My sweet dog is gone. To lose a dog is always hard but to lose them relatively young is devastating.
I adopted Daisy in 2014. There were indications that she had not lived a good life. But she was so gentle and full of love and need. It didn’t take long to realise that my home wasn’t the ideal place for her so she moved in with my parents. We visited each other often and I would happily dog-sit my girl. All of us did what we could to give her a good life. I wish it had been longer.
This next part is painful so feel free to skip to the pictures.
We thought it was fast-growing tumours in her face. I came over wednesday evening. She wagged her tail when she saw me. That was her last wag.
My parents stayed up with Daisy in the night as she paced the house. My boyfriend and I watched over her in the morning. She was overdosed on strong painkillers but still she was in so much pain that all she could do was pace the house until exhaustion would draw her into a brief sleep. The drugs made her too woozy to maintain balance and she kept gently collapsing. My boyfriend was amazing – he constantly followed her around the house, picking her up after she collapsed again and again, turning her around when she got stuck in a corner, comforting me when I was distressed by Daisy’s cries of pain. I love him so much.
We got a call an hour before Daisy’s final vet appointment. Her blood test results from the start of the month had finally come in – unknown fungal infection. The closest match was an american species, of which there were only two reported cases. A specific anti-fungal (but not similar anti-fungals) did save those dogs but it took two weeks before signs of improvement (and six months until full recovery). Daisy didn’t have two weeks and it would have been cruel to try on such a flimsy maybe. The vet ended her suffering and we buried her in the yard with her favourite teddy.
I feel like I moan about this every year but it really does feel like I am less creatively productive this year. There are so many things I want to make but it just doesn’t end up happening and suddenly it’s August.
Now I am house/dog sitting for six weeks (well, my boyfriend is, I’m just enjoying his cooking and an extra 10 min sleep in on work days). This is caring for the dog that bit Daisy earlier in the year. Although she is fine around people I can’t help the thought that she’s going to latch onto my foot whenever we are rugged up together on the couch. Our relationship is definitely broken.
It’s difficult being away from home for so long because right now I am very motivated to sew but my machine and supplies are back home. There are so many things I want to make. My compromise is to cut out pattern pieces. It is a poor substitute to sewing but paper patterns are easy to transport and cutting them out is so time consuming that I might as well get it out of the way now so that I don’t have to endure it when I get home. There was a recent sale on Butterick patterns so I managed to pick up five patterns for only $20. I’ve never used Butterick patterns before and can’t wait to try them.
My boyfriend finds it amusing to throw the excess tissue paper at the dog. He wraps up food treats in some of them so now she happily rips apart all of them. I’m scared that she’ll rip into my actual pattern pieces so I’m being extra careful.
I can’t wait until I’m back home and sew up a storm.
I’m finding this hard to write. How do I find the words to truly express what happened? My attempts felt flat to me. So I’m going to stop trying to tell a story and lay it out in dot points.
Boyfriend was dog-sitting for the long weekend. – Boyfriend brought Dog over to my house to introduce to Daisy. We plotted how to do this safely, with the understanding that we might have to abort the mission if the dogs did not get along
The dogs seemed comfortable enough with each other and happily went on a walk together, slept apart in the bedroom, and hunt for kibble together (my family scatter kibble over the lawn for breakfast so that they have to search for it
We were having lunch on the couch when Boyfriend got up and went into the kitchen. Daisy moved into the vacated seat to look for crumbs. Dog rushed in and latched onto Daisy’s ear, not letting go
I knew that sticking your hand in during an attack is the thing you did not do. But I didn’t know what the right thing to do was and Daisy was crying out in such pain that I didn’t care about myself and shoved my hand in to try and break them apart. I failed. All I achieved was an accidental bite on my finger
I don’t know how it happened but Boyfriend dislodged Dog and forced her outside – I freaked out. Boyfriend comforted me. Daisy ate my lunch, which was on the floor
I cleaned up my finger. Called the local vets to try to find one that was open (it was a public holiday). Found an emergency clinic 30 mins away
Had to wait for a while at the vets. Googled how to stop a dog attack so that I know what to do in the future (but hopefully I wont ever need to apply that knowledge). Gave Daisy lots of pats
Daisy was fine. One puncture wound that didn’t need stitches and one superficial wound. Got painkillers. Got antibiotics. Paid large public holiday bill
Took Daisy home. She went straight to the back door to say hello to Dog (haha…no Daisy. You’re never saying hello to Dog again). Boyfriend took Dog back to her home. I felt like a horrible person who had Let Everyone Down and put Daisy in harm’s way
Daisy is fine. She was in pain but otherwise was her usual self. She really enjoyed eating her peanut butter smothered antibiotics. She isn’t traumatized and afraid of dogs during our walks. I’m so thankful for that.
