Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Have a Daisy Day

I am sitting here tonight with my Daisy dog lying next to me on the couch, my mother's dog, Jake, laying beside me on the floor, and my pet sitting friend, River, laying on her bed behind me. All sleeping peacefully. Can it get any better?

There are so many things I would like to write about Daisy's progress these past few months, and yet, I can't help but focus on what she has been doing these past few days. Will there ever be an end to her growth? To her progress? I don't think so. It seems like she is constantly surprising me with new facets of her personality.

Most mornings, Daisy and I pick up Henry, another wonderful pet sitting client, and head off to the dog park. Daisy, as is her wont, claims the full back seat as her own; sprawling across the full length of the seat so she can sleep comfortably. Henry rides shotgun; always alert for the lone squirrel crossing the street or another dog on a walk. On occasion, he looks over at me with his adorable puppy-dog eyes and I cannot help but pet him and tell him how cute he is - an absolute truth and he knows it.

Usually, when we drop Henry off, Daisy remains sprawled in the back sleeping until we near home and then like some hidden radar, she sits up (after the 1st stop sign on our street) and looks out the window. Sometimes, she will stand up, tail wagging, as she waits for me to pull into the driveway and then into the garage.

But, recently Daisy has added a new behavior. After we drop Henry off, she climbs into the front seat, where she sits until she falls asleep, head drooping down  lower and lower until she finally lays down; or she curls up in a ball (so she can actually fit her lab body onto the seat) and lays her head on my lap between the stick shift and my bottled water. It's the first time she has really sought me out for affection in that way. I know I may be adding human emotion into the mix, but it's almost as if she feels more at peace being near me. Her whole body relaxes and she sleeps more deeply, sometimes snoring gently, when she rides up front. She seems to love that I can pet her continuously from that position. 

For me, it is the most peaceful ride I have ever had. There is so much love that is contained in that one small moment in time. Knowing how afraid Daisy was to trust anyone, including me, for so long makes it all the more amazing and beautiful. How is that a dog so mistreated and unloved for so much of her early life could trust enough to let me see her vulnerable? I know I've said it before, but I really am lucky. She is one special dog and I don't think I will ever be the same again. She has taught me so much in the past 11 months that she has been with me, including: love, patience, trust, commitment, beauty, peace, and the joy that comes from the small things in life. It's my wish that everyone gets the chance to be blessed with the same.
Have a Daisy day on me.

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