like he did from time to time after a cat in the neighborhood. I saw him in a field of green with blue skies – much like the weather today. It was like a daytime dream almost – maybe the endorphins (?) but I was watching, not controlling the vision as you would with a thought. It was more like a dream…
I saw Bailey running, running and then he jumped up into my dad’s arms [my dad had passed away about 15 years before]. Bailey was so happy! My dad was happy. I said out loud, “you found him! Bailey you found Papa [Papa is what my kids called my dad].
I started crying and I was so happy. I was so happy for Bailey. the “dream” started to fade a little but I could still see him and replayed it in my head several times the rest of the way home. It was a good release and I hope it last and helps how lonely the house felt this morning.
To this day I still miss Bailey. He was a birthday present for my son when he turned 10 and as the years passed when my son went to College Bailey and I became very close. He was a great friend and companion at a time that my kids were growing and moving on with their lives. My kids always came home but Bailey never actually left – he was always with me and remains so to this day.