The other subjects I wanted to practice shoot this past weekend were my parents' two dogs, Jack and Bailey. I had so many reasons to want to practice on them, since they are both black dogs (notoriously hard to photograph), two crazy, high energy dogs and they were two dogs! That in itself is hard to work out, since they both tend to level each other out. One is crazy while the other mellow and vice versa. Never a quiet moment together. Plus they are physically opposite, Bailey being sleek and glossy and thin while Jack sports the long and wiry gray/black fur on a large, thick frame.
The other reason I wanted to go over was that on Friday, Bailey was diagnosed with a giant tumor on his spleen. My parents were devastated. My dad asked that I come over and take a few good pictures of him. After some exploring, however, they found that they could remove his spleen and he might just be in the clear. We were all pretty happy after that good news and started to let our guard down.
So, I went over post-surgery to capture a few pictures of sweet Bailey anyway. He was doing pretty well, relaxing and resting afterwards at home. I was able to get a few good ones, but I figured since he was going to be ok, there was no pressure to get them all this weekend and I just let him be after a few minutes with him. I honestly didn't want to put any stress on him after his surgery to hamper his healing. Though, I was amazed with his resilience, even for a dog.
Today, my father called to let me know that Bailey had taken a turn for the worse, ironically in complications from the surgery that saved his life. They have assumed that he had a possible stroke and his poor body has been seizing ever since, for two days. There was nothing more they could do for him but let him go.
Bailey, with his beautiful brown eyes, his habit of laying on the couch while his front paws were standing on the floor (a Great Dane trait, by the way), his smooth and glossy black coat shining in the sun and his strong tail always thump, thump, thumping on the floors and walls. He was happy. Eternally happy. Always sweet and loving and ready to get in on whatever fun there was to be had. Whether it was playing ball or eating his food, Bailey always did it fast and furious, his whole being thrown into what he was doing. When he wagged his tail, his whole back end wagged with it. So much enthusiasm for life and we were lucky to have known him. His eyes said so much about him, forever entreating you to play with him, really to just love him.
I am so sorry, Mom and Dad for having to lose him and having to deal with the pain that ensues. Please know that you gave him an amazing life full of joy and treats and snuggles in the waterbed. He was part of your family and he will be missed every single day. Know that he is at play in the fields of heaven, his soul at peace, playing blissfully with Jake and Ruger.
And please kiss Jack for me.
Here are the few pictures I got of Bailey and I hope that you like them, even though I did him no justice at all.