No matter how hard we tried to have just one shot without Daisy, she always worked her way in...
Watching over the kids
Liz, Sophie and CoCo -- Daisy making sure everyone is safe
Daisy under Mike and Sophie, enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon at the beach
It's hard to believe that the doodles were smaller than Daisy at one time!
Driving out to CA, summer of 2004
On a good day, -- the early years
Mike and I were hoping that nature would take it's course with Daisy, but eventually, we had to step in and take matters into our own hands. Neither of us have had to put a dog down (we made our parents do the dirty work), and the thought of actually making the drive to do it was overwhelming. But our girl was in BAD shape.
We found Daisy while we were in Phoenix, AZ -- she was at the city pound, it was her first day on "display" and I immediately fell in love with her. I told Mike "LOOK! She has an auroa!", he tried to dismiss it by telling me it was her weird outter coat and just shrugged his shoulders like "If you really want too...". When I was finally able to bring her home, in the car I looked over at her and noticed blood GUSHING from her neck. Turns out, she must have been in a fight at some point, recieved a big bite on her neck that eventually abcessed and when I put a collar on her to take her home, it rubbed and bled like crazy.
I called Mike to discuss whether we fix her (250$+) or return her to the pound at which point they would promptly put her down. We opted to fix her, and of course she was the BEST dog ever, and we became her "parents". Everyone says that pound puppies are the best and we can vouch for that. She was obviously trained, she never jumped on beds or furniture, never barked at the doorbell, never begged at the table, but we fixed all of that real quick. We never really fed her table scraps (except the last year or so), but she quickly came to rule the beds and couches.
I remember when I was pregnant with Joey, Mike and I worried that we couldn't possibly love anything more than we loved Daisy. Of course we found a balance between all of the kids. Although the first 6 months of Joey's life we called him Daisy... With each addition, Daisy fell alittle lower on the food chain -- but she was still our first baby. She treated the kids like they were hers too. Daisy helped Joey crawl by taking her toys just out of his reach. His favorite toy of hers was the "Daily Growl". Once he started crawling and actually getting the toys (and promtly put them in HIS mouth) we put a stop to her toys. If a baby was crying she would run back and forth between us and the baby until we figured it out ("What girl?!?! Timmy is stuck in the well?!?!), she was like their "Nana" from Peter Pan. One time she attacked Wayne when he was playing with the boys. She had no idea what was happening, but she didn't like it one bit. It caught everyone off gaurd -- most of all Wayne -- she bit him on the top of his head and drew blood!
When Mike's dad lost his dog Missy Lou, we talked about giving him Daisy -- she was trained, well behaved and low-key. We took her everywhere with us, even out to CA on our annual summer vacations. On this particular trip we thought it could be the time to give her to Mike's dad. Joey told PoPo: "PoPo you can have any dog in the world -- except mine...". Joey truly loved her. We all did.
The past few years she aged pretty quickly. For a long time when people asked her age it seemed like we said "10-13 years, we're not exactly sure", then a vet told me "13-15 years... is closer". I think we knew she was getting older, and that's why I wanted to get the doodles. They actually seemed to make her younger for awhile, then she really aged quickly. Her mind started going, her bones didn't work like they should, and she was in alot of pain. But still, Mike and I were hoping for nature to take it's course. Last week she was very sick, couldn't hold food down and even though her mind wasn't there anymore, seemed miserable. It was time.
I know it seems morbid, but before you get an animal you list the pros and cons, and inevitably in the 'cons' collum is having to put them down. I didn't think I could do it. As Mike and I made the drive to the vet (the kids stayed with some friends across the street -- the Kumpas'), we tried to take our mind off of what was about to happen and talked randomly about whatever came to mind. I thought to myself, "I can do this...". Then we got to the vets office, walked in, and when they asked if they can help me, I lost it. At that point, they knew who I was, didn't ask any questions and put us in a room. We talked with the vet who was extremely compassionate towards us, and took Daisy's vitals. She was dehydrated, temp was normal, but she dropped 4 pounds since her last visit in December. She was 19 pounds -- the exact same weight she was when I picked her up from the pound 13 years ago. She normally shakes like a leaf at the vet or groomers, today -- calm as a cucumber. The whole process took about 45 minutes, from the time the vet checked her vitals until we left. Once the vet put the IV in her and gave her the overdose of anestheic, it took less than 30 seconds.
I held her the entire time. It seemed as though when she took her final breath, she was relived of all of her pain -- it wasn't dramatic, but very peacful. I could stroke her back without making her flinch, or hurting her and making her muscles quiver and jump. I was able to see her lay down like a normal dog, I had forgotten what that looked like with Daisy. Someone once told me that when you are with someone when they pass, sometimes you are lucky enough to see their spirit leave. As I enjoyed being able to pet Daisy one last time, I saw her spirit leave, as I inhaled, I felt her spirit fill my lungs, and as I exhaled I felt her leave me with a sigh of relief. We were all quiet, the doctor checked her heartbeat and it was gone. She was out of pain.
Mike and I told the vet about all of Daisy's attributes, and all of her stories. The vet listened with a heavy heart and tears in her eyes. At the end of each story there would be a long pause and the vet would try to make her exit, but then we would start with another story, with the first five or six stories she was very patient with us. Then it was like a Saturday Night Live skit, just as she was about to make a graceful exit, we would start again, she would try to hold back her sigh and force herself from rolling her eyes and politly listen to us go on and on. We finally let her go.
To many people Daisy was just a dog, but to those who knew her, knew she was our first baby. Rest in peace girl.