On most Mondays and Tuesdays Bailey stays with Sharon at daycare. There, he goes for long walks, hangs out with other pups in the backyard, and plays with a happy-go-lucky Golden down the street. He's got the run of the house, and even sleeps in Sharon's and Mike's bedroom. He's one lucky mutt.
This last visit, Bailey got bossed around by a nippy little dog overly protective of his food bowl. That anxiety, coupled with extended walks and rough housing with the Golden, tuckered out poor Bailey...
When I picked him up on Tuesday afternoon, his entire body wagging, I figured he could handle my 45-minute run on Black Mountain's cross-country ski trails. Not so.
Right from the get-go Bailey had little interest in what is usually an all-out sniff fest. He climbed out of the car, sat down in the parking lot, and stared.
"Come on, Bailey! Wanna treat?" I held up an Iams lo-fat biscuit and he unwrapped himself from the pavement. Nonetheless, the whole run would be pretty much the same: I'd run, he'd sit, and then finally, as I disappeared from sight, he'd follow reluctantly.
About 30 minutes into the run, Bailey lay down in the tall grass and watched as I headed up the trail. As I rounded the corner, disappearing from sight, he stayed put. Usually, when I disappear, he finds me. Not this time.
Over the next five minutes while running a small hill, I kept turning back and hollering "Bailey!" Finally, after hearing dogs barking in the distance, I ran back down the trail. No Bailey.
I jogged the half mile back to the parking lot calling his name. I didn't hear the barking dogs and that gave me an uneasy feeling. But once I got in sight of the lodge, there, hunkered down beside the Subaru, lay Bailey. When I got about 100 meters from the car, he crawled to his feet and walked toward me, tail wagging... another glimpse of the old dog that Bailey will be.