Monday, July 2, 2012

Farewell Daisy, We will miss you!

Daisy as a new puppy, before coming home to us!
Earlier last week, we were concerned about the increasing weight loss by our dog, Daisy (see prior blog).  Daisy had been on a Veterinarian supervised diet, but was losing more weight than we thought she should.  Daisy also started having a difficult time keeping her food down, and so we took her into the Vet, when alternative food didn't appear to be working.  We were shocked and saddened to find out that Daisy had some kind of cancer, probably liver, and her prognosis would not be good.  The Vet gave us some medicines to help her to be able to eat.  We quickly realized that she not only would not get better, but she would not stay in this interim stage very long. We would need to make some decisions earlier than later.  Not wanting Daisy to suffer any more than she needed to suffer, we made an appointment with the Vet to have her put to rest today. However Sunday morning, she was considerably worse and finally last night, she passed away.

Jessica and Sarah play with Daisy, just prior to bringing her home
Our emotions are tender and our tears are many.  Daisy became a very important part of our family and for nine years, provided some wonderful teaching opportunities and enjoyment as we interacted on a day to day basis.  Originally, when we got her, I personally was a little scared or uneasy around dogs.  My growing up years of raising a dog was not a stellar memory and I was not sure how to truly raise a dog correctly.  However we felt it was important for our oldest daughter Jessica not to have the same fears or concerns and of course, "She promised to take care of everything in caring for Daisy".  While Jessica, and later Sarah, did a lot, there were many days of reminding them of their responsibilities.  Nevertheless, I always loved to come home and see one of them walking down the street with Daisy by their side as they were walking her or to see them out in the back yard playing with Daisy.  They were priceless moments.

Jessica on "Obedience Graduation Day" at Petsmart
I was also determined to try and amend for my mistakes in caring for an earlier dog as a child, and it was always important for me to see her cared for correctly.  Due to allergies and some other issues, Daisy lived outside in a nice kennel area that we had built and we tried to make her comfortable during any of the weather extremes.  I had a tradition each night before going to bed in giving her a treat, just before calling it a night.  In fact many a night, I did my political whining to Daisy, who was always sympathetic and intent in listening to me, just up to the point I gave her a treat!  She always watched over our place and our girls. One time, when Sarah was young, we heard a very different bark from her, and when Cathy went to investigate, found Sarah leaving our yard unattended.  I was glad that the night before she passed away, I was able to give her one last treat and say good bye.

Grandma Nielsen says hi to Daisy on a visit
 We would have on more than one occassion a guest, who at the end of stay, would admit that they gave Daisy a treat themselves. Needless to say, she was well liked by nearly every visitor.

Daisy was also our motivation for walking many a days.  She was a big dog who needed regular exercise, and while the girls had their regular assignments to walk her, I often found a lot of peace in taking her myself.
Family Christmas Photo with Santa & Daisy
  I just could never get her to do her business in one place and at one time.  We had that discussion numerous times, but to no avail.  Frankly, I think it was her way of civil disobedience and for her to make a statement to me.

Our neighbors have always been kind to Daisy and patient with us.  Their complaints during some barking spells were almost never made and their children often appeared over the fence to say hello to Daisy.  Our thanks to the Orme Family, who recently moved but lived next to us for many years and to Denny & Linda McKone who live across the street.  It was not uncommon when the McKones brought their neighbor Christmas gift to us, to also find something in it for Daisy.  I always knew that when the girls were out walking her, that Denny had his eye on them as they went past his home.
Sarah & Daisy at
Parley's Historic Nature Park
on a City Council visit

While Daisy's final days have been tough emotionally, we also have had some sweet moments.  As Jessica's work and schooling have become full time, her care has transitioned to Sarah.  These two have built a wonderful bond together and it was Sarah who could get Daisy to eat and it was Sarah who sat with Daisy for hours on the grass in her final moments to comfort Daisy, and make sure Daisy knew we loved her. Yesterday we just let Daisy lie out on the lawn and rest in the shade.  It offered us some sweet and tender moments with Daisy.

Sarah playing with Daisy, one
last time
 While we struggled with what and how to take care of Daisy when she did pass, we finally settled on the fact we wanted her here at our home.  I could tell Sunday evening around 10 p.m. that whe would not likely make it to our appointment with the Vet this morning, so I went out and started digging her final resting place.  I checked on Daisy once during the process and stroked her head and told her it was ok for her to go.  A few minutes later, Cathy and Sarah came up to me and told me she had passed away. 

Our thanks to Paul and Heidi Fullmer, our neighbors and friends, who came over and helped us take care of Daisy.  We placed her ball (seen in the adjoining picture) with her and I put one of my old gloves in her grave.  Daisy had this interesting  habit of stealing my work gloves off the back porch and burying them in the yard.  I went through a lot of pairs of gloves and Cathy still finds them when she works in the flowers. It's only fitting that her final resting place is a patch of daisies. 

We love you Daisy and want you to know how grateful we are that you were part of our family. 


  1. That is such a sweet entry! I am sorry for your loss. Losing a dog can be very hard! We experienced that not too long ago. They truly become part of your life and family. She was lucky to have such a good family.