I’ve been sitting for a while struggling to find the right words to say, but I don’t think there are any “right” words. Daisy, our beautiful little old yellow lab, was laid to rest on Friday afternoon. In her heyday, she was a fire-cracker-chasing, snake-killing, armadillo-eating, loyal and devoted companion.
Fourteen years ago, my husband had a yellow lab named Lucky. One day, he came home to find that Lucky had been hit by a car, and whoever was responsible had kindly put her out of her misery. The following day, a beautiful two year old little girl appeared at his door. Sweet Daisy Dog. From that moment on, she ruled this roost.
She set the standard for what a dog should be. She was constantly on guard, saving us countless times from Cottonmouths and Copperheads, always sacrificing her own well-being in the process. As a result, there were many nights spent on the floor watching her breathe and praying she would make it. Fortunately, she always did.
However, I feel that the most beautiful part of her life has been over the course of the last year.
Our dear friend and neighbor, Bob, has been battling cancer for the last few years, and his treatment has been quite rough on him at times. Eleven months ago, Daisy Dog decided he needed another friend and moved out of our house. We didn’t see very much of her for quite a while, as the two of them kept each other company.
Somewhere around Christmas, she started coming back home to visit, occasionally even staying for a sleep over. It was really the darnedest thing, we could sit outside and watch Bob’s truck pull out, and within minutes she would be hobbling across the fence line to come and spend the day here. If it wasn’t cold outside, she would hobble back to his house in the evening. If it was cold, she would hang around so she could sleep in front of the fireplace.
For months she danced back and forth between our houses, splitting her time between her loved ones. It was only this last week that I noticed a difference in her patterns.
One day, she came over and forced herself through the door (she was very strong-willed). I put out her blanket and she slept for hours. I woke her up to let her use the restroom, and she came straight back in and fell asleep. She stayed here for three days without going back to Bob’s house, and did absolutely nothing but sleep all day. On the third evening, I let her out to potty and saw her walk across the yard to his house.
The next morning, Bob called with the news. She had passed away peacefully in her sleep.
It is only fitting that she is buried in her pretty pink collar beneath the live oak that sits between our two houses.
She will always be my husband’s absolute favorite, the queen of our lonely little road, and my sweet Ditch Dog Daisy.