Good Night, Sweet Daisy

I’m heartbroken.  We had to put Daisy, my sweet beagle, to sleep today.  She became suddenly sick on Monday, and at first, our vet thought it was antifreeze poisoning.  The signs were all there.  After two days of IV fluids, her kidneys were still functioning, which we took to be a hopeful sign.  I was hopefully cautious when he said it was antifreeze – her kidneys continued to function, and I thought she’d make it through.  Today, my husband took Daisy to the vet, and she was jaundiced.   I went to a meeting at work this morning, and during my meeting I had 5 missed calls from my husband.  I left my meeting at 11:30 and drove home.  We talked.  Dr. Harland, our veterinarian, is like James Herriot from All Creatures Great and Small.  He will give it to you straight, but he is very compassionate.

Daisy had a tumor on her liver that ruptured.  We were assured that we couldn’t have known about it, but my guilt runs deep.  Sweet Daisy.  This morning she was yellow: her eyes and her tummy that used to bathe in the sun.  While Dr. Harland said that he could do surgery, he also said he wouldn’t do it even for his own dog.  I wasn’t there for this conversation.  The missed phone calls during my meeting told me what I needed to know.  I’d been preparing for this since she became sick.  Daisy licked my husband’s face right before she went to sleep, and I looked up to find him crying.  She died in my arms.

We buried her in a sunny spot in Water Valley, Mississippi, where she’ll be surrounded by all the things that drove her crazy: squirrels, snakes, and deer.  I’ll plant some daisies over her grave.  I copied Lord Byron’s “Inscription on the Monument of  Newfoundland Dog” and laid it across the box.  We buried her with her bowl and a french fry, which she didn’t catch, for once.

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices.  This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Daisy, a Dog. ~ George Gordon, Lord Byron

I miss her.  I miss her smell.  I miss her soft ears and her head that I used to kiss before I went to sleep.  I even miss her constant barking.  Our house is so quiet.

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