Monday, September 20, 2010

Ode to a Dog

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Today's blog is a catharsis for my aching heart. I'll be back baking soon.
Dammit Daisy, Crazy Daisy, Daisy May, we had a million names for that dog. She was a beautiful puppy. We drove hours for her. Then she grew and grew, and they aren't cute for awhile, they are mischievous and destructive and annoying. There was a stretch I really hated that dog. She chewed up my furniture instead of the rawhides. She scratched on the doors and ran down the street and dug up flowers. I threatened to take her to the pound, every day. And then one day we woke up and we had this perfect golden retriever. It was if she transformed overnight. Suddenly I loved that dog more than anything. We walked hundreds of miles at Shelby Farms. She swam in Patriot Lake until she was exhausted. She would curl up against my back on cold winter nights and stretch out on our floor when it was warm. And every morning at 6 am she would start to scratch and pace because she knew at the end of the driveway there was a newspaper just waiting to get picked up. It was her job. Get the paper, rain or shine. She'd give it up for a treat. If you were lazy and dropped the slobber covered paper on the floor, she would pick it back up and walk around with it until you offered another treat in exchange. She was a smart pooch.She loved socks, gloves, underwear, any clothing item that was small enough to put in her mouth. She would carry them outside if you weren't watching and bury them in any one of a million places in our acre yard. One day I was gardening and took off my leather gloves to come in for a drink. When I went back outside one of my gloves was missing. She looked guilty. I walked the yard looking for fresh turned earth, to no success. Then I decided to go back in and see what she did with the other if she was given a chance. Sure enough, she picked it up as if it was left for her and headed to the yard. I watched exactly where she went and headed out to find my gloves. After 10 minutes of searching a 4x4 area, I found one glove. She was good at this. Every spring when Scott would rake out the beds of old mulch and leaves and prep the beds for another summer, Daisy's cache would slowly unearth itself. Socks, one spring about 15 of them, gloves, never a pair, bandanas, dog toys and even Scott's fleece North Face. An entire men's XL fleece. He must have taken it off when he was working in the yard and she thought she hit the payload. I am sure she loved digging the giant hole for that. What is it about animals. They snuggle those wet little noses and big brown eyes right into our hearts. When things are rough, and the people you love know to keep a fair distance away, that sweet dog will cuddle right next to you. I am not afraid of your anger, your sorrow, your disappointment. You just stroke those silky ears and all your turmoil subsides.

God, I miss my dog. She was 11, but showed no sign of letting up. She was swimming and rolling in the stinky stuff, running around the house and getting the paper. And then, she started to fail, and within 4 hours she died in my arms. There I was stroking those silky ears telling her it was okay. I so did not want her to leave me. And poor little Sookie just didn't understand. I think she realizes now that Daisy isn't coming back. The kibble just doesn't taste as good, going out is no longer a race to the door. The whole family misses the 85 pound throw rug that would plop right in your path. It is a miracle I haven't broken a leg stumbling over her. Now I see the abandoned stuffed toys. Two in my closet, where she slept every night, one in the middle of the hallway upstairs, the beat up soccer ball she carried all over the yard for years that I meant to throw away and now cannot bear to let go of. I think about the other dogs I loved and lost. Christy and Stoli. Both great dogs, probably waiting for Daisy to join them in doggie paradise. Where the Milkbones and Greenies are plentiful, the kibble is always topped off and the paper is there like clockwork for a dog to do her job. Just give me a day or two. I know it will get easier. I will repaint the doors that she scratched up. I will replace the wood in the front hall that she wore down trying to fend off anyone that dared ring the doorbell. I will vacuum the last of the fur balls as her winter coat started to grow in. Life goes on, but for right now, I just wish I had my sweet Daisy for one last walk.


  1. Oh Daisy, I shed a tear for you. You were loved by that Tilton family and I know you loved them right back. I will miss walking with you and stroking those long silky ears. Say hi to Christy for me. Woof!

  2. I feel your pain! We lost our lab 3 weeks ago, and it's a hard thing to go through. I could of wrote the exact same story as you, the ups, the downs, and they way she stole our hearts too. Hang in there, it's not easy, but we all know they are in a better place.

  3. Oh Susie, my heart aches for your loss. Only pet owners understand the loss of a pet. They are a family member and cannot be replaced. I am sure Sookie is aching as you are. Our love to you and your family.

  4. I am amazed at the pet loss support out there. Thank you for the comments. I am so blown away by the cards, the phone calls, I guess good ol' Daisy wasn't that big of a nuisance when our company came over!