yellow lab

At the beginning of June we said goodbye to our 14-year old Bailey dog, our eldest child and Christian’s first love.  We knew her health was heading downhill since last winter but wanted to try a few things, build her some ramps and see if we noticed any decrease in her arthritis pain. It was emotional to nurture her through this process and to be honest, I haven’t been ready to talk about it much. I’m still not ready.

She spent her last weeks eating tomahawk steaks and endless scraps (her heaven!), daily walks to the stop sign which was about all she could handle, most of her time inside in the AC (her preference, of course) and lots of petting and kisses. 

Bailey spent her life running around on farm land in Mississippi, being chauffeured twice across the United States, chasing pelicans on the beaches of California, wearing her first snow shoes in Tahoe and visiting the mountains every fall.  She swam in lakes and oceans, caught frisbees in the park and visited the Pacific Heights dog park in San Francisco almost daily for a year.  She accompanied me to my office most days in a Jeep Wrangler for two years, and as a result her photo was amongst the other HQ office pets on the walls of Urban Decay brick and mortars in Newport Beach, Paris and London (I’ve visited all three to see her face!).  We would regularly head to the beach for a walk after work before heading home.  She regularly rode in the back of the Jeep, top down on Highway 1.  We arguably gave her a better life than we will ever give any pet, and knowing that brought us great peace as we had to say goodbye.

Christian and I huddled around her in her final moments with tears flowing freely down our faces, finding it nearly impossible to say goodbye to the 90 lb yellow lab who imprinted our hearts forever.  Her ashes are still in the house in the AC… just as we know she would have wanted. 😏😉

You may not have a dog for your whole life, but they have you for their whole life.  Many of you have asked about her, and I simply can’t talk about it without getting upset. I had to do it in my own time.  And it’s still been quite difficult to gather these photos, reminisce on these moments and know she’s not here. 

These moments don’t begin to cover what she brought to our lives.  Thank you for blessing us with your heart and spirit, Bailey Savannah Scout Barnes. Thank you for being the best big sister we could have hoped for. And thank you for continuing to visit me as the jumbo yellow butterfly that I see all the time in the yard, dancing around me and floating off into the trees.

Please give your three-legged sister, Lula, a big kiss from us across the rainbow bridge. 

We miss you. 🌈 

dog snow bootsdog and baby14 year old labrador

Thank you so much for loving her like we did.  She will always be such a special part of our hearts and memories.  XO –

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46 thoughts on “Bailey

  1. and now i’m sitting at my office desk with tears rolling down my face. we are so blessed by our pets!

  2. God Bless you Kathleen and Christian!
    I am sobbing as I write this but please know that I am lifting you up in prayer.
    Losing a fur baby is never easy. You know Bailey will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. Right there with Lula.
    xoxo- Tanya

  3. Beautiful, loving, sweet tribute!
    Tears are flowing down my face and neck!
    We said goodbye to our 14 year old, 95 pound Golden, Marley, recently. Your words reflect our thoughts, too!
    Thinking of your family! ✨✨

  4. I am so sorry to hear this. I have wondered about Bailey over the past few months. It is the most difficult and painful experience. We had to say good bye to our beloved 8 year old cocker due to cancer in May and it took me a few months before I could even talk about it. I still cry almost daily. It is a long process. Take all the time you and your family need. Pets are a big part of our lives and the hole they leave in passing is beyond description. Hugs to you, Christian and Hudson on this huge loss.

  5. So sorry for the loss of your beautiful dog Bailey. As the fur mama of two yellow labs my heart breaks for your family. I know how our dogs become such a great part of our families! May your memories bring you comfort.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss!!! Please extend my sympathies to Christian!!! When my granddaughter lost the first of the two dogs her parents had before she was born, she saw her Dad throwing away her dog bed. Abigail was outraged!! She said Casey would need it when she “rises again”, good Presbyterian theology!!

  7. Beautiful! I often stress over the dog hair and wear and tear our furry friends bring to our homes, but nothing would ever stop me wanting or needing the love they bring. Your Bailey memories will always have a huge place in your heart and you’re so lucky for having them!❤️

  8. I am so very sorry for your loss. You all gave her a wonderful life. Hope that provides a bit of comfort and peace during this time. I will miss seeing this cutie. Love the thought that she’s reunited with her sister. XO

  9. I am so sorry to hear of Bailey’s passing.You gave her an amazing life filled with so much love and she will always remember you.Sending you,Christian and Hudson peace during this difficult time.RIP sweet Bailey girl

  10. There’s nothing quite like the heartbreak you feel when you lose a precious pet. You gave her a wonderful life and baby brother. Sending you lots of love <3333

  11. Oh Kathleen, I am so so sorry. I know what it’s like to lose a dog, but more than that, a part of family. I pray for comfort and peace for you and Christian during this hard season of life. I love seeing all those sweet photos of precious Bailey, and hearing about her life’s journey. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Will Rogers said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went”. So sorry for this loss.

