As I write this incredibly sad story he’s pleading for my attention, with puppy dog eyes – literally.
In my nearly 60 years of life I’ve never had a puppy. We always adopted the stray dogs no one else wanted. After losing our senior dogs several years ago the decision was made to adopt puppies. Eager for the chance to have dogs in the house again, I agreed to be the poop picker-upper and early riser when their urge to play was greater than the need for sleep.
Two lab pups, female and male, I was convinced Duke would be his and Daisy would be mine. Daisy convinced us otherwise as she was so sweet, yet so ornery, she won everyone's attention. At 8 months old we thought we were getting a grip on the do’s and don’ts of the household and fewer items were being chewed into pieces as everyone was beginning to get a good nights’ sleep.
Running on the 10 acres, the pups were living their best lives while eating anything and everything in their sight. When Daisy started getting sick I chalked it up to eating too much rabbit poop although pets in this household are considered family, so I immediately texted our vet – also family – my oldest daughter. I didn’t know dogs had a third eyelid until Daisy’s had come up to almost cover her pupils, which prompted concern, as that’s not normal.
When contemplating on writing this sad story I wasn’t sure how I could get everything that happened in a one week time frame in 500 words or fewer. Between trying to save Daisy, dealing with the emotions of having a seriously ill pet and knowing how much pressure my daughter, her vet, must be feeling, this story could have become a novel.
Who knows how much time my daughter spent trying to diagnose Daisy because it ended up being a disease that isn’t well known because it only affects dogs in the Midwest. There’s no cure, no confirmed reason why, what or how it’s contracted, but Daisy had all the symptoms and within days had lost the ability to function.
We had made so many trips to the clinic Daisy almost welcomed the car ride. I believe she was hoping, as much as we were, she could feel better. On that last trip, and after losing her ability to lick, she would press her nose on my hand as to tell me it was OK to say goodbye.
We welcome pets into our lives knowing their life span will more than likely not match ours, but saying goodbye is never easy or without tears, more tears and a broken heart.
I will never forget Daisy, my first puppy who ate my contacts, dug up dead moles, loved to play with her brother Duke and no matter how far back I put things on the counter, she could still manage to pull off and destroy in a matter of minutes.
When she was put down I cried for her, for us and especially my daughter. The vet who would never give up on a puppy who we all knew was getting sicker by the day.
This is the end of my story, as Duke is getting impatient. He wants to play a game of tug of war for the tenth time.
Goodbye Daisy, until we meet again, on the Rainbow Bridge.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at email@example.com.