By Jeff Baird, Sunrise Reiki Colorado

Springsteen sang about the Sandy girl that he knew, and I’m going to write a little bit about my Sandy in this article. She’s caused me to reflect quite a bit over this long Thanksgiving weekend. She is being attacked by a viscious form of cancer. It’s been an emotional week, or however long it’s been since this last go around. I’ve officially lost track of time. I’m still back in August somewhere.

Sandy has not felt 100% for most of 2018, with frequent trips to the vet to try to get her well. My wife told me yesterday she is convinced that Reiki and prayers are keeping Sandy alive. All you have to do is take one look at the evil, hideous looking growth on Sandy’s mouth to agree with her. She is still wagging her tail and making it very clear that she isn’t ready to leave just yet. She’ll go when she’s damn well ready. She came into our lives on her own terms, and it’s only fitting that she goes out on her own terms as well.

Sandy has always made it no secret that she likes comfort. I’ll never forget taking the picture of her lying on top of all of the pillows as a puppy. She kind of already owned the place after a couple of days. But, she did it with such style and grace that you didn’t even notice it, until it was just the way things were now. It was the new normal at The Baird house. Somehow, Sandy became a Baird, and I have no problem with it. My wife used to say, “Sandy Baird” on a pretty regular basis as she was disagreeing with whatever she was doing at the time. She could be sniffing something that she didn’t need to sniff or trying to eat something she didn’t need to eat. But, whatever it was, you knew that if you heard, “Sandy Baird,” it was serious. `

Sandy Baird shares our home with Sylvie, another Labradoodle, who was less than welcoming to her when she first entered our home. These days, Sylvie lies very close to Sandy, and keeps an eye on her. I have been busy letting the Reiki flow and both Sylvie and Sandy are reaping the benefits of the healing energy. They are fully aware of what’s happening and it’s not easy to watch. I am just jumping in with both feet and sharing as much love as I can with both of them, and it’s really helping. The three of us have done many things together. It’s been a great run, but things are different now.

These recent days and weeks and months have been an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate how much we love each other. Sandy Baird has made it a powerful healing time. Watching her back in August was so difficult after her surgery. She had half of her jaw removed and the cancer still moved back in. It’s brutal. She just keeps fighting, and does it in good spirits, tail wagging. Looking at her mouth is not an easy thing to do. But, I have gotten up close and personal with this disease and am fighting it head on with Reiki. Sandy Baird has made me better at sharing Reiki with animals too. That’s what she does. She makes things better just by being here. I am giving her the love she deserves. She does not appear to be in any pain.

I could tell you stories of how she loves to lie right in the middle of the kitchen floor. She takes up a lot of room. Some of my best belly laughs were watching her try to “get small,” as she positioned herself properly on the love seat between Tami and me. It was a very funny thing to watch. She especially likes the center of the kitchen floor if I’m boiling noodles. That girl loves her pasta. I think she’s got some Italian blood flowing in her or another European blood of some kind. She has this level of sophistication, even when she’s doing something gross. I could tell you stories. But, I won’t. Sandy Baird has taught me to focus on the moment at hand.

This article is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my feelings for this incredible dog. I’ve always loved her. But, watching her survive and bounce back time and time again this last year has been nothing less than life changing and inspiring. She is as tough as they come, and yet as a gentle as a lamb. What a combination. My new mantra is if Sandy can go through all she is going through in good spirits, I need to do the same.

Thank You Sandy. You are such a good girl.

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