We got a (sorta) new dog – Bailey.

Bailey is a 13 year old Golden Retriever. He’s about 80 pounds and very blond and fuzzy. He’s got a benign fatty tumor on his right shoulder that’s about 6-8 inches around and 2-3 inches thick. This makes him look a bit like a hunchback. Throw in the loping gait from the arthritis in his hips and he reminds me of Marty Feldman’s Igor in “Young Frankenstein”. The tumor is benign so it’s not worth operating on a 13 year old dog to get rid of it.

He was turned into the rescue by his owner because the owner had fallen on hard times and had to move to a place that didn’t allow dogs.
Since Bailey is 13, it was decided to just keep him permanently in foster care rather than try to adopt him out. They call it “hospice care” but that seems a bit more like a deathwatch that I’m comfortable with.

Unfortunately, the only person who was available to foster Bailey was a woman who I’ll call Eve. Eve liked Bailey but was convinced that he was about to die any second. Eve kept taking Bailey to the vet to treat whatever imagined ailments Bailey was supposed to have. Whenever anyone else saw Bailey, they thought that Bailey was an old but otherwise healthy dog. The rescue folks were worried that Eve may soon kill Bailey by trying to treat him for ailments that he didn’t have.

I’d been hearing about Bailey from Pam. Pam was getting worried about Bailey too. I was getting pretty attached to Bailey myself even though I’d never seen him. I found myself thinking that maybe we could foster Bailey but I kept my mouth shut because we already had 2 dogs that were keeping us busy as it was.
One day, after telling me about Eve’s latest attempts with Bailey, Pam said that she wanted to foster Bailey before Eve killed him. Since I’d already been thinking that even though I’d kept it to myself, I agreed.

The rescue folks didn’t want to tell Eve that they were taking Bailey away from her to give to fosters who wouldn’t kill him. They thought that would be cruel. Instead, they planned to have Pam pick him up on the pretext of taking him to the vet. Pam would bring Bailey home but they’d tell Eve that the vet said that Bailey was just too badly off and had him put put down.
Visions of Lucy and Ethel danced thru my head.

Bailey has been with us for a few weeks now. The other dogs get along with him. He seems happy to be with us.

I hope he lasts a while.
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