My best friend

             If you don't believe there is more to life than what we see and hear every day, then you should probably stop reading this and grab the remote control and enjoy a night of American Idol or the Kardashians. If however, you do believe there is something extra and unexplained about life and death, and you are willing to share my sadness, then please listen to my story.

I met my best friend a little over ten years ago. Instantly there was an unbreakable bond that made us inseparable. We would spend countless hours walking or running through the trails behind our home. We would stay up late, talk for hours and hours, and it always seemed he knew exactly what to say. We ate every lunch and dinner together and he never once complained what I cooked. I am not ashamed to say this, but we even slept together. I gave him baths and my wife would cut and brush his golden hair.

If you haven't figured it out yet I am telling you a story about my dog "Bailey". He was my buddy, my pal, my best friend. I spent all day every day making sure he was safe and happy and he spent all day making sure I felt loved.

Like most stories about a man and his dog the ending is never as good as the beginning. Inevitably time catches up to both of them and man's best friend is called away. Some call it a rainbow bridge, I call it heartache. My boy died in my arms surrounded by his family and friends on Tuesday evening around 7PM. He had been sick for a long time and as you can imagine I am devastated. My best friend taken from me. How do you go on with life when you lose precious cargo?

Why?? Why would God take the most innocent and loving creature from my life? He was all things good. Why would God have him suffer in the end? I asked God these questions but only silence came my way. I asked God for a sign and God delivered.

Today is Thursday, two days after my Bailey passed. I was traveling over the Gold Star Bridge when I remembered I wanted to see a good friend who works at the Coast Guard Academy. Now keep in mind I have lived the majority of my life in New London County and know exactly what exit to take off of the bridge to quickly arrive at the Academy. For some reason, maybe I was daydreaming, I got off the wrong exit and needed to do an immediate U-Turn to head back to the Coast Guard. I found the very first street and pulled in to turn around when I was shocked to see a message straight from Bailey to me.

The picture you see is the street I turned down to do a U-Turn.  

I think that qualifies as a sign.

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John Sheehan September 01, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I have to agree. We lost our fifth dog two months ago and were fortunate to find two replacements who are not the same but still help fill the void. The unquestioning love of a dog is irreplacable but the next dog manages to find a place in your heart along with the ones that have passed on. The animal shelter and the humane society have plenty of dogs and I am sure that one will find its way into your heart.
Christopher Jennings Penders September 01, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Hi Lee: That was DEFINITELY a sign. Glad to see you're open to see it as a sign. Many people would drive by completely oblivious to any sign whatsoever.
Beth Crowley September 01, 2012 at 08:52 AM
Whenever I hear stories like this I get goosebumps! I've had similar experiences when I have asked for signs. Yours is one more story proving spirit will answer us when we ask, not with the actual voice of God or a burning bush but in extraordinarily ordinary ways. We just have to be able to recognize and receive these messages when they come. So sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story.
Jayne Keedle September 06, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Hi Lee, I know what you're going through. When my lab Kelly died, I thought I would never feel the same way about a dog again. Then we got Snuffles, a chocolate lab I was determined not to get so attached to. And yet, here I am, totally attached to a dog who has become my constant companion. There's a place in our heart that only a dog can fill, but when one dog goes, another comes along that worms it way into our heart again. It's a lot like those cutout figures that kids make that becomes a long chain of dogs that we love, each of them unique, but none of which we can imagine our lives without.
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