Have a Daisy Day – A Look Back
Today I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy came to live with me. This is an old blog post from Daisy’s blog, “Daisy the Wonder Dog (and how she found her inner Lab).” It highlights the progress Daisy had made after I adopted her in 2007.
I think it is a good reminder for those who have a damaged or unsocialized dog. Progress can be made. It takes time and patience and often happens in fits and starts – for every step forward, there are two steps back, but it is so rewarding when you start to take those steps forward. The key is to never give up hope. You need a lot of patience and understanding. You also need learn to learn to celebrate the small successes.
This post is from October 21, 2008, a little under a year from the date Daisy first came to live with me.
I am sitting here tonight with my Daisy dog lying next to me on the couch, my mother’s dog, Jake, laying beside me on the floor and my pet sitting friend, River, laying on her bed behind me. All sleeping peacefully. Could it get any better?
There are so many things I would like to write about Daisy’s progress these past few months, and yet, I can’t help but focus on what she has been doing these past few days. Will there ever be an end to her growth? To her progress? I don’t think so. It seems like she is constantly surprising me with new facets of her personality.
Most mornings, Daisy and I pick up Henry, another wonderful pet sitting client, and head off to the dog park. Daisy always claims the back seat as her own; sprawling across the full length of the seat so she can sleep comfortably. (I actually think it’s her way of coping with car rides.) Henry rides shotgun; always alert for the lone squirrel crossing the street or another dog on a walk. On occasion, he looks over at me with his adorable puppy-dog eyes and I cannot help but pet him and tell him how cute he is – he really is that cute.
Even after our jaunt to the park and the short stop to drop Henry off at home, Daisy will remain in the back seat. Sleeping.
It’s only we get closer to home that she will suddenly sit up, like she has some internal radar detecting a beacon from home, and look out the window or stand up, tail wagging wildly, as she waits for us to pull into the driveway and into the garage.
That has always been the case. Always. Until recently, when Daisy suddenly decided to add a new behavior.
Now after we drop Henry off, she climbs into the front seat, where she sits until she falls asleep, head drooping down, lower and lower until she finally lays down; or she curls up in a ball and lays her head on my lap between the stick shift and my bottled water. It’s the first time she has really sought me out for affection in that way. I know I may be adding human emotion into the mix, but it’s almost as if she feels more at peace being near me. Her whole body relaxes and she sleeps more deeply, sometimes snoring gently. She also seems to enjoy the fact that I can pet her continuously while she sleeps.
For me, they are the most peaceful rides I have ever had. There is so much love that is contained in that one small moment in time. Knowing how afraid Daisy was to trust anyone (including me), makes it all the more amazing and beautiful.
How is that a dog so mistreated and unloved for so much of her early life could trust enough to let me see her vulnerable? I know I’ve said it before, but I really am lucky. She is one special dog and I don’t think I will ever be the same again. She has taught me so much in the past 11 months that she has been with me, including: love, patience, trust, commitment, beauty, peace, and the joy – all the things that come from those small but powerful moments in our lives. It’s my wish that everyone gets the chance to be blessed with the same.
Have a Daisy day on me.