Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bayer Dog

"He's a big dog!"
"He's such a good dog!"
"Bayer, you're such a good dog."
I'm fighting back tears as I write this. This is the second morning without Bayer in the world.
He died quickly which is a blessing. Bayer never showed his pain. He had us pretty much convinced that his old age was not painful. He wasn't all that old, just shy of twelve years, but we knew his time was near. Today is Thursday? It was Tuesday evening just after his supper. He went outside to pee and following that he took a few steps and fell right over on his side and died. I wasn't outside with him but my wife was.
Monday was the last time I played soccer with him. Bayer loved soccer. His game was goalie though. He was in his element when he was blocking my kicks. Back when he was younger we used actual soccer balls. When he tired of the game he'd chew the sections off the skin of the ball and if he could he'd puncture the ball with his teeth. In the end he was using a small basketball that would no longer hold air but would always spring back to shape, even after being run over by a car it was still round and perfect for him - softer though.
Bayer loved to go places. He went to the ocean, even challenged the surf down at Fort Popham on more than one occasion. He went with us one year to Florida and came along on a June trip to Tennessee where he got to survive humid temps approaching a hundred degrees. He came with us one long weekend to Burlington, Vermont. Leaving him home just wasn't an option. It was like cruelty to animals the times we had to leave him home by himself for a few hours so that was always the last resort. He made sure we felt shame when we returned.
Bayer's last few years were a challenge. He loved to eat and ate too much for his own good. His mother was a chocolate lab. His father was a total mystery. His mother and his sister were his only dog kin. I always figured his father must have been a large dog. The story was that Bayer's mother came along on an ice fishing trip and wandered off for a little while and as a result had a litter of just two pups, both black dogs. His physique reminded me of a moose or a bison, large and strong front shoulders, narrow and slightly lower hind end. The last time he was on the scales he came in at 116 pounds if I recall correctly. The vet scolded me with her eyes when she saw that.
In his last year he didn't get around well. It was human trauma getting him into a car. He couldn't climb the stairs anymore and we mostly live on the second floor. This past winter he had company during the day and night, which was a blessing. Thank you Emma and Jake for that. Bayer loved you, Emma.
The thing is with Bayer, he loved everybody and everybody he ever met who loved dogs loved him. He could never get enough human attention. He was quite literally a creature in need of human affection. He was behavior-challenged around other dogs. It didn't take much for him to trigger an event when another dog was around. He didn't understand pack behavior. Bayer was a loner. He was claw-shy around cats too but he loved our cats.
Abbie Cat says good-bye to The Bayer Dog as do we all.
Thank you Lord for giving us such a beautiful and needy dog.
Thank you Bayer for letting us be your friends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I'm writing this, it's through tears, as well. Bayer was a constant, for us, every summer vacation in Greenville. He would usually join us on day trips or moose safaris. Always happy to stretch out on the back seat, stopping every now and then to run around. Bayer loved everybody and everybody loved him. You gave him a great life. He was loved and enjoyed by all who knew him. And Bayer knew it.
Saying good-bye is never easy. Bayer will be sorely missed.

From Bayer's friend in Florida...

1:20 PM, April 27, 2017  

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