Bailey - Best of Breed!

Ch. Willwood's Cool Irish Cream (Bailey)
December 4, 2002 - January 30, 2008
Carmen's Tribute
"One" (Bailey's signature song)

Bailey

Tonight I sit fondly remembering my first show dog, Bailey, Ch Willwood's Cool Irish Cream. Bailey was the first dog I showed myself and bless both our hearts, it took nearly a full year of going to shows every weekend to finish her. Bailey was blessed with balance (straight in the front and rear) and delicate features (a bit of a snipey head and smallish ears) but to me she was the most beautiful dog in the world. And after a year of sharing a car, bed, bath and sometimes dinner plate every weekend as well as hours upon hours at the shows, we knew exactly what to expect from each other when we walked in the ring. We were as one. I could, after some great months of frustration, walk in the ring and know exactly what was going to happen at the other end of the lead. It took a village to get us to that point and in the process, thanks to Bailey, I met a wonderful professional handler who trained us both, a beautiful fellow owner/handler who shared our weekend treks to the shows, and a couple of breeders who taught me what truly loving the breed is all about. These people have become my best and truest friends thanks to Bailey.

Bailey taught me how to be patient; she could be stubborn at least as long as I could. She taught me to be a gracious loser as well as winner; we lost a whole lot more than we won. And she taught me that the real joy is in the journey, not the destination. I've been very blessed with some wonderful and prestigous wins with Beagles I've owned or shown in my short time in the breed, but my greatest and most vivid memory is not of National level wins but of a day at a small show in Denton, Texas when Bailey won her class of five, (yes, I still remember how many dogs there were in her class that day - the memory is that vivid) went Winner's Bitch, then Best of Winners and Best of Breed over specials from the classes for a five point major. My BAILEY!

The day she finished on a specialty weekend in Colorado was a bittersweet experience for me. I remember leaving the ring, ribbon in hand, walking back to my Suburban, holding her to my breast, crying, knowing that this would be our last outing together; Bailey wasn't specials material, but we had shared a hotel bed, McDonald's breakfasts, and long car rides, every weekend for a year and now the days of sharing the show ring were at an end. And this is when I learned from Bailey that the joy is not in the destination but in the journey.

Not to worry though, Bailey took over as the house drama queen, rolling over at the door to the garage and wailing when she saw I was loading the car for another show (or most any other car ride for that matter) so she took to riding along on visits to pick up my niece from school, or the bank, or just to pick up a Starbuck's and watch the world go by. She brought joy, truly, to everyone who met her. Everyone loved Bailey.

And we will all miss you girl. You left us too soon. Thank you for the love you gave me unconditionally and the lessons you taught me unknowingly. Please relax at the rainbow bridge. Enjoy Angel and Lauren, Catalina, and all the others that have gone before you. I shall keep your memory alive in my heart until we once again are joined on the other side. Thank you. I love you.

cara ann
January 30, 2008

Bailey



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