REILY: Dogs like Daisy Mae are part of our family forever

January 9, 2013

Health

Fenway. left, and Daisy Mae were fast friends and partners in crime.

Fenway. left, and Daisy Mae were fast friends and partners in crime.

Daisy Mae was a great dog.

Yeah, she barked too much, couldn’t control her enthusiasm when she was in the house and had a tendency to knock kids over with her ever-wagging tail, but Daisy Mae was one great dog.

We recently lost our lab to illness, leaving a void in our family and a hole in all our hearts.

Her partner in crime, Fenway, a 13-year-old Australian Shepherd, sits at home, waiting for the next wrestling match that isn’t going to come.

 

First impressions

We met Daisy one sweltering afternoon in the Mississippi Delta when we ran across someone selling lab puppies in front of a local Wal-Mart. Daisy was six weeks old or so, laying in a small pool of water with her tongue hanging out as she was trying to stay cool.

The folks said Daisy’s parents were champion hunting dogs. Unfortunately, I don’t hunt, but she was really cute and we wanted to get her out of the heat. So, after a short discussion, my wife said OK and we loaded up Daisy and took her home.

In the next couple of years, I think we had to replace every pair of shoes in the house, and if a child left a toy open and available, Daisy chewed it into an unrecognizable hunk of goo.

She had the bark of three dogs and an astonishingly wide tongue that she used to lick anyone that came within three feet of her.

She did not like cold weather and she did not like vegetables.

She did like rain and she did like any food other than vegetables.

 

Out of the mouths of babes 

Death sucks, in so many ways.

Whether it is a parent or a pet, dealing with death isn’t easy — particularly when children are involved.

My children know Daisy isn’t coming home, and it’s hard to watch them process these thoughts.

But when you watch them hug our other dog a little bit tighter and try to explain to him that everything is going to be OK, you know that everything is, indeed, going to be OK.

The morning after Daisy passed, my oldest daughter woke up and immediately asked if Fenway had eaten his breakfast.

“The doctor (vet) said if he didn’t eat much, it might be a sign he would be depressed from losing Daisy,” she said. “We need to keep an eye on him and make sure he is going to be OK.”

She is a gentle soul and has a wonderful sense of family and caring, for which I love her so.

The drive to school the morning after was a quiet one. I tried to sing songs and bring up the school day ahead to cheer them up, but Daisy was on their minds.

Then as we pulled up, my oldest daughter jumped out and said, “See you this afternoon.”

My son, so intuitive, leans forward, kisses me on my bald head and says, “It’s not going to be the same without Daisy, but she is in Heaven, Daddy.”

 >> Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018

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