Baylee | 2001-2014

Life of Ryan

Dogs are the best. “Man’s Best Friend” is how the saying goes. Earlier this week I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I said goodbye to one of my best friends.

Before our black lab Baylee, my family had a black lab named Jazz. Jazzy girl. She passed away when I was 8 but I still remember her calm, playful spirit. 5 years after Jazz passed and entering into my teenage years, our neighbor’s labradors were having puppies. One day they were all outside and my parents and I went over to see them. Who doesn’t like to play with puppies?! I don’t remember how many puppies there were in total but I remember one of them coming to sit in my lap. She was the smallest of the bunch and so sweet. And the puppy breath. Ohhh that puppy breath! After we left, my parents told me that we were going to take her home after she reached 8 weeks old…umm seriously?! I was the happiest kid that day and so excited for a new pup. We named her Baylee.

Baylee wasn’t even a year old before she stared death in the face. At 5 months old she was hit by a car. The car took off and left Baylee in the street. We took her straight to the UC Davis emergency vet hospital where she was treated for a shattered hip and bones in her rear right leg. It could have been worse. The easiest thing to do would have been to amputate her leg, but then she would have a hard time carrying babies with one hind leg. Instead, they put a metal plate in her leg to replace where the bone would have been…I think. All I know is there was a huge scar and they had to shave her up pretty good…

The Vet said that because of this, her life span could be cut short. We were just thankful she survived though it. Once all of her hair grew back and she was able to put just enough pressure on her leg, you would have never known she was hit by car. Hiking, swimming, going in the snow were some of her favorite things to do. But her MOST favorite has to be the ball. She lived for that ball. She wouldn’t stop and could play fetch for hours on end. If you were ignoring her, she would drop the ball next to you and wait. It was only when she got a little older that she started barking if you were making her wait longer than she wanted too.

I’ll tell you what, having a dog like Baylee through my teenage years and early 20’s was the best. If I needed anyone to listen, Baylee would be there with no judgements. We’d hike together, go on walks together, go to the park together, take selfies. I loved her and she provided unconditional love right back.

She was also great around kids…

Loved going to the beach…

Loved her sleep…
Enjoyed hanging out by the BBQ in case anything “fell off.” 
Loved to go for rides. Sometimes she even got special treats…

Always happy to be around us…

Yes, even in a big family portrait…

In the last 6 or so years I haven’t lived at home where Baylee has been.  She had her yard and was comfortable so it was in her best interested she stayed while I moved out. I’d still watch her from time to time and come play with her, just not as much as I would have if I lived at home.

Not too long ago Tommy and I decided to rescue a puppy. You better believe I was resistant at first. I didn’t want Baylee to think I was cheating on her or anything. When I first introduced the two earlier this year, Baylee was acting like more of a puppy than Leo. I absolutely love this photo of the two of them.

I realize this post has nothing to do with weddings, engagements, or pretty pictures. Even though some of these photos aren’t of the best quality, too dark, or whatever, they remind me of my time spent with Baylee. And that is something I will cherish forever. 

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