I really don’t know what to feel about Dog. We have regularly dog-sat for her and will again next month for six weeks. I have walked her, fed her, played with her, petted her on the couch, let her under the covers at night. The attack chills me. But we were the ones that put her in that situation. And my family have had a situation where our beloved pet dog bit someone once and was able to live a long safe life afterwards. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’ve decided that I will continue to support my Boyfriend’s dog-sitting and continue to stay at the house when she does. Dog has a second chance with me. But she is no longer welcome in my home. And I don’t think I’ll be able to feel as much affection for her as I have before the attack.
The rest of Daisy’s two weeks as my houseguest has been rather uneventful. She’s eaten a lot. She’s pooped a lot. She’s farted a lot. She’s gotten so damn excited about me going to the toilet (she quickly learned that once home from work, walkies would occur after a bathroom break). She’s made people smile in the streets. She’s crawled into my lab on the couch. She’s snored. She’s brought me Teddy with her wiggly butt when I ask “where’s Teddy?” She’s just been a wonderful dog. (And I have a pretty wonderful boyfriend too).
My parents are having fun in North America so I have had the pleasure of looking after Daisy. Rory was meant to join her but sadly he didn’t live long enough. Anyway, I’ve been cuddling Daisy for two weeks and have two more to go. It’s so nice to have a furry companion in the house. She is such an adorable doofus. Also a needy one. I’m learning to cross stitch with one hand and pat with another. Even now I’m typing and patting.
The difficulty here is that I’m away from home 11 hours each working day. Daisy is not a dog that is meant to be alone. I came home from work to find a note on my doorstep claiming that Daisy had been barking outside all day and asked if she could be kept inside. I know a lot of dogs happily spend their days indoors whilst their humans are at work. Our dogs have always spent work hours outside and it is a little difficult for me to adjust to the change. I worry about Daisy, particularly since she can’t poop or piddle for 11 hours.
Daisy did show signs of anxiety in the first week. But she seems to have settled down in her second week here and is comfortable. It helps that I take her for a walk/run when I get home. She loves to run. And I like running with her. Although she did manage to break a nail on her first outing and splatter blood all over my floor. I was amazed how much blood there was.
What I don’t like is that Daisy is dog reactive. When she sees (and sometimes hears) a dog then she will enter Insane Bark Mode. It isn’t an aggressive bark, more of a “HELLO NEW FRIEND!!! I WANT TO MEET YOU BUT I CANNOT REACH YOU FAST ENOUGH!!!!! I’M COMING NEW FRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!” Of course, a lot of people (and dogs) don’t look at a big dark barking lab pulling her heart out against a lead as the friendly gesture of the socially stupid. They see it as a threatening dog. She is generally fine once she has reached the dog and had a chance at some private sniffing. I really want her to meet lots of dogs but gosh Daisy, that’s not how you make friends.
Australia is a country where all the wildlife is trying to kill you. This is an exaggeration that we larrikin Aussies love to cultivate. We even invent deadly animals to tease the foreigners with (though to be honest, we’ll happily talk about them in the absence of foreigners). We may laugh about it and take pride in it but the fact remains that we do have a large amount of venomous animals.
I decided to spend yesterday’s public holidays with my parents cuddling labradors. It was clear that something was wrong when I met my parents at the train station. They told me that Rory had been bitten by a snake a few days before and were on their way to pick him up from the emergency centre.
It was a black snake so the best of the snake options (though still very deadly). He has difficulty getting up and half his face is droopy but was treated with anti-venom before his kidneys started to fail so he should recover as well as an elderly dog can. He was very keen to leave the vet when he saw us.
Daisy was over the moon when Rory came home. She was bouncing around with excitement but I think she also took care around him as she could tell that he wasn’t well. Initially Rory was restless and couldn’t settle but eventually he did manage to find enough comfort to sleep the rest of the day and night away.
Our main concern has been food. At the emergency centre he wasn’t eating though the vet did say that he wanted to so the nausea is probably stopping him. Mum and I have been offering him tiny amounts of chicken, lamb, and cheese throughout the day (whilst trying not to feed Daisy). Yesterday he ate a tiny amount but mainly rejected food. Today he has much more of an appetite and his urine has returned to a normal colour. Poor boy. Please stay from snakes.
I have this idea. It involves drawing Daisy’s legs. I intended to take a few reference pictures while spending a few days visiting my parents. Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of a walking dog who really only wants to sit in your lap?
This ultimately gave me the idea of taking selfies with Daisy. Wouldn’t it be cute if we were lying side by side? Daisy did not understand this concept. My lying down kept prompting her to set up and investigate my face. The closest I got was her cuddling my head.
Not quite the look I was going for. I guess she is more of a lap dog.
I can’t stop laughing at her face…
Day 2 and I decided that it was only fair to have some selfies with Rory. Unfortunitely, this was a breach of his personal space regulations. He kept getting up and walking away from me. That’s his “leave me alone”signal.
My next strategy was to creep up on him. I would lie down and slowly shuffle towards him, seeing how close I could get.
I got pretty close before Daisy thwarted my plans.
Back to the jealous lapdog. Isn’t she just adorable? (She’s my fur baby so you are required to say “yes”).
Maybe next time I’ll get a selfie with my grumpy old man.