  13. Oh, Kathleen. This blog post notification stopped me in my tracks. The love your family had for sweet Bailey was so apparent and undeniable. My shih tzu Bella passed away in February and of course, I was absolutely crushed. As recent as 2 days ago, I wrote “I miss Bella” in my journal, so I can say that it does get easier, but the memory of our furry friends never fades. When she passed, there was nothing anybody could say that could make me feel better so I won’t try. I’ll just share what brought me some comfort during that time, which is a short paragraph I came across online. I hope I am not overstepping/oversharing.

    “Since God put the innocent animals under our subjection (Genesis 1:26), they must pass away even though they’ve done nothing wrong. It is God’s mercy that he has shortened their lives here on earth. If anyone deserves to go to heaven, it is our animals simply because they are the innocent ones, not us.”

    Wishing you & Christian peace, healing and comfort as you mourn your girl. Nothing but love for you & your sweet family!

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss and am sending you many hugs. Animals do stay with you forever. My 12 year old girl died in 2012 and being our first born we still annually celebrate her. Similarly we knew it was time so we fed her as much meat as possible including a bacon wrapped t-bone. Every year on 8/28 we celebrate her with the great grill out and feed our new dogs little tidbits of meat and have a nice bottle of wine to toast the best dog we had. I still cry to this day over her. Nothing replaces her despite the house full of new animals. Bailey will be many memories and in your hearts for ever! Wishing you strength and you do you. Take your time with your loss.

  15. I’m so sorry to hear that your sweet Bailey has passed. It’s so incredibly difficult to lose a beloved family member. She was as lucky to have you guys as you were to have her – what a life that girl had! <3

  16. Kathleen, Christian and Hudson,

    I am so extremely sorry for your loss. I have been wondering about Bailey and just knew in my heart she had crossed the rainbow bridge. I pray your sweet memories help ease some of your sadness. You words were perfect, We may not have our pets our whole lives but they have us their whole life. What a blessing and gift our beloved pets are to us!

  17. I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you gave her the most amazing life! She was so blessed to have your family just as your family was blessed to have her.

  18. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my sweet King in the physical July 1 and the pain is beyond explanation. You were blessed to have 14 magical years and I know that doesn’t make this easier. He is still with you loving you. Sending you love and healing and remember, there is so right or wrong way to grieve. There’s only the way that allows you to eventually find peace.

  19. Hi Kathleen,

    First off – thank you for the joy and happiness you bring through your blog and IG. I am experiencing a loss in my family and watching you on IG can bring a smile to my face when I need it.

    Animals and their unconditional love are beyond measure, they are our own little therapists. I am sending you positivity and will say a prayer for you today:).


  20. Well I am just a big puddle this morning. It is so clear that Bailey was such a lovebug. Thank you for sharing this tribute to her!

  21. My heart hurts for you all on the loss of your beloved Bailey. She was so loved and had a wonderful life. And, it’s obvious from these photos how much she loved her family. I hope that in time this will bring you all some comfort.

  22. Oh Kathleen, I am so sorry! I’ve loved following along with your life for the past few years, and felt like I knew Bailey too. She was such a sweet, adorable and loving dog, and she was so lucky to have you and your family. I’m sending you all my love and healing <3


  23. Kathleen, I am so very sorry for your loss. Having lost my precious Olivia a couple of years ago, I know what this feels like. The joy our pets bring into our lives is indescribable. I still can’t talk about her without getting emotional, and we have another Dane who is getting older and it’s hard to fathom the fact that we’ll lose him one day too. What a wonderful life Bailey had! She loved you guys beyond measure, that’s for sure. Praying for a little comfort for you and your family. P.S. I loved the portraits of Bailey and Lula on your wall; we had a portrait commissioned for Olivia and it’s one of my most cherished possessions, along with the memories of her. God bless you!

  24. I am so sorry…I did see on Instagram this morning. Cried then and I’m crying now. My 14 year old Maltese is struggling with many health issues and I am so not ready to say goodbye. Not a dog but a family member. Sending love and hugs to you and Christian ❤️

  25. Hugs and prayers to you, your husband, and Hudson. I didn’t make it halfway through your post and I was crying. The three of you gave Bailey a good life. I lost my miniature schnauzer a year and a half ago, and sometimes it seems like only yesterday.

