We had to say goodbye to our Daisy yesterday. It's new and exciting when you bring that puppy home and have all these ideas of fun things you both will do. Go for walks, play catch, teach your puppy to play frisibie, dress her up in funny cute clothes and hats and take her places to show her off.
When Daisy was 9 months old she ripped apart our living room furniture. After doing that, she pee'd all over both of what was left. I guess she wasn't happy that we left to go to work. I wasn't very happy about it. She destroyed a wall in the kitchen, ripped up tile from the kitchen floor but what was worse, she started fights, bad fights with our older dog, Buddy. After trying everything we could to stop those terrible confrontations we had to keep her in the kitchen, gated, until we felt that she had gotten over being so agressive. It took a long time but finally she began to behave and love Bud. She didn't like being out in the kitchen and as soon as she would act up, we'd march her right back out there and put the gate up. So she began to learn that her behavior got her back out there. So that's why I think she stopped. We let her in; she would still try to be alpha dog with Bud by 'herdin' him around but it was tolerable and Bud loved Daisy so their was really no more problems.
We couldn't really take Daisy for walks because she had a bad palette that caused her a lot of trouble breathing when she walked for a short distance. She loved walks, I took her many times just to help her settle down. But then we'd get back home and have to either pack her with ice, put her in the bathtub with cool water or just let her rest until her breathing got better.
She loved fruit and veggies. Bananas, apples, but especially cantaloupe. As soon as I cut the melon she came running if she wasn't already in the kitchen waiting for something to drop on the floor. I once cooked her a whole bag of peas and she ate them mixed with her dog food. Green beans were another favorite of hers. The one thing I never got her to eat was lettuce.
It was the last week in May, 2010 I was petting Daisy under her chin and felt two large lumps, I knew they had to be her lymph nodes but just thought it was a virus or something because she had a runny nose. I spent time with her every day and so did Geoff so this was a very sudden sickness. I called the vet and she was in as soon as we could bring her in. The vet checked Daisy all over, took a blood sample, and then not finding anything decided to take samples from 3 of her lymph nodes on the right side of her. After a few minutes the vet came back in and told us that she hadn't seen these certian cells before, that they weren't common with the lymph node and that she would like to take the samples and send them to Michigan State University for further analysis. We would know in a week. She said to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We took our Daisy home.
The end of the week came, but we didn't get the phone call we were expecting because it was Memorial Weekend and most people were gone on vacation. We were told that Pete, her vet would be in on Monday so we called on Monday. The results were in, Daisy had Lymphoma. He told us about the treatments that were available, that they were costly and the outcome may not be positive. Geoff and I had already had the conversation and had concluded that we would opt to forgo the treatments as we weren't financially able to cover the costs. So Pete told us He completely understood and for us to monitor her, watch for any signs of deterioration and that ultimately it would end with us having to bring her in and help her go to sleep. Then he told me we could put her on steroids to help her lymph nodes shrink, at least she would have an easier time swallowing. We drove to the vets on Memorial Day and brought Daisy her medicine and hoped for the best and began to prepare ourselves for the worst. But how do you prepare for that?
Since her diagnosis she was just so loving. No more agressive behavior did we ever witness against Buddy. She mothered him, licking his ears, only going outside when he did, laying by him, nudging him with her nose every once in a while to say "hey, everythings' gonna be OK."
I have a sore leg, where a few months ago I closed the car door on it. Two weeks ago, Daisy began going to that spot on my leg and licking it, there isn't any outside bruise or anything she just knew to go there. Daisy may have known something she couldn't tell me. We'll find out in August when I go to see my doctor.
We began noticing she wasn't eating. I mixed veggies with her food and she ate half of what she usually ate. She was drinking a lot because of the steroids and losing her bladder function but we didn't yell at her, we just kept loving her. I guess I thought in my heart that I could love her healthy. I was praying so hard everyday that the medicine would make her better so I could love her for many years to come. Up until she got sick I had a hard time with her because of the destruction she had caused but I still couldn't help but look into her eyes and see my Grandma's eyes. Ever since she was a puppy I looked at her and thought of my Grandma. I couldn't help but forgive her everytime she detroyed something else. I just started taking her for walks, little ones, just to make her feel like she was getting to do something different. I gave her meds, and anything she begged for. I bought her a whole carton of blueberries and after mixing it with her food I was suprised that she ate the whole bowl full. We had two weeks of steroids to give Daisy, the first few days I could tell her lymph nodes were shrinking and thought she was going to get better. After about the 5th day her nodes were back up to where they were when we started. She wasn't going to get better.
The last day of her meds I cried. I knew there wasn't anything more we could do. So I started giving her whatever she wanted. Popsicles, ice cream, peanut butter, bread, whatever she begged for. I began to see the English Bull I had always wanted. I fell in love with her for these last several weeks. I prayed like I hadn't prayed for anything before because I wanted the chance to show her how much I loved her. I saw her fall one day when I was petting her. Her hindquarters slid and I knew she was getting weaker. Geoff left for work that day and she threw up water. I knew we were going to have to start making plans for her last days if God didn't intervene. The next day I talked to Geoff and we decided that we should make an appointment for Saturday, July 24. We haven't stopped crying since. Her vet is so compassionate and I asked him "Pete, if she was yours what would you do" and he replied "I would help her go to sleep." So we did. We stayed for a little while after she was gone just to pet her and tell her we loved her. It was heart wrenching. It was the first time she let me hold her paw that long. She was still warm. I didn't want to leave her. Geoff covered her with the towel we brought for her and then Geoff asked the nurse to please treat Daisy like she was her own. We left, without our Daisy. We did request that they return Daisy's ashes to us, and our vet is making the arrangements.
Several times after we got home I thought I heard her walking in the living room. Once I thought I heard her panting. I walked into the kitchen and there on the floor was two little kibbles and if you knew Daisy like I did you knew she woulda cleaned those up. She never would've allowed those to go uneaten. So I picked those two little kibbles up and put them by her picture, along with her first puppy collar and her last collar. Then on facebook I told Daisy "I'll save these for you when I see you again." She'll love them, she was such a pig. LOL
Today it's a new day. We have been without our girl for a whole day now. We decided to go down to the Fulton Street ARTisian Market where I am a season vendor to sell my handmade items, but really just to get some air and try and move on. The most wonderful amazing thing happened. Today our friend, Bradley Youngstrom from The Rare Hare Studio came out, it was great to see him, he is such an amazing talented selfless individual. He has a heart of gold and he proved it once again today. He walked over and handed Geoff and I a beautiful watercolor of our Daisy. He had taken it from a picture I had posted on Facebook adding 3 little daisies in the corner. Geoff and I were moved to tears, it was a wonderful gesture, one we were not expecting. The details were fantastic, he captured Daisy so well. But you know you are looking at something great when you can see your Grandma's eyes in it. He captured my Grandma's eyes. Brad, you are such a sweetheart for doing this for us, we will never forget you. And we won't ever forget our Daisy.
This watercolor was lovingly painted by
Rest In Peace Our Daisy Girl
Feb 2004-July 2010