Daisy was a special dog. Saved by a couple from an adoption fair, they soon discovered she was deaf and was rescued from a puppy mill. Despite her poor health, Daisy the Dalmatian was smart and was “a healer”. With her new family, she began a life that touched many lives.
Jeremy Soule shared with DogHeirs his wonderful memories of Daisy and the day he had to say goodbye to his dear friend.
“Today I had to say goodbye to one of my closest friends. Daisy the Dalmatian was somewhere north of 13 or so years. Found by me and my ex-wife, Amy, at an adoption fair outside a bank in Long Beach in a cage too small for her to sit up straight, and calluses on her elbows from lying on concrete, we took Daisy home the next week.
When we got her home, we discovered that she was completely deaf within 15 minutes. We called the Dalmatian rescue lady, angry, who said we could take her back. There was no way we were going to take her back, we were already in love with her. We were just angry that the lady wasn’t honest with us. We also soon discovered that she was a puppy-mill dog with a myriad of genetic problems and was never taught how to play.
She didn’t know what to do with a ball or a rope. When I was between jobs and home writing, Daisy would stare out the window for hours waiting for Amy to come home, and would then jump and run around the yard with us, gently nipping at our hands as we ran back and forth – finally she knew how to play and be happy.
An extremely calm dog (rare for the breed) Daisy barked only when she felt like we were leaving her alone. We thought she had a very special personality and had a chance to help people. She was a healer. Daisy has since made hundreds of sick children smile and laugh as a therapy dog for Love On 4 Paws by visiting children’s hospitals. She also had the power to make the elderly suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s speak after rocking and staring silently at walls for hours on end. (Daisy also visited nursing homes as a therapy dog.)
She was smart. After being raised in a puppy mill and never being taught anything, she was housebroken in later life, and we taught her sign language with our hands for come, sit, lie down, stay, and let’s go for a walk. So you can teach an old dog new tricks. She would often stop when she passed children on the street, posing for a photo when she was off the clock, because that’s what we did at the hospitals.
She was also tough. She overcame grand mal seizures, life-threatening pancreatic problems, arthritis, and eventually becoming both deaf and blind in old age. But she easily navigated places she already knew, as if she was neither deaf or blind. She had a file inches thick at our vet.
She fought to live years after she probably should have left Earth. After my divorce in 2010, it was the right decision that Daisy would live with Amy and I would usually see her a couple times a month. Every weekend I thought I was too busy to take her, I now regret this immensely.
In her later years, Daisy became mostly a couch potato and stuffed animal that most loved being hugged, kissed on her nose, and eating roasted chicken. We tried one last thing to extend her quality of life in doggie acupuncture a month ago, but ultimately it was her time. She was outliving her body, constantly breathing heavy even when cool or in a place she knew, and having trouble getting up from her bed. We knew what we had to do, but it’s just the most unnatural thing in the world to do.
This afternoon, Daisy lay in the gorgeous sun in Long Beach for a long time, happily digesting a couple cheeseburgers she just wolfed down. Walking her into the vet was one of the most difficult minutes of my life. She was put to sleep while lying on her favorite bed, wrapped in her favorite blanket, and being pet, hugged and kissed by her mother and father.
I have had to say goodbye to so many incredible pets, but none hurt more than this. Her soul is so special. I’ve always joked that Daisy was a “precious angel sent straight from heaven.” Today, we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to send her back there to wait for us. I only hope that I can be reunited with her someday, and that she’ll run toward me with her trademark “goofy gallop.” Please say a short prayer tonight for my wonderful, loyal, loving friend, Daisy Soule the Dalmatian. What an amazing life she had. She made so many people in need so happy.”
~ Submitted to DogHeirs by Jeremy Soule, October 2013
Soule’s story of Daisy evoked many comments from the DogHeirs Community.
“Jeremy, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know the pain you are enduring and I’m so afraid I’ll be suffering the same shortly with my Dalmatian, Sasha. She’s almost 16 and is also a rescue. Your story brought tears to my eyes not only for the pain you suffer but also for how vulnerable I am to the same agony. Every time I look at her, I check to see if she is still breathing. She isn’t in pain and she still enjoys the occasional interaction with her sister. She lives for treats, which come more often now and will stand and get her ears rubbed for hours. Her vision is failing, she moves slowly and has the more than occasional accident, but at her age, she can’t help that, I have tiled floors so no harm, no foul. This is her house just as much as it is anyone else’s. She’s been here since she was 3.5 years old. As long as she has any quality of life, she will be here with me. Rest in Peace Daisy.” ~ Dan Hetland
“My heart goes out to you. Thank you for the wonderful life you provided for this sweet girl. Run free beautiful Daisy now that you’ve crossed over the rainbow bridge.” ~ Peggy G.
“So sad when we have to do this. Daisy was a joy to you and you gave her a wonderful life. What more can you do for your beloved animals? She was a beautiful, happy girl, well loved and cherished and made many, many people happier along the way. What a life she had and what joy she gave and was given.” ~ SeniorLass
“Hugs, tears, prayers and blessings to you and your wife. Thank you for sharing your story, it touched my heart. We had to do the same thing with our Kiki who had gone to work with my husband (a contractor) everyday for 14 years. The last 6 months her arthritis had gotten too bad and she couldn’t go physically and it had started to hurt when my husband would lift her in and out of the truck, but she went in spirit.
“She would watch out the window each day as his truck drove off after they spent time together before work and she would be sitting at the window whining as he drove back up the driveway. She got a hug and hello before me when he came in the door 😀 (I understood why). We finally knew we were at the point of selfishness. We asked the vet to do a quality of life evaluation on her because we knew we wanted her to stay and couldn’t make the best decision for HER.
“They had done all they could and she was now wetting herself at times because it was so hard for her to get up and we would of just getting cleaning it to keep her but they said it was very painful on her and she was sad because she couldn’t do what she had been able to do.
“We had to say goodbye and it was the hardest thing we ever did with one of our pets (family). She was 130 pound wolf/husky and non aggressive so the vet let her lay on her blanky and I told her to say her prayers and she layed her head between her paws while she got her shot and went peacefully to sleep. It took almost 2 years before we could allow another puppy into our hearts but have just gotten one. It’s funny but she has Kiki’s spirit and tenderness. She will be riding shotgun with my husband as soon as she is old enough and trained. They steal our hearts and live in them forever.” ~ Judy