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The Story of Daisy

January 19, 2016 7:04 pm Written by Leave your thoughts

This story is told by my mom.
—Nigel

On a cold wintery day in 2002, I was coming home from the 14th St Garden Center (by the Holland Tunnel) in J.C. As I pulled out of my spot, I noticed a very beautiful large dog walking along the street. She looked to be about maybe a year old,  rubbery in her gait and looking around, so I slowed down to take a better look. Being quite alert, she noticed me looking at her and started toward the car, with her tail wagging and ears back (I call it humble ears). I immediately stopped the car and opened the passenger window to see if she was friendly enough to say hi. To my delight (I was oddly not afraid of this 80 lb shepherd mix coming toward me, she was just so sweet-looking) she gently put her front paws on the door and kept wagging her tail as I reached out to pet her head and ears. This dog was a beauty, a kind sweet angel. I couldn’t resist so I opened the passenger door and she slumped into the passenger seat with her back paws on the ground, letting me pet her and love her up for a few wonderful minutes. After that, I gently pushed her out of the car and drove home. But I couldn’t get her off of my mind. I wondered why she was out in this cold weather, who she belonged to.

The next day was 12 degrees, so I went back looking for her and found her tied up with a big fat chain outside the junkyard behind the Garden center, emerging from a cat igloo litter box in the far corner of the lot. When she saw me she ran over to me, thankfully the chain was long enough that she didn’t choke herself. She was just so sloppy and happy to see me, and I felt exactly the same. I also saw a bunch of other dogs in the lot who were of different mixed breeds and ages. I don’t remember any of them paying any attention or mind to me, except for an older female hound that started running towards us barking. It seemed like she was being protective, maybe it was her mom, not sure, but my pup just ran over to her and started jumping on her being goofy. The dog was now yelling at her, it was pretty funny. I took my queue and left but knowing I would return.

Lauran was working at the Garden Center at the time, and I told her about the dogs. I asked her to find out from the guy who owned the lot if this particular dog was his and if he was willing to let me give her a home. She spoke to him and he said she was a young female and he didn’t have much “use” for her to protect the lot since she was more of a wanderer. He said I could take her if I wanted her. I was overjoyed.

A few nights later, Lisa and I were coming home from the city on another frigid night. Once out of the Holland Tunnel I directed her towards the lot to see if we could say hi to her. I wanted Lisa to meet her before I made a proper plan to go and take her home. To our delight she was there and ran clear across the lot without a tether, to greet us jubilantly with sloppy kisses, letting us hug and pet her. I was in the passenger seat with the door open and Daisy’s front legs and body halfway on my lap. After a while of petting her, I said, “ok, now we have to go, but I will be back to get you.” She wouldn’t budge. I tried pushing her out of the car, but she was just dead weight. Then Lisa tried, but she did not want to get out. At that point I turned to Lisa and said, “Well. I guess this is it”. I lifted up her back legs to put her entire body into the car, shut the door and we drove off. When Lisa got me home, I opened my front door and let Daisy in, but she took one look at the stairs and froze. She didn’t know what stairs were! So we had to carry her up the stairs, and I had to train her to climb stairs, among many other things that were new to her. My sweet junkyard girl was always a quick study.

I was blessed to have Daisy with me for 14 years. Ironically, she became unable to climb up or down the same stairs she learned to so deftly bound. She was clearly in pain. That, plus her loss of appetite and joy for all the things she once loved, made us realize she was telling us it was time. I have faith that we will be together again someday. On that day, I know she will greet me with the same happy sloppy kisses. And I doubt I’ll be able to stop hugging her.