    Please know you have a large community supporting you and your family.

  26. Kathleen and Christian, I’m so sorry for your loss of your beloved Bailey. Last August we also lost our yellow lab Lucy who was 14 years old too. Lucy was the best dog and only daughter in a house full of boys. Dogs like Lucy and Bailey will forever live in our hearts.

  27. I am so sorry. It is so difficult to lose a beloved family member (and that is what pets are). Bailey was blessed to have you and Christian as her humans. Hugs

  28. I was at the doctor’s office when I saw your post and my eyes welled up immediately. I am so sorry to hear about Bailey (as well as Lula). I hope you take comfort in knowing how much she loved you, Christian and Hudson. And one day you will see them both again!

  29. So, so sorry. What a beautiful tribute!!! I just love how loved Bailey was! As someone with an 11 year old dog (who is the absolute love of my life), your story really resonates with me. I got another puppy in May. They are our family too.

  30. Oh Kathleen, I am so very sorry to hear this. Bailey was SUCH a special dog. I know you will see her again. Y’all gave her a wonderful life and all the love any animal could hope for! Like you said, she will be in your hearts forever.

  31. I am so so sorry for your family’s loss. I just lost my first pet a few weeks ago, a black cat, and it was absolutely devastating. I hope the happy memories you have of Bailey help you through <3

  32. Kathleen,
    I am so sorry for your loss! I watched the video of Bailey and read this post with tears streaming down my face. I have a 12 year old Golden who has lived a similaly glorious life such as Bailey did so I know when he goes it will be so hard. Pets make our life whole and Bailey will always be with you! xo

  33. When our Molly left us, someone sent me this piece that made me bawl like a baby – but also somehow brought some peace to my heart. I read it every year on the anniversary of her passing. Hope she got to meet Bailey up there across the bridge!
    “Some of you, particularly those who think they have recently lost a dog to “death,” don’t really understand this. I’ve had no desire to explain, but won’t be around forever and must. Dogs never die. They don’t know how to. They get tired, and very old, and their bones hurt. Of course they don’t die. If they did they would not want to always go for a walk, even long after their old bones say: “No, no, not a good idea. Let’s not go for a walk.” Nope, dogs always want to go for a walk. They might get one step before their aging tendons collapse them into a heap on the floor, but that’s what dogs are. They walk. It’s not that they dislike your company. On the contrary, a walk with you is all there is. Their boss, and the cacaphonic symphony of odor that the world is. Cat poop, another dog’s mark, a rotting chicken bone (exultation), and you. That’s what makes their world perfect, and in a perfect world death has no place. However, dogs get very very sleepy. That’s the thing, you see. They don’t teach you that at the fancy university where they explain about quarks, gluons, and Keynesian economics. They know so much they forget that dogs never die. It’s a shame, really. Dogs have so much to offer and people just talk a lot. When you think your dog has died, it has just fallen asleep in your heart. And by the way, it is wagging it’s tail madly, you see, and that’s why your chest hurts so much and you cry all the time. Who would not cry with a happy dog wagging its tail in their chest. Ouch! Wap wap wap wap wap, that hurts. But they only wag when they wake up. That’s when they say: “Thanks Boss! Thanks for a warm place to sleep and always next to your heart, the best place.” When they first fall asleep, they wake up all the time, and that’s why, of course, you cry all the time. Wap, wap, wap. After a while they sleep more. (Remember, a dog while is not a human while. You take your dog for walk, it’s a day full of adventure in an hour. Then you come home and it’s a week, well one of your days, but a week, really, before the dog gets another walk. No WONDER they love walks.) Anyway, like I was saying, they fall asleep in your heart, and when they wake up, they wag their tail. After a few dog years, they sleep for longer naps, and you would too. They were a GOOD DOG all their life, and you both know it. It gets tiring being a good dog all the time, particularly when you get old and your bones hurt and you fall on your face and don’t want to go outside to pee when it is raining but do anyway, because you are a good dog. So understand, after they have been sleeping in your heart, they will sleep longer and longer. But don’t get fooled. They are not “dead.” There’s no such thing, really. They are sleeping in your heart, and they will wake up, usually when you’re not expecting it. It’s just who they are.I feel sorry for people who don’t have dogs sleeping in their heart. You’ve missed so much.”

  34. This is beautiful! I know you gave Bailey a good life. i just recently lost my dog of 17 years about a month ago. I think about him often and have just started removing his things from the house. Our pets are our companions, our family, and our “home”. Its comforting to know that brought so much joy to our lives and taught us great responsibility. Hug & kisses to you and Christian

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