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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Memory of Daisy

I recently became acquainted with a woman through etsy that, like me, loves dogs.  Her name is Isabelle.  She has adopted shelter dogs in the past and has also volunteered and fostered shelter dogs.  At the time we became acquainted, early June this summer, she had an older dog, Daisy, a 12 year old English Coon Hound.  She'd had Daisy for only three or four months and, like Justice, Daisy had developed a neck problem.  They weren't sure what it was, they weren't able to get a solid diagnosis.  They also thought it might be Cushings Disease.  Daisy suddenly became lethargic and wasn't the happy girl they had known.  She was having blood tests, x-rays and repeated visits to the vet, but nothing seemed to account for Daisy's symptoms.

On June 27, 2012 Daisy crossed the rainbow bridge.  Isabelle had carried her outside to the deck where they sat together most of the day enjoying the sunshine.  Even though Daisy loved spending the day with Isabelle, she knew it was her last.  She was ready to go.  This is my opinion and I do believe with all my heart that I am right or I would have a different opinion, but I believe that when you commit to taking in a pet, it is a commitment that you make with them for the rest of their life, or your life.  The greatest respect we can pay to our pets is to be there on the last day of their lives.  They need us to tell them that it is okay for them to go and to assure them that even though we will miss them, we will be okay until we see them again.  I think many times our pets hang on longer than they would like because they are worried about us - at the cost of their own suffering.  I have heard many stories of pets that are terminally ill being boarded or left for a few days because the owners have to be gone and that is when their pets cross.  I think it is because they are relieved of the burden of taking care of us and can move on.  For me, I can't imagine the horror I would feel if I left one of my pets and it died while I was gone.  Well, I just won't leave them when they are ill.  It is a promise that I have made to them and myself.

Daisy went to live with Isabelle last winter.  The local shelter had taken in more older dogs than usual and Daisy was one of them.  When the shelter called Isabella, she went straight away to get her.  Daisy was so sweet that Isabella was smitten and took her home.  Daisy walked into the house, inspected the rooms, sat down, looked at Isabelle.....and started to howl.  It was a big huge howl of happiness - pure joy.  She was home and Isabelle had herself a friend.

Their time together was short, but Isabelle gave her the best part of her life and was there in the end -- when it really matters.  I can't stand the thoughts of animals being neglected or abused at any time in their lives but what really makes me feel like I've been kicked in the gut is when an animal dies alone and frightened.

Isabelle, I have such admiration and respect for you and your work.  It is so hard but it is so important that you were with her at the end.

I think this is one of the sweetest pictures I've ever seen.  Look at those eyes.

This is Daisy enjoying some wading.
And, this is Queen Daisy, perusing her court from her throne.  Look at those long legs.

On that last day, Isabelle and Daisy had agreed that it was time and her vet made a home visit.  Daisy crossed onto Rainbow Bridge surrounded by those she loved and that loved her back.  She was ready to go and went peacefully and gracefully.  An autopsy revealed that Daisy had pancreatic cancer.  It is most difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer and Daisy hadn't had a chance.

My thoughts continue to be with you Isabelle.  Hopefully, you have processed your grief and will soon be back to working with the dogs that need  you so badly.  Nothing helps me get over the loss of a pet like having another one to take care of.  


Kristi Bowman said...

Oh my goodness Jean, that tugged at my heart something feirce. A little sputtering going on over here now. I've been through it and will continue to go through it many more times in my life I'm sure. Daisy looked like such a treasure, Coon Hounds are all hound, big and floppy and full of love. What a lovely tribute to miss Daisy!

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Jean, after I go dry my tears, I'm going to find my kitty, Kramer, and hug him (whether he wants or no)! How treasured was Queen Daisy! And how sad that so many lovely would-be companions linger in shelters, when there are lonely humans out there waiting to be adopted by a furry friend! Pets fill the parts of our hearts nothing else can reach. The price of loving them is the grief we endure at their loss, but it is so worth the pain, to have known the warmth of their unconditional love. Bless you for sharing this beautiful narrative, Jean.

Kepi said...

You are so right Jean, our beloved Mickey crossed the rainbow bridge with us by his side. It was an gut wrenching emotional time and I still have difficulty talking about it but would have had it no other way. We couldn't bear to leave him in his last years and were always by his side. Mickey was with us for 15 years and was my first born fur baby. My daughters referred to him as their brother and in every way he was. I have two more fur baby boys and love them to pieces. I cannot imagine life without them.

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

What a lovely tribute. Shelter dogs are often so dear and precious because of their battered and scarred lives. Daisy sounds like she was a very lucky and well loved dog this past year. I too am a dog lover and have endured the pain of losing three beautiful wonderful friends. It never gets easy. I say I won't do it again but I keep getting another. Dogs really are man's best friend and companion.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Bravo Jean on the wonderful tribute to Daisy and Isabella. I still can not bring myself to discuss our beloved Nellie. I also took the oath through thick and thin and she passed in my arms. I will never have it another way. Their gifts to us so surpass what we can do for them. The big howl just brings a grin from ear to ear, Daisy knew she home. Hugs the furbabies for me - I'm hugging mine right now too.

Today Trudy made me laugh so hard -she brought me a toy and pawed at the walker - she wants that metal thing gone as much as I do...I braced against the sink and played tug anyway! Isn't that why Mom has pain pills right now? I think so.

Anonymous said...

Gosh Jean...I almost couldn't read this because it hurts so terribly. But what a wonderful tribute to a super dog and the kind and loving woman who cares for them. Thank you for posting.

Spirited Earth said...

thanks for sharing this with us Jean, Isabella's commitment to shelter animals is wonderful..difficult too..but so amazing.

Isabelle said...

I can't thank you enough for writing this post. I am still very sad about the loss of my little Daisy but I'm so glad I gave her a second chance; we were very fortunate to have. She spent the best part of her life with us; she was truly happy and was spoiled until the last moment. Now I know there is another dog who needs my help and I'm sure Daisy will be happy to see me helping him/her.
Thank you so much and take care.

Judy Turner said...

Such a heartwarming story....a year ago last Oct we lost our dear lab Oso, we were with him at the end, having to rush him to the vet, after he was gone we brought him home so each of our other pets could say goodbye.......we miss him even now...and speak of him often. He left us with 10 years of wonderful memories, friendship, loyalty most of all love :)

Astrid said...

This made me cry. What a wonderful woman and what a beautiful dog. Bless her for doing what she does and you for sharing her story on the web. Animal rescue is so important, I just wish that more ppl understood that.

Lori Anderson said...

Aw man. I'm so sorry.