An Unexpected Goodbye

By on April 30, 2012
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You always know this day is coming, but you don’t sit around and think about it. Otherwise, you would miss all the love and laughter that is part of  the special relationship with man’s best friend – in this case, my rescue Corgi, Daisy. She was known as a “rescue” since her owner had been forced to move in with children who did not want a dog and she was lucky enough to be relinquished to the Corgi Rescue organization in Atlanta, Georgia. It was hard to say who rescued who.

I was dealing with Breast Cancer and living alone. My daughter thought I needed a dog to nurse me back to health. She was adamant that it not be just any dog – certainly not a demanding puppy, but a seasoned caregiver who understood the infirmities that came with illness. Betsy scoured the internet and found Daisy, who was the four-year-old companion to a lady who had lupus. She was “slightly” overweight, they said because the lady had not been able to walk her lately, but she reveled in her couch potato status and would not be demanding. I still did not want a dog, but Betsy made me feel heartless if I turned down this dog who needed rescuing. I needed rescuing, too. I just didn’t know it.

So, I ended up with Daisy, who was content to lie IN my bed beside me or next to me on the sofa. If I sat at my desk, she was by my side. We bonded quickly, and in no time at all, that Georgia dog and I were a family. I slowly regained my strength, but Daisy continued to sleep on the pillow next to mine. We both liked it that way.

When Charles Tinnin appeared at my door one afternoon to sign an advertising contract, I could not believe my eyes. He had his dog with him, and it was a smaller version of Daisy – a Corgi named Thurber. What a conversation starter that was as we compared our how-we-ended-up with Corgi stories. Meanwhile, Daisy and Thurber became fast friends. Thurber, a puppy, seemed to think Daisy was his long lost mother. Daisy relished the role as she really liked being in charge – which she continued to be to this very day.

We were married about a year and a half after that day, and we always joke that our dogs got us together. At any rate, the four of us made a happy family.

Daisy came down with Diabetes a few years ago, and she has been on Insulin. I wondered in the beginning how squeamish me would ever learn to give her injections, but she made it easy. She was the compliant patient looking at me with her “doe” eyes as if to say, “I know this hurts you more than it hurts me. It is ok.”

Recently she had been losing weight. I would come home in the afternoons and Thurber would be waiting at the door, but Daisy had not even heard the garage door or the back door open.  I knew she was going downhill, but on our last visit to the vet, I asked if I needed to be preparing for her end. The vet did not think so.

So it came as quite a shock this morning when I took her in to get her insulin regulated and there came a diagnosis I was not expecting. She had a mass pressing on her back and her liver and she was no candidate for surgery.  Within a few hours, I was headed back to the clinic to say “goodbye.”

So I will be sitting here in my office this afternoon writing for therapy and crying alligator tears. But I thank God for the years I have had that dog. And tears are good. They are good tears, and I am of the theological opinion, that Daisy and I will see each other again.

Dr. Byrd asked me if I wanted her ashes, and I said, “no.” It may sound cold, but I would not be comforted by walking past an urn every day that reminded me Daisy is not sleeping in the foyer or waiting for me by the back door.  She (Dr. Byrd) told me that the clinic gives the ashes of pets whose owners do not want them back to a man who has a farm and he scatters them there.

Makes me happy to think my Daisy Dog, who is a member of a herding breed, will perhaps for the first time get to chase a few sheep. I miss her already.

-Marilyn

4 Comments

  1. Jessica

    April 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I am sitting here at my desk at work with a few tears in my eyes for your loss. I have a corgi too and they are the sweetest best little family members. I like the thought of your sweet chase rounding up those sheep.

    Thoughts and hugs from Illinois.

  2. cynthia

    April 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    reminds me of the children’s book “the 10 good things about barney” by the author who wrote alexander and the terrible no good very bad day, even though barney is a cat. you must read it if you haven’t!
    make your list of your 10 things! and play heavenly day while you do! 🙂
    love you!
    cinthie

  3. Allison Estes

    April 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I am sitting in the garden center in Macon, GA bawling my eyes out waiting for my car to be done in automotive. My heart breaks for you! Corgi owner, lover. Friend of Betsy.

  4. Nancy McGuire

    April 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    A mutual friend of ours sent the link about your loss to me. I can truly empathize with you as I have had the privilege of loving and being “loved back” by 4 very special corgis and I am blessed to have my Tucker (one of my four) with me now. What healing these little enchanted creatures provide without even knowing it! And how comforting it must be to know that your sweet Daisy’s final resting place is on a “herding” farm. Corgis are indeed an entertaining, comical, loving, and intelligent breed who aspire to make us happy…..all it takes at times is a look at their litte “wiggle butts” and a smile appears. Take care.

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