|This has always been my favorite picture of Daisy. It sums up her temperament beautifully.|
Daisy came to us by way of the Noah's Ark pet adoption folks. A little over 10 years ago we saw them set up in front of a PetSmart with several dogs waiting for new homes. My younger son, who is autistic, and Daisy hit it off right away. She came home with us that day and I credit her with helping Sean go from nonverbal to very verbal in a very short time.
"It's not the wrong decision," the veterinarian said. "Believe me, if it were, I would tell you from the bottom of my heart."
Daisy was 12 years old and, like many larger dogs, had terrible arthritis in her hips. She plodded along on her front legs, barely using the back legs at all. She could still climb the stairs, but it took her a long time. She would put her front paws up on the next step, and then hop to pull her hind legs up behind her. Sure, she still had a good appetite - but honestly? That was about it. She spent most of her time sleeping. Watching her walk and climb the stairs was almost as painful for me as it was for her. Sometimes it was so bad that she would just lie on the rug, panting from the pain.
Maybe I waited longer than I should have. It was so hard to let her go. Even in pain, she was a sweetheart. Lots of older dogs, especially females, tend to get "bitchy" when they're old and in pain. Not Daisy. She had those big brown eyes always begging for one more biscuit, one more flip chip, one more scratch behind the ear - and she never cried, or whined, or snapped at anyone. She was still giving baths to our oldest cat, Tigger, as if he were her puppy. She'd even wag her tail and bark at the neighborhood cats as they strolled along the top of the brick wall surrounding our back yard.
Still, she was obviously hurting. A lot. And I started to feel bad about asking her to keep living that way. She was happy to do it, bless her heart, but it wasn't fair of me to be so selfish.
So yesterday we took her in to the vet and let her go. She's the third dog I've had to do this for, and trust me, it never gets any easier. It still hurts and it's still hard to say good-bye to someone who's been such a loving family member for so long.
Be well, Daisy. I'm glad you're out of pain, and I hope you've found Chok'lit and Cookie to run and play with again. Love you.