I Think She Rescued Me.
My Relationship Story, Daisy Mae and I!
It was the during Hanukkah, December 2009. I can remember it so clearly because it was particularly cold and rainy, (I live in Texas and cold here is anytime the mercury gets close to 32 degrees), and I was catering Hanukkah Dinner for a local Jewish Temple. Finally off work, I make my way toward my car. I have visions of building a fire in the fireplace, a nice glass of wine and a little shut-eye. As I make it to my car, I notice a missed message from my sister. It reads: 'Sarah, do you think you can swing by here on your way home tonight?' As much as I was looking forward to my visions of rest and relaxation, I replied that I couldn't stay long but ok. We only live a mile from each other so it was sort-of on my way home.
Started to drive home, the wind is howling and it is starting to sprinkle. I personally LOVE a roaring fire when it is cold and raining and couldn't wait to get home. Suddenly, my phone rings. It was my dad. Just after his initial greeting, and I might add in a very suspicious tone of voice, he says 'So, are you on the way to your sisters house?' Now I smell a rat. Fortunately, dad's lack of knowledge of the surprise factor allowed me to gain valuable knowledge before I arrived. I asked how he knew I was going over. Dad really had no idea that he was spilling the beans when he answered, 'Oh cause she is going to try to get you to keep this puppy she found.'
I had about ten minutes to let that sink in. I love dogs and always had one growing up, but recently I had been traveling for work often and for months at a time. Could I even consider that responsibility right now? I decided to play it by ear. I let my sister play out her little surprise. The puppy was a poodle mix of something and a complete ball of white fur that was matted all the way to the skin. The poor thing was finally warm but a little skittish, skinny but not too skinny. My sisters biggest sales pitch was that her husband would not let her keep another and her latest four legged addition to her family, a Boxer mix, was not dealing with the competition in a possitive manner.
Then this ball of fur came close to me to investigate the new arrival. After the normal hand smelling and the first touch from me...She raised up on her hind legs and 'hugged' me. I know you may not find that possible, but she wrapped her front paws around my neck and laid her head on my shoulder. I fell in love with her instantly. My sister sent me home with poop bags, food and water bowls, a few treats and food. Our first night did not include a roaring fire and a glass of wine. It was an all-night er of whimpering and walks outside. She did not have an accident all night. She relieved herself each and every time we went outside. Although it may sound like a miserable night, we also had a few laughs and my love for her grew.
By the time my sister got home from work the next day, I was convinced that she must be lost. There was probably a little boy or girl crying themselves to sleep each night missing her. I took her picture, made posters and flyer's, papered pet stores, schools and street corners determined to find her home. Then I waited. My phone never rang. By the end of theotth I don't think I would have been able to give her up if it did.
By January 16, 2010, she had been named Daisy Mae and had visited her new vet for a health check, shots and spay. He estimated her age to be 7-8 months, healthy but needed to put on a little weight and visit a groomer to correct all of the matting fur. She will be 4 years old on her April 16th "Birthday". She is such an amazing addition to my life. Our life together has really made me a spokesman for adoption and I tell our story as many times as I can. Just in case your adoption story is similar to mine so far but you have nat seen the vet yet. Our first little wrinkle in our story. Be prepared for this life changing reveal and decision you may have to face. The vet says, 'well, mom, you have a decision to make. Daisy is pregnant.' PANIC...FEAR...I'M TOO YOUNG TO BE A MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER ALL IN ONE DAY!!
If you have a great story or you are still on the fence about becoming a dog owner, share your thoughts and concerns. For some great tips about adoption and how to choose the right dog for your lifestyle, check out http://www.familydogadvice.com. I would love to share my knowledge with you and help if I can. Thanks for taking the time to hear our story.
Daisy is always up to some crazy antics. Her name has been ammended to Crazy Daisy Mae. Check back on this hub for more stories about her antics.
