Home > Daisy, Dog Behavior > Koi Daisy! Koi! – A Look Back

Koi Daisy! Koi! – A Look Back

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Daisy in the ElementToday I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy first came to live with me.  Daisy is a former puppy mill breeding dog who was estimated to be four years old at the time I adopted her. She was afraid of everyone and everything. She practically crawled on the ground the first few days she 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 hope it gives hope to 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 September 6, 2009, almost 2  years after Daisy first came to live with me.

Daisy had a little adventure yesterday and I couldn’t resist sharing it.

You may not know this, but before Jasper joined our family, Daisy would often accompany me on client appointments. This was partly because Daisy was so frantic when I left her at home alone, but also because it was a way to expose her to different situations, people and animals and help her to expand her horizons. Sometimes she would walk with me and a client and at other times she would wait in the car (Please note: Daisy never went with me if it was too warm or too cold out for her to remain in the car).

Having Jasper as a companion has helped Daisy to be more calm at home, so she has not been traveling with me as often. Yesterday however, I thought I would take her with me as a treat. She loves it when she can go with me on my rounds.

Our first stop was to check in on a Labrador Retriever (who is almost an exact replica of Daisy) and a French Bulldog – both of whom are absolutely adorable and sweet. They love other dogs, so I wasn’t worried that Daisy would have to remain in the car. First, I let the boys out to go potty. Once that was done I let Daisy out of the car. Everyone set about sniffing each other. Once the introductions had been made, we leashed up and set out on a walk together. Both the boys and Daisy love to walk (and what a lovely day to do so!). The sun was out. It was warm, but not hot, and the birds were singing up a storm.

When we returned, we headed out back to feed the Koi fish. The Koi pond is covered with netting over three-quarters of the pond (Blue Heron’s and Kingfishers have been gorging themselves on Koi, so the netting protects them from these interlopers), while the remaining one-quarter of the pond is covered with beautiful green lily pads. The fish have learned to be cautious, so they mostly stay under the lily pads, only adventuring out when they feel brave or when they know food is coming.

The boys followed me as I stepped into the porch area to grab a scoop of the fish food. Daisy was busy exploring her surroundings, sniffing the plants and trees surrounding the Koi pond. I carried the scoop of fish food back to the pond. The fish saw me coming and started to come out from under the lily pads and swim towards the top to get their food. Who said fish aren’t smart?

As I spread the last of the food along the top of the pond, I turned to head back to the porch, and that was when I saw her. My Daisy. After sniffing the yard, she had returned to the stone sitting area to sniff. As I turned, I watched Daisy walk, nose to the ground, straight into the Koi pond. You know that moment in a movie where something momentous happens in slow motion and the main character, shouts “Noooooooooooooo!!!” in slow motion? Well, that was me as I watched Daisy walk straight into the pond.

Imagine Daisy’s surprise as she stepped forward and fell down into the lily pads and water. She had no idea that the lily pads weren’t a part of the stone area. Honestly, it never occurred to me that she wouldn’t know there was water there. Poor girl!

She came up sputtering and immediately headed towards the edge of the pond. Amazingly, she did not panic, but rather swam to the edge of the pool and started to pull herself up. I raced to grab her, but she slipped back in. “Oh no!” I thought, “She’s going to panic! And, I’m going to have a hard time getting her out again.” But, I was wrong. Not my Daisy. She quickly swam to the edge again and pulled herself completely out on her own (with a little help from me as I grabbed her collar).

Given her background, I thought she would be totally freaked out and running scared. I was wrong again. Daisy simply shook herself off, looked back at the pond, and then set about sniffing again. I was floored. Was this my scared little Daisy? The one who was so afraid of everything and anything new or different? Who would have been absolutely freaked out if this had happened a year ago?

I guess not! Who would have thought that Daisy could be so nonchalant about something that would have been so frightening to her in the past. Simply put, I was in awe of her. I think Daisy’s progress is a testament to what encouragement, patience and love can do for a puppy mill dog. I was so proud of her.

But, I still think I will shout “Koi! Daisy Koi!” if we are ever faced with this circumstance again.

(As a last note: No Koi or lily pads were hurt in the making of this accident, and the netting was spared because luckily Daisy fell in the one-quarter part covered in lily pads.)

Koi pond

  1. slimdoggy
    September 7, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    My favorite stories are old Daisy stories. This one is great – love that she just took it in stride. Maybe it was the Labrador in her taking over. This happened to our Tino once – it wasn’t a Koi pond but he walked off a dock into a lake that had really tall seaweed grass, so I think he thought it was just grass. Head-first right into it. Funny, but a little scary too.

    • Mel
      September 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      Maybe so. I have often wondered why she did not panic (like me) that day, but I am so glad she didn’t. Had to laugh at Tino. That is so funny. (Yes. Scary too for sure.)

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