As I wrote earlier, I had a sudden urge to be home in Kingfisher this week with my family and dogs. I'm glad I went and was able to say goodbye, although I didn't know it was goodbye at the time.
My dog from high school, a beautiful yellow lab named Daisy, was put down yesterday. My mom called me last night, and I did not handle it well. I snapped at Grant and his friend, pulled away, shut down, and built up some nice big walls. I don't know why I act this way. When I am hurting the most, and needing other people to comfort me, I push them away as hard as I can. Sometimes I'm not a very good person. Sometimes I'm not good at life.
Daisy was always good at life, and really was a "Best of Dogs." I got her the summer before I was a junior, when I was 16, which was a very tumultuous time for me. She was an adorable puppy, who really took to the farm, and was a great guard dog if you are afraid of being licked to death.
To get her to come inside, I used to sing out the side door at the top of my lungs:
"DAISY, DAISY, GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER DUE
I'M HALF CRAZY ALL FOR THE LOVE OF YOU
IT WON'T BE A STYLISH MARRIAGE,
I CAN'T AFFORD A CARRIAGE,
BUT YOU'LL LOOK SWEET UPON A SEAT
OF A BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO."
And she would come running. When I left for college, I could not take a full-grown lab with me to live in the dorms or subsequent apartments, but she would not have left the farm for anyplace in the world. She became Kenneth's best friend, who would patiently wait for him at the door, and not understand if he went to do anything with the cattle without her. If she were allowed, she slept next to his side of the bed any chance she got. And she licked everyone.
Other dogs showed up, Chester, Gracie, Gallagher, and Daisy mothered them all (most of all, Gallagher). Because she had a bad hip, Mom got her a really nice dog bed that the other dogs KNEW they were not for them. Still, though, Mom said even though Daisy was the only one on the bed at night, in the morning when everyone got up Gallagher would be snuggled up against her. She mothered everyone around her: the cows, the dogs, and my family.
Before I got home, Mom told me she was worried about Daisy because she would not come inside, which never happened, especially if Kenneth was in the house. I pulled up and saw her almost in our neighbor's yard, so I yelled for her, and she just kept circling. Mom and I went to get her, and I led her into the house to her bed, where I sat with her, and got to tell her I loved her and play with her ears, my absolute favorite part of Daisy. She licked me the entire time.
The next morning, when I left, Kenneth and I were talking about her, about the weird circling, and we thought she just couldn't go to the bathroom. She was headed to the vet that day, where they found out why she could not go to the bathroom; her whole body was riddled with tumors. Surgery would not help. My mom and Kenneth made the difficult decision to relieve her pain and put her to sleep, and had to call me and tell me last night.
I will miss her, and as I write this, Henry (who looks almost exactly like the little Daisy the sixteen year-old me held and adored) is jumping around the living room. I wish that they could have met. She would have taken care of him, and taught him about being the best dog. Somehow she already taught him about the licking, though.