I’m sorry I called you a wimp…
I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you whenever we struggled to trim your claws. I listened to the vet you see, and repeatedly paid her to tell me you were just a wimp. I didn’t know your toe was shattered into a bazillion pieces for many years- and you were just putting a brave face on… I hope you can forgive us once you get used to being a three-toed dog.
I know you’re embarrassed to walk round with your enormous bandage on and you hate it when I make you wear a baby shoe covered in a sandwich bag to keep it dry- because people laugh at you… and the crinkly noise is irritating to everyone… including you…but just a few more days… promise.
I realised when I picked you up from the vets yesterday, and I was trying to take a picture of you to send to your Uncle Finch (he’s been worried sick)…and you wouldn’t look at me… I’ve probably got quite a few things I should apologise for.
I’m sorry I laugh at you when you wake up with dry mouth and your lips stick to your teeth… I’m sorry I take photographs of this and other amusing positions you get yourself in to and send them to my friends.
I’m sorry we made a 150 quid out of you by pimping you out to that posh farm dog. Im sorry that bitch forced you to do things you were clearly uncomfortable with…and her owner let her kids watch. I didn’t know you would get stuck and she would drag you around the garden backwards. I’m sorry I tried to pour cold water over you too… I honestly thought that it would help… we’ll never pimp you out again. Promise.
I’m sorry that I sometimes shout “Cats!!” just because I enjoy watching you run outside really fast and puff yourself up… for the record I do sometimes feel a bit bad when you pull your ‘I’m not angry… I’m just disappointed” face upon realisation that I’ve lied to you once again.
I’m sorry that you got accidentally kicked in the head that time – when you got it in between a ball and your Dad’s foot at the Smiths’ house. I did warn you both that that game might end in tears… but you wouldn’t listen… and you do love a ball. We were so upset when your tongue became swollen and you wouldn’t get up (one of less than 5 times I’ve almost seen your dad cry.. although he fiercely denies this…) Thankfully a vet lived over the road and she said you were just a bit spaced out. She was right… I was hysterical nonetheless… I’m sorry if I embarrased you.
I’m sorry that your walks are much slower these days because we travel at the pace of a two year-old. I’m sorry I tie your lead to the front of your brother’s bike too… I know that the pedals freak you out but I’m grateful that you help drag him along.
I’m sorry that we rarely call you by your name. You come running to various names… mostly ‘Dog’ and ‘Hog’ but also ‘Hoggleberry Fin’, ‘Dingus’, the seasonal favourite ‘Bailey Jesus’… and most recently… ‘Katy Nana.’
Your brother at least always calls you by your full name… ‘Bailey Dog-Dog’…
Since the arrival of my non-hairy babies you have graciously accepted a backseat. Waiting patiently until ‘9pm cup o’tea time’ to get your cuddles on the sofa. You never complain or grumble or growl. In fact, I never really tell you this… but you’re a bit of a legend…
Thank you for being such a good listener. When commanded, you always lie on my feet to help cure the terrible attacks of ‘corpse feet’- a condition I am often plagued with… I can tell by your face you don’t really want to. You also sit still in front of the babies when I need you to entertain them… particularly your baby sister… who currently seems to find your presence hilarious. Also… the other night when you tried to break in to the spare room to scuff up the clean washing and sleep in the big bed… I only had to whisper shout at you from upstairs for you to get out. I’m very grateful for this.
Thank you for knowing me better than I give you credit for. You always stay near when I’m feeling unwell, and far away when I’m in a grumpy mood. Please stop sitting at the bottom of the garden when im tired and cross though… the neighbours will talk. When your baby brother was born you were the only one who it was easy to be around. You came to visit me after I had been in hospital for 5 weeks… we ate outside at a cafe. You said a quick hello and then ignored me… thank you for not making a fuss and causing an emotional scene… at first I just thought you were mad at me… but I think really you must have known that is just what I needed.
Thank you for being so loyal and helpful. You never judge me if my hair looks pap… or I’m wearing an un-ironed, holey, baby puke covered jumper… or I’ve eaten a whole packet of jaffa cakes in virtually one go…in front of you.
Despite bursting into the toilet on regular occasion…you always look away at the appropriate moment to avoid social awkwardness between the two of us. I appreciate that.
In pregnancy you always got up in the night and sat with me while I guzzled Gaviscon and ate bowls of Golden Grahams. I’m sorry I kept offering them to you when I know you don’t like them…and I didn’t offer you any alternative refreshments. You paced the floor with me when I had braxton hicks and looked on with sympathy when they turned into contractions…
You wake up in the night and sit with me when I’m tending to hungry, poorly or teething babies. You run to them when they cry, you watch them while they sleep. You eat the food the babies throw from their high chairs and you take part in the ‘dog shake dance’ I encourage your brother to do… eating all the little crumbs that fly off as a result of his shaking and dancing so I don’t have to get the hoover out. I love that you do that.
Dog, you are the Mary to my Poppins… not only because of your child care services…but also because you are practically perfect in every way. (If you wanted to learn to pick up your own poo that would make you actually perfect… you could stand still when you do a poo too if you wanted.. just sayin’)
I do hope you enjoy your new luxurious duck and rice kibble I bought you as an apology. Only a small remortgage was required… but you are part of the family… and you do put all of us before yourself; it’s the least you deserve.
Bailey Dog-Dog you are the most loyal and brave of all the creatures…
I’m glad you’re ours.
We love you.