Sandiacre firm employee tells heartbreaking story about rambunctious pet.

Published on: Sunday, 20th May 2018

An employee of a Sandiacre firm has written to Erewash Sound to detail the touching and emotive story about a family pet's battle with cancer to share the story with a wider audience.

Lyndsay Latimer works as a Customer Services Assistant for DX based in Mark Street and described how Bailey was a hero, a blood donor, an ambassador and most importantly, their Son, but sadly passed away on 8th May at 20:17 after an 18 month long battle with cancer.

She said: "His funeral, held at Antara in Gamston on Friday was attended by 11 people who knew and loved him and the outpouring of grief on the internet was quite astonishing.  Everyone who ever met him, loved him and was touched by his passing.  We read his Eulogy (below) and sat and had a cup of tea and a piece of cake - a final meal with our boy

He came home on Monday 14th May and is now in his forever box (a garden ornament that he himself chose) on the windowsill in the living room.

We miss him dreadfully and there is an emptiness in our house that feels rather unnatural.  So we are registered with a number of breed specific rescues in the hope that another Labrador will need our help and home soon."

A touching story is included in the Eulogy, provided to Erewash Sound, which now follows:

Bailey D Latimer
Formerly Bailey Hart

Passed away after an 18 month long battle with cancer.
This is his story.

In May of 2008 we were asked to take on this rambunctious 9 month old labrador.  His former parents (aunty and uncle) were looking to emigrate and they knew that the long journey and months in quarantine would be unfair to this lovely boy - so he came to live with us.

We didn't realise how much he would change our lives.  Our leftovers were no longer leftover.  Brussel sprouts, so reviled in many homes, became a staple of Sunday dinners, just so he could have a great big bowl full (the back fires were spectacular and could probably have been weaponised).  Our holidays were all about him, as were Christmases, and days out. But. I don't feel we gave up anything. And here's the why.

Bailey very quickly learnt that we were not the most active of families.  So he chilled out and became a sofa dog. Relaxed was a state of being unless he was going for a ride in the car or was getting his dinner!

He was the smartest dog I have ever known, and I know, most owners will say that unless they know they have a dufus of epic proportions!

He knew the difference between treat and charity.  No, really!  We once asked him if he wanted to go buy treats with his pocket money, or if he wanted to give it to charity, he chose charity - and he would choose it every single time - as long as it was an animal charity.  He wouldn't give to anything else!

He used to bring our shoes, if asked, and if he was feeling sarcastic, he would throw a shoe at you if he felt he had not been for enough car rides that week.

He was a blood donor with the Pet Blood Bank.  His donations helped save so many lives and we couldn't be prouder of him.   Each donation was his choice and once he had had enough, we stopped going but he never stopped being an advocate for them everywhere he went.

He was an ambassador dog for small breed rescue, while not a small dog himself, he was very proud of his efforts!

I recall one day, it was lovely weather and he was on the back yard, free to go out or come in the house as he wanted, ad he came running in the house, launched himself on the sofa and started frantically licking his front paws.  I thought he had a small black stuffed toy, those were his favourite to cuddle after all, until I heard a squeak -and a plaintive mewl.  He had a kitten.  A tiny black and white kitten.  By this point wringing wet through and looking like a slightly drowned rat.  He was most disgruntled when I took her off him to wash and dry off.  He was even more put out when the owner came to retrieve her!  He sulked for days!

He was a brilliant helper dog for me.  I struggle with fibromyalgia and if I dropped something he would pass it back to me.  The first time he did this, we were out walking an there was a lady sat on a bench who dropped her stick.  He just trotted over and passed it to her like he had done it all his life.  He did it every time from then on.

When younger he used to love stealing things, from socks (that never stopped btw), to hammers and tools from the plumbers bag.  All too soon, the good times were tainted by a cloud called cancer.

We noticed he was having a touch of constipation.  So we took him to the vets, thinking his anal glands may need expressing again.  It had happened when he was younger so it wasn't surprising.  But it wasn't. He had a lump.

He went for a biopsy, and we were told it was something rare, an adenocarcinoma of the anal gland, fast growing and lethal.  He was given just 6 weeks to live.  Surgery and chemo where both non options as it was too far advanced for them to give him any increase in time or quality if life.  So we opted for pain relief and a holistic approach.

Now, holistic medicines don't work for everyone or every kind of cancer.  I must stress this. But, the diet we produced helped give him 18 months longer than he had been given by the vets.

So, three times a day, he had turmeric, garlic, ginger and cinnamon infused rice and vegetables, along with essiac tea and CBD oil.  It helped.  It slowed it enough that we got used to the idea of saying goodbye.  But we still weren't prepared.

Over the past few weeks his health had declined in almost imperceptible amounts.  A refusal to come upstairs for night time cuddles, tripping over his own feet a couple of times, walking into his food bowl, the almost constant constipation (unless he had a cup of warm tea, and then he resembled a hippo pooping), the increase in nose bleeds when he sneezed, the bump on his bum becoming that little bit more visible and finally, on his last day, the blood in his stool that he pooped into his water bowl for us to see (told you he was a clever boy).

As my husband and I turned to one another at 1930 on the 8th May and said we think its time, the sky brightened and a huge double rainbow appeared.  Bailey came indoors and calmly laid down as we told him he was going for a ride to see his aunties at the vets.  But he would be going to sleep there.  We put on his favourite collar, bright red with Morris men's bells on, put his favourite stuffed crocodile and his blankie in the car, and off we went.

He walked into the vets and tried to give a waggy tail for the girls but his bum was too sore.  So we went in the vets and he got straight on the scales (our usual procedure) and we saw he had dropped 3kg in weight since our last visit.  He then stretched out on his blanket, put his head on his toy, had many fusses and belly scratches and then went to sleep.

Our boy passed to the bridge at 20:17 that night and broke our hearts.  It's strange, I would have thought he might have lingered a little but his spirit is so totally gone.  He did his thing with us and now he is off on another adventure. I'm sure we will see him again someday but for now...

Our floors are still Ingrained with fur, I still have fur in my bra from when I had no pockets to put it in, there are drool covered trousers and socks still to be washed and bedding that really needs to be hosed down.

Leads that need to have a wash and photos to be framed.  But the house is near silent, even with the loudest music playing. I don't like it.

We will eventually have another dog, even though we know this pain will come again.




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