Daisy was a purebred golden retriever who was unusually huge (122 pounds), was yellow with white goggles, and had long and silky fur. She started life at a breeding farm and bore scars due to spending her first five years there. The fur on her ankles and elbows was worn off, and she had large calluses due to being confined to a cement floor and a dirt dog run. Her immune system was ravaged due to malnutrition from eating poor-quality food. Severe allergies manifested themselves as constant inflammation, rashes, and persistent skin sores.
But despite such a rough start to life, she was so friendly and happy. She radiated peace and kindness. We decided to adopt, knowing that we might only have her for a short time. Whatever time we had together would be a gift to her of the loving home she deserved.
Life with Daisy was challenging. We nursed her from outbreak to outbreak. But despite her health struggles, Daisy loved life and taught us that an old dog most certainly can learn new tricks. She learned obedience skills for the first time, and the kids were delighted that they could teach her to jump for a treat.
Daisy loved to be near the family and was happiest when someone was home so she could plop down nearby and take a nap.
Daisy wouldn’t steal off the table, but she had no qualms about snitching food from the garden. One year I harvested about 10 ripe tomatoes off three plants, which she swiped while I wasn’t looking. Until then, I had never met a dog that would not turn up her nose at veggies.
The two years Daisy was part of our family was not long enough. Eventually her compromised immune system caught up to her. It broke my heart to see her suffer. She bore it all, as always, with infinite patience.
Daisy was a great teacher who taught our family about unconditional love, patience, living in the moment, true relaxation, the importance of a good nap, and even the benefits of eating your veggies. I know in my mind that the pain of losing her will pass eventually, but for today, there is a 122-pound hole in my life that can only be filled by my Daisy.