I got Daisy when I was 31. I was living with one of, if not the best abusers on the face of the earth. He happened to be a police officer which made him that much better at it. He knew how not to leave marks. Every day was an interrogation, a trial, which I inevitably failed at. I lost 20 pounds in less than 6 months. I didn’t eat. I barely slept. Panic attacks became my reality and I started to shake when I knew he’d be coming home. He decided to move us out to the country. I believe it was just to have more control over me and less prying eyes. At that time, I decided I needed a dog, as an alarm, as protection from cougars and bears.To let me know when he was coming home. And of course because I needed company.
My parents had come to visit and while they didn’t know precisely what was going on, I think on some level my dad knew how bad it all was. Without any forethought and with the abusive ratbastard beside him, my Dad bought me a puppy.
He handed it to me as if it were a gold-plated sapphire. “It’s a female! There was some guy selling them outside of a tire shop! She was only 50 bucks! She peed on me on the way here but that’s okay. She seemed like the quietest one.” And lo, I had a dog.
I found out within a few days why she was the “quietest one”. She was sick. So, so sick. Didn’t eat, wouldn’t drink. I made 3 trips to the vet, Daisy staying overnight with an I.V., just to bring that poor sick little puppy around. Abusive ratbastard kept raging about how a bullet would be cheaper than that fucking dog. I didn’t care. In less than 2 months, she went from a $50 dog to a $900 dog. But she was mine. The more he tried to crush me, the more I loved the dog. When I thought about ending me, I stayed here for the dog.
I think I’d had Daisy 3 months when I left. She gave me the strength and love to move on. After that, it became “love me, love my dog”. Two years later, she went on the second date I had with my hubby. He passed the test.
Daisy was with me through our courtship, baby and marriage. She was treated as a member of our family. My hubby bonded with her when Daisy went fishing with him and had to lick every fish he caught. When she greeted him at the door at the end of the day. And when we brought our new baby son home, she sniffed him head to toe and wagged her tail, as she finally had her own child to play with.
I kept her here for maybe 2 years longer than I should have. Her hips were gone, to the point that she had to be helped up a couple of steps to get into the house. She was losing her bladder control. Her breath. I made the decision last Saturday. I knew. She knew. We were both very brave as we took our final walk and car ride. She had chicken for breakfast and a hot fudge sundae as a treat. Chocolate is bad for dogs but on their last day here exceptions can be made. I held her and thanked her for all she’d meant. She butted foreheads with me, which was her “I love you and I get it” sign. It was peaceful. And my heart broke.
We went away for a few days this week as a distraction from our grief. When we got home I checked messages. The vet had phoned and Daisy’s ashes had arrived at the office. I dropped everything and told my boys,”I’m going to pick up our girl and bring her home.” They both got teary and nodded.
Tonight is a blue moon and we sprinkled her ashes around the yard she loved so much. How perfect. How fitting for my rare dog.
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. ~Anatole France
Bye, Daisy. Good girl!