Six years ago today, I was in between classes at UofW, walking through red square when my dad called to tell me that my puppy had been born. I knew I wanted a small, blocky head, female yellow lab in the same lineage as our family labs. Two weeks after the litter was born, I went and met my little girl for the first time. My life has been changed ever since.
Bailey came home with me at six weeks old, into a house we rented in Greenlake with my roommate. She's been with me through college, houses with roommates and parties, a 500sq ft condo, and now a cute little house on Queen Anne with a backyard and a little sister to play with. We've been through a lot and she's been with me every step of the way.
The happiest times I've had in the past years have been on 3 hour adventures through Discovery Park, road trips to Bells Beach on Whidbey Island, setting out from my house on a "quick walk" and returning hours later as we explore our city, really, just anywhere that we can walk and play and I get to see her smiling face.
It hasn't been all perfect - she was a lab puppy at one point, after all.... Some of her highlights were eating my underwear and pooping it out at Greenlake while my mom and her friend were walking her, eating a Costco box of Q-Tips and pooping them out over the next 3 weeks, she's caused many friends and family members to vow to never ride in a car with her again, she once cost me a roommate after eating her expensive Italian shoes.... Nothing out of the ordinary ;)
When I got Bailey, I was sick of the immature college frat boys and quasi-relationships, I wanted to be independent and not be attached to anyone. Well, little did I know that this little puppy I brought home was going to ruin that plan. I have never ever been more attached to anything in my life. Every time I look at her, to this day, I get that "awww" feeling inside. I still think her sleeping is the cutest thing. I am still proud when she outruns all the other dogs at the park. I still brag about the fact that she can find a tennis ball anywhere - go ahead, try to trick her! I still excuse her inability to drop the ball when she is obsessively chomping at it. I still am amazed that she knows to come right to me if a tear ever drops from my face.
I love this dog so much, I have done what many people would think is pretty crazy.... After years of studying and doing well in school, a few more years at trying to adapt to and succeed in the corporate world, all the while trying to "build my resume" so that I may impress someone, I decided to give it all up and go a completely different direction. One day, on a long walk with Bailey, I asked myself "what really makes me happy", and the answer was right in front of me, wagging her tail as we walked down the street.... I know it's not always realistic to love your job and do what makes you happy, but if it meant giving Bailey the best life possible, I figured it was worth the chance.
It's been the best six years of my life, and can't wait for many more!