- Pets and Animals
Maltipoo Dog, Poodle and Maltese Mix
Daisy's greatest role in life is to protect her family.
We brought Daisy, our amazing maltipoo dog, home when she weighed only one pound. Now she is four years old and weighs six pounds. Her mother is a white maltese and her father is a white miniature poodle.
Daisy is white with subtle champagne shading on her ears and the tip of her tail. She is as soft as a cotton ball and has no odor at all. Incredibly, she does not shed.
Daisy, being a Maltipoo, is considered "hypoallergenic."
Daisy is patient. She lies on the purple rug, her body flattened and ready to chase the “green man” (her toy frog). Sometimes we are busy and we are not aware that she is patiently waiting for someone to kick the green man her way. She might lie there for thirty minutes or more, completely focused and unblinking.
Now that our granddaughters are older teens, they spend a lot of time on their iphones. Yesterday, one of the girls put her phone down for just a moment in the living room floor, and when she returned for it, Daisy's toy was placed directly on top of it. Daisy is a great communicator.
If no one stops to play with her, she eventually climbs to the back of the couch and relaxes, watching the front door, always vigilant and protective of her family.
Her greatest role in life is to protect the family, always putting the two granddaughters first, then the three grownups. She stares at the front door for hours and rushes to the door in a flurry of barking and growling when the deer come into the yard. On the rare nights when she is privileged to sleep with the girls, she lies at the foot of their bed staring at the bedroom door, growling softly at any noise. The next day she is exhausted, napping frequently during the morning because she got no rest the night before.
It is okay with Daisy for me to walk out the front door. But when I walk out the back door, she becomes extremely upset, barking a warning and dashing back and forth, leaping up on the couch that sits in front of the back windows. She doesn't settle down until I am safely back inside the house. I often kid about the T Rex that lives, sight unseen, in the valley out back.
She detests the deer in the front yard and becomes upset when anything enters the back yard, such as raccoons, possums, and all the birds that visit the feeders and birdbath. She goes into what we call her "rottweiler mode" where she storms from the front door to the back door, with her front legs braced, emitting grunting sounds.
Geckos frequently enter the house from the back door when we open it at night. They take up residence somewhere out of sight and live in the house, catching tiny flying insects that come in from outside. Daisy does not object to the geckos, and she doesn’t try to catch them. She just cocks her head and sits still, listening to their tiny little chirps.
When she goes to the vet for a checkup, she turns into a quivering cowardly mound of jelly, plastering herself to the back of the pet carrier and bracing herself to prevent being pulled out and put into the hands of the vet.
Although we have had Daisy since she was tiny, she still seems knowledgeable about the ways of the world. If one granddaughter playfully hits the other on the arm, Daisy becomes agitated and barks warningly, as if to say, "Play nice!" When I bake bread, I have a habit of "spanking" the ball of dough once or twice after I knead it and right before I drop it to rise in the bowl. When I spank it, Daisy RUSHES into the kitchen barking, as if to protect the dough.
The neighbor behind our house is busy clearing his land and burns a pile of brush occasionally. Daisy knows that fire equals danger and she watches the fire and smoke closely, barking and looking at us as if to say, "Danger! Danger!" Our propane stovetop had an igniter problem and I had to light the burners with a match. The instant I took matches out of the drawer and got ready to strike one, FOR THE FIRST TIME, Daisy came rushing into the kitchen barking a warning. How did she know that the matches were dangerous?
She would love for us to share our human food with her but she does not beg or whine. She stares at us meaningfully for a few minutes, and when we tell her, No, no human food, she turns and walks away.
Daisy is so easy to communicate with. I explain something to her; she looks deeply into my eyes, accepts what I said and walks away. Over time, it has become clear to us that she understands much of our language.
I do give her a tiny treat each and every morning, a tiny dollop of peanut butter about the size of my thumbnail. She stands up on her back legs and relishes it. During the day, when I make salad, I loudly proclaim, "Lettuce leaf!" and she runs excitedly into the kitchen and takes the lettuce leaf gently in her mouth and runs to the purple carpet, where she plays with the lettuce and mouths it about and eventually abandons it. Once I gave her a bit of radish, just a tiny, tiny sliver. She carried it in to the purple rug, dropped it, smelled it, and then rolled in it. So funny.
When I peel and cut up an apple, she is right there; I don't have to call her. I guess she smells it and she loves apple more than any other fruit or vegetable. I give her one slice only (no core) and she appreciates it so much. She does come back for seconds and I say "No." Except for the tiny treat of peanut butter and the one slice of apple, she is restricted to her own food and an occasional dog treat.
Daisy ordinarily doesn’t dig, claw, or chew any of the furnishings. However, she does have a weakness for sweets, lip gloss, and gum, so we must remind the granddaughters to keep their backpacks out of her reach. If they forget, she will find a way in, and that includes unzipping a compartment.
Daisy is fair to all of us and does her best to spread her love around equally. If she sleeps at the foot of someone’s bed tonight, she will sleep at the foot of someone else’s bed tomorrow night, and so forth. Her fur feels like silk and she is a superb sleeping companion, especially in the winter, when she radiates a gentle even heat near your feet. She lies in one spot all night, not moving.
She has established a different, yet equally loving relationship with every person in the house. With one granddaughter, she rushes, growls and roughhouses. With the other, she hangs languidly in her arms like a ragdoll cat.
Her favorite pastime is chasing the green man, which is actually a small frog from Kong. Last Christmas, we got her a new one, identical to the first. She was overcome with happiness and appreciation. She would play first with the new green man, and then remember the original green man and give him some of her time.
An interesting characteristic of Daisy is that she is extremely polite. When I go outside in the back yard, Daisy always wants to go along. She watches every move I make and when I walk to the back door, she jumps down from the back of the couch and is right there beside me. But when I open the door, she looks up into my eyes with a question on her face, as if she is asking permission. I say, "Come on, Daisy! Do you want to go out?" and she immediately runs out the door. But she will not go out until I ask.
Daisy is sensitive to each person in the family. When one is ill, she is right there to comfort that person, lying still near their knees, trying to soothe them with her presence and her undivided attention.
She tries with all her might to communicate with us. When I have been away from the house for hours, and I return, she first barks and then croons and softly howls, bringing me up to date on what happened while I was away and telling me how much she missed me.
Sometimes we call Daisy a "drama queen." She misses the granddaughters desperately when they are away at school. She lies on the back of the couch facing the front door and waits. As the hours go by, she becomes more depressed and seems to feel that they might never come back. We tempt her with offers to throw the green man and we carry her away to sit on a lap but the tragic expression is still there.
When they come in the door at 4:30 the sun comes up in Daisy's eyes and her entire body wriggles and bounces with extreme joy and happiness. The love she expresses with her eyes is enough to melt your heart.
This quote from the Bible always makes me think of Daisy:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”