Willard Bailey


Willard Bailey was being interviewed on a radio station in Phoenix. The subject was his relationship with dogs. The host said, “You come upon a car wreck. A man and a dog are lying by the side of the road, both critically injured, both needing CPR. Which one would you give CPR first?”

Not a blink of an eye intervened before Bailey replied, “The dog, of course.” The host followed with, “What if the dog were a pit bull?”

“Yep! I’d at least try,” Bailey shot back.

That’s the author of this book. A 31-year veteran of competition dog sports, Bailey takes us on a quirky journey that offers a rare look at a strange potpourri of outside-the-competition-ring experiences.

The story begins with the author’s adventures in border collie rescue – highlighted by an all-time wonderful dog who just walked in the front door: Bravo! a border collie who spells his name with an exclamation point. Of course.

The narrative meanders through an unlikely collection of subjects: lymphangiectasia – “poop wars” – the not curable disease that eventually cut short Bravo!’s highly successful competition obedience career…Bailey’s stress and near debilitating ring nerves, and how his relationship with a professional hockey goaltender helped solve the problem… Bravo!’s terror at indoor trials… the personal nonstop jukebox the author carries in his head (and why on earth that’s important to the story).

Above all; though, this book is about the love affair that blossomed between the author and his “walk-on” dog.