November 20, 2020

Celebrating Bailey's Life with Bailey's Song!

Thank you, Bailey!

It’s been about 6 weeks since we said “Fare thee well!” to Bailey, the first Hospital Facility Dog in Japan.
I will leave it to others to remind you of the breadth and depth of the difference one dog (along with his handler, Yuko Morita) made to an entire country. Bailey became a bit of a rock-star in Japan –  with documentaries made about him, books written about him, appearances on the national news multiple times… but it was his gentle power of healing that inspired the song featured below. Thanks to Shine On! Kids’ co-founder Mark Ferris for his composition, friends Donna Burke and Bill Benfield for the performance, and Endigo for helping us put the video together. Enjoy, along with some other words of adoration from Bailey’s puppy raisers and trainers in Hawaii – as well as his “life partner” and handler, Yuko Morita. Enjoy!

Kim Forsythe
Co-founder and President
Shine On! Kids

From Sharon Dahlquist – Bailey’s Puppy Raiser

Although my heart is breaking, I find happiness knowing that Bailey had such a good life with Yuko and that he helped so many children and families.  To me, Bailey was an extra special dog. He had such an amazing ability to give love and to help ease the fears of the children during their journey in the hospital. His presence provided immense comfort.

It was an honor to be part of Bailey’s life. When I think about Bailey and his life, I will remember that big smile that he had, how he could communicate with you without speaking, the cute way that his paws turned out “just a little bit”, the important work that he did at Shizuoka Children’s Hospital and Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center, and the unconditional love that he gave to so many.

Message From Assistance Dogs of Hawaii

Above: Bailey (right), with his protege, Annie (left), Mo (far right), the director of Assistance Dogs of Hawaii and puppy raisers who visited Japan for Bailey’s retirement ceremony in 2018.
Below: Cate Dorr, Hospital Facility Dog Program Director of Assistance Dogs of Hawaii.

Bailey, I remember picking you up from the airport in Honolulu with your sister, Bella, when you were both just eight weeks old. You two looked like little white polar bears and were just full of love, even at such a young age, and after such a long trip. Then you started helping people right away on your first visit to a children’s hospital when you were only a few months old. I’m not sure you ever met a person, or a treat, that you didn’t love! 

You and Yuko-san couldn’t have been a better match or team. Your work together is an inspiration. The thousands of lives that you have impacted will last for generations to come. I thank you and Yuko-san for all that you have done over more than a decade helping to improve the lives of children (and adults) all over Japan! 

Safe travels across the rainbow bridge, Bailey. You will be missed and remembered!

From Yuko Morita, Bailey’s handler and partner

“Bailey, our ‘Honorary Facility Dog,’ died at 2:25 p.m. JST on October 1st.
He was nearly 13 years old (mid-80’s in human years).
This summer, he spent time in the mountains and went on lots of fun walks until very recently. After returning home, he became a bit unwell and we had to treat him with medication. He was eating all his food as usual until the day before last.
He even ate a little bit of breakfast yesterday, and just before he left us, he ate some snacks and drank his favorite milk. His ‘sister’ Annie, his ‘juniors’ (hospital facility dogs-in-training) Ty and Masa, and dog-trainer Marina, were all watching over him with me.
It really didn’t take long for him to head peacefully to the heavens…

Bailey loved to play and eat. Bailey played and ate as much as he could right up until the last minute, and then he left.
He was very much like Bailey. Thank you to all the friends and family members, medical staff and supporters who took care of Bailey. Thanks to all of you, Bailey had a wonderful life. He is a “star” and will continue to support us all.
Thank you, Bailey!”