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We Rescued Bailey One Year Ago Today!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's Bailey's Gotcha Day! On June 29, 2016 we brought Bailey home. To be honest, sometimes thinking about last summer gives me pretty intense anxiety. Rescuing Bailey was one of the best things we've ever done, but it also came with quite a bit of stress.

Let me back up a little bit, because maybe you don't know the story. Blake and I had wanted to get a 2nd pug for a while, but we weren't sure if we wanted to go back to the breeder we got Delly from, or try to rescue a pug (possibly from the Pug Rescue of Florida). Then down the grapevine trickled the information that an acquaintance of a friend of a friend (etc!) needed to rehome her pug. 

I won't give all the details but she wasn't happy to have to do this. Her family was going through a lot and she had to move out herself and couldn't take the dog with her. I reached out and told her we wanted a 2nd pug, that we were really familiar with pugs and that our dog was about the same age so we thought it would be a great fit. 

She totally agreed so we planned to meet up at a pet store later in the week. It needed to happen quickly, because she was getting ready to leave the country and her family at that point refused to let Bailey stay there any longer. (I figured out why later!)

The girl asked ahead of time if we could make it a quick process because she was going to have a hard time with it. I understood that. I expected her to basically hand her over and she'd leave. That's when it got interesting. She got out of the car and stalled a bit. Evidently she hadn't seen Bailey in a few weeks due to the circumstances and Bailey was in worse shape than she knew and had told me. That part I had expected. What I didn't expect was the news that Bailey was most definitely pregnant. (!!)

So many thoughts were rushing through my head. I had to call Blake and tell him what was going on. I just knew he'd say "no way, we can't adopt a pregnant dog." But he didn't. He could tell in my voice that I just couldn't leave her. I told him that she had been kept outside, and that it had been raining that day. Bailey was in pretty rough shape even without the pregnancy. He laughed nervously and said, "well okay!"

Gosh, she was in rough shape. Pugs are kind of high maintenance dogs, and they can't really be neglected for long. She had ear and eye infections and was underweight by several pounds. We could tell she was a smaller pug, but she was only 12 pounds and basically full term pregnant. (For perspective, Delly, who has never missed a meal in her life, is about 18-19 pounds) She also wasn't up to date on her vaccines. I will never forget how much dirt came out of her ears. The vet tech had to help me clean them out and even she was shocked.

She ended up having the puppies on July 19th, just a few weeks later. I don't want to re-type out the birth story of the puppies. It was pretty traumatic. And I guess if that's the worst thing that has happened to me, I can't really complain. But, I can't even look at the travel kennel without having intense flashbacks. I had to switch laundry detergent because the smell of those freshly laundered towels I had for the whelping box still lingers in my head. We were also undergoing a major bathroom remodel at the same time, and while that turned out beautifully, it only added to the stress. It took me months to recover emotionally, as dramatic as that sounds.

Here she is with her 2 babies, right after her C-Section. I think this was the first time we truly saw how skinny and frail she was. All the nutrition she had was going to those pups. She was just skin and bones for the longest time. We fed her any time she showed any interest in food. In fact now I'm remembering she could only stomach wet food for the first few weeks. 

In the last year, Bailey has totally blossomed. We got her eye and ear infections fixed right away. She got up to date on her vaccines, and we had her fixed. But, not before she went into heat again! Ugh, lots of new experiences with this girl.  

She was and is just the best momma. Winston still harasses her on a daily basis, and she will just roll over and pretend to be his prey. It's so funny. I'd say they are what's called a bonded pair. They sleep together in the kennel, while Delly still prefers to be attached to us. 

Bailey does have trouble seeing from time to time. Her eyes are very dark, which apparently comes from getting older. She can't see too well in bright light, so sometimes she gets lost outside-even when you are standing near by. We will just talk to her or clap our leg so she can figure out where we are. She has been known to run into us too! 

She has put on about 4 pounds, and her stomach has shrunken from her puppies/c-section. She has a cute little figure now! And a great appetite! She really filled out when we started her on high-calorie puppy food. It was pretty challenging to feed 3 dogs, 3 different foods! Fortunately, now they all eat the same thing. All that good nutrition really benefited her. Her fur is so so soft now and she doesn't get itchy paws anymore.

She has the sweetest personality, and is so laid back! Although, she will yell at you if she is hungry or needs to go out. We love that she drinks like a camel, but we don't love that she also holds it all day and only goes out once. If you miss it, there is about a gallon of pee to clean up! At this point, though, I think we recognize her cues.

I've snapped a few pictures of her recently, so you can see her transformation! No more ribs sticking out, but she still has those sad eyes mastered, haha! I think this look is just utter contentment. Especially because I banished Winston to the other room.

Her eyes really change outside.
I wrote a little bit about adopting a dog in this post about changing her name. It was definitely a different experience than getting an 8 week old puppy from a breeder. Bailey was a full grown dog with a whole history we will never know. We  had to get to know her, and she had to get to know us! We didn't know what tricks she knew or if she had ever even been on a walk.  

It's neat to look back on this past year and see how far she has come! The crazy thing is, I'm not sure she'd be alive if we didn't take her home that day, which is super sobering. I'm so happy we went out on a limb for her and that it worked out the way it did. I can't say enough good things about adopting or rescuing a dog, and especially an older dog who needed a little extra care. She has been a great addition to our family, and without her we wouldn't have Winston either! And goodness knows he keeps our life interesting!
Happy Gotcha Day Bailey!

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  1. ALL the heart eyes for this pug puppy!!! So so so so cute!

  2. I'm glad you didn't falter and took her!

    Our second and third pugs are re-homed through people we knew. We changed both of their names.

  3. I love this & love that you guys were able to take her in! It's sad & a little frustrating that she came to you in the condition that she was in but it sounds like she has made major strides in the past year. :)

  4. Aww!! I loved reading this! What a sweet story and I'm so glad she is doing much better.

    Katherine |

  5. Your pug had pug puppies. OMG, I wish I could come and visit them. They are sooo sweet, especially all snuggled up sleeping with each other. =) =) <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 I just want to squeeze them. Do you ever just want to squeeze them all aha? That's one thing I miss about having my pug.

  6. Such a heart wrenching story, but oh my gosh she is just so beautiful! It's so amazing that you chose to rescue her right at a time when she obviously needed you so much! Too sweet.

  7. What a sweet story!! I'm so happy for Bailey that you guys took her in and took care of her. It sounds like she was in a bad situation. I'm almost tearing up thinking about it. I love people who can open their hearts to help animals, kudos to you and Blake!

  8. This is such a sweet story- it sure sounds like you were always meant to be her dog-mama!

  9. Aw! What a cute pup - I know she has brought so much joy to your lives!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

  10. Aww, love that she has blossomed under your care... :) She's so darn cute!!

  11. Aww that makes me so sad to see how skinny she was! She looks like she's doing a lot better now! Pugs are just the best! I love my two!



Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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