Thursday, May 21, 2015

Our Daisy

I never knew I was a "dog person"  until, at 40something years old, I had my first dog.

I wasn't raised around dogs, but the few I knew in passing were generally small dogs.  When I was little, my grandparents had a beagle that I would've loved to know if Shannon hadn't been so jumpy for a dog-shy little girl. My best friend growing up, Jennifer, had  a larger dog, but I have very few memories of him/her from all our times together.  Our neighbors had a poodle, Mitzi, who was the cutest but yappiest thing around;  she made us giggle with her my-bark-makes-up-for-my-size noise.

The boys begged for a dog.  We caved.  We opened our hearts to a co-worker's dog and I instantly fell in love.  I was no longer the only 'girl' in the house -- I had a buddy named Daisy.

She came to us as an active girl but with a history of Lyme disease.  She did not live up to a portion of her name -- the retriever part -- but she had some great food-related tricks.  

Adoption Day, 2008
Daisy was Levi's favorite comfort (3yo in this photo)

Daisy tolerated Tiger's kitten antics
May 2014

Yesterday, Friday, May 15, our sweet Daisy dog had to be put down.  The day before, she slowly walked up the stairs and hid in our boys closet while Dave was using an air compressor to build a shed in the backyard.  She has always been afraid of loud noises.  I have to admit, that I did not really worry about her -- or notice that she had not come downstairs in the evening -- until Friday morning.  Luke and I had to use a towel as a sling under her belly to get her down the stairs and into the car.  After dropping Ben and Luke at their play practice (thankfully, just a mile down the road from the vet), Levi and I took Daisy to the doctor.  I knew it was bad news.  She had a cancerous mass in her liver -- something common with golden retrievers.  She was bleeding out and it was time.  

I was able to run down the road and get Ben and Luke to say goodbye to Daisy.  Dave -- on his very first day of work! -- was able to leave early to also come say goodbye and help comfort the boys.  We all stayed with her until the end.  

Now, we live with all those firsts -- the quiet of our home, the changes to our routine.  I have some dog food and treats to pass on to the animal shelter.   I've washed her bowls for the last time.  We are super busy with life right now, but it is amazing how one of us will stop in our tracks and realize we miss her and our hearts ache.  

My facebook post on the day she died:  

Oh, to be loved by a good dog is a priceless gift; 
to love a good dog is such a blessing.

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