Adding now some more to My relationship story with Daisy
My Decision about Becoming a Grandmother
So here I go on a continuation of my adoption story. The Vet had just told me that Daisy was pregnant. I just looked at him with what was probably a really confused look on my face. He explained that the decision was all mine. I finally got over my shock and realized that I needed to gain some knowledge before I could make this very hard and important decision. Thank goodness my vet was patient and allowed me to stumble through my thoughts. Through a very thorough Q and A, I found out that due to Daisy's age, she was probably experiencing her first heat. He also informed me that he could feel at least 4 puppies and that with no knowledge of what size of dog she had come in contact, the size of the puppies could actually harm her during birth. That was really the deciding factor. How could I allow Daisy harm? She had already been through enough, being abandoned, left out on the streets in freezing temperatures.
My vet then kept her for surgery. She was to be spayed as well. On my return visit to pick my sweet Daisy Mae up and take her home, my vet informed me that I had made the right decision. Daisy was carrying 8 puppies from 4 different donors. (Yeah, I really had no idea that dogs could get pregnant from multiple dogs) Four of the puppies were large breed and could have ended her life if carried to term and delivery.
So now, when I have the undivided attention of a captive audience, I add that not only did my Daisy Mae survive on the cold freezing streets, abandoned and scared, but she was also used and abused by at least four neighborhood dogs. Now, there is always a smart remark from someone hearing my story, that maybe my sweet Daisy was really just very 'loose and easy' and not the sweet angel I believed her to be. This will always be a mystery. I know that I will always lean towards angelic.
The Learning Curve of Walking on a Leash
As I continue on our road towards harmonious life, our very first challenge was learning to walk on a leash. During our first night together, I mentioned that there were many trips outside which always resulted in some sort of 'business'. I look back on it now, knowing the manipulative antics of my very smart dog, and I know that she was testing me. 'hmmm, if I whine and walk to the door, this human will take me outside. Since I don't know if she is really a nice human or bad like my last home, I need an escape route.' I can almost hear her thinking. As one day turned into two, two weeks turned to three, and no one called to claim her I knew, not only that she was mine, but also that training needed to begin.
Day two, I bought a collar and a leash. I live in an apartment complex which has strict 'doggie relief areas'. At the time, I lived on the second floor and Daisy either could not or would not navigate the stairs. This lead me to carry her up and down when she needed to go. I know, you can probably see how smart she is and how gullible her mommy is already. (I won't say how long I continued to carry her up and down no matter how hard you try to get it out of me!)
When I brought the collar and leash home, Daisy let me put the collar on without incident. I hooked up the leash, carried her down the stairs, began our walk. Daisy quickly discovered the difference. She would sit, refuse to investigate a potty spot, refuse to budge. Little by little, she became accustomed to the leash with some heeling training involved.
But here is the adorable thing that she would do that challenged my resolve for consistent training. As you all can relate, I am sure, there were times when mommy was in a hurry or running late. Really needed to fit in a walk before work. This would usually happen when a nice cool breeze was freezing me out but Daisy, with her fur coat, absolutely loved. Daisy would complete her 'business' and I would turn to go back to the house. She would keep step with me, being a good dog, then about 20 feet from the bottom of the stairs, I would suddenly feel a tug on the leash.
Turning around, I see my angelic Daisy sitting in her defiant stance with one of her front paws lifted up and over the top of the leash, effectively conveying the idea that this walk was not yet over and she was not ready to go back inside just yet. (she rarely does this anymore but if she ever does I will try to take a picture) I admit, she looked so cute and I, a new owner made rookie mistakes, I cracked the learning curve of training and would let her get away with this little defiant maneuver so that she could enjoy the chill in the air a little longer. Luckily, I saw the dangers of allowing her to 'be the boss' if even for a minute and stuck to consistent training, retained the title of boss, and therefore have a harmonious home.
The moral of this addition is that all puppies are cute. All puppies want you to let them do what they want to do. If you are not able to re-take control, you will be left with a home in which the canine rules the human.