Past eleven last night, I got a difficult call. My daughter Joy, between sobs, informed me that her German Shepherd pet dog, Daisy, had passed. On her 10th year, Daisy had left a distraught “Mommy and Daddy” who raised and cared for her, loved and appreciated her for her gentle nature, and for the calm, affectionate and observant ways she had endeared herself to the family.
After listening to my daughter’s grief-stricken words, I said a silent prayer and a soft goodnight, hoping that the night’s rest would give pause to grief. And to my sadness, too. This morning, I woke up and as I engaged in my usual morning prayers, thought about Daisy, still with a heavy heart.
Sadness peaked when I read my daughter’s Facebook post from last night:
“RIP, Daisy Bear. We will miss your loving affection and quiet solitude. As is your nature, you came inside tonight to kiss me g’bye, plopped down in your bed, and quietly left this world. Oh sweet, sweet girl. My heart is broken.”
And my response in a post:
“Sweet, sedate, loving Daisy — You were Daddy’s and Mommy’s girl — and Grandmama’s girl, too. Pleasant journey on the rainbow to dog heaven.”
Daisy has an adoptive dog brother Jackson who, accordingly to my son-in-law Matt, quietly walked over to Daisy when she passed, looked at her and whimpered, and then walked forlornly to his post on the couch. Jackson, also a German Shepherd, adored his sister, and often teased and tumbled with her, snuggling his nose against her soft mixed black and blonde fur. Daisy at times would just stoically take the tease, allow Jackson to spar, but when egged on, would respond with an equally playful gesture that ended with a rebuking snarl that settled the young dog’s mischief. Absolutely a delight to watch.
And now, Jackson’s heartbroken, too. So, I told Joy and Matt last night, Jackson needs comforting as well. Joy claimed that Jackson has always gotten their attention with his lovable antics and pampered ways, while Daisy observed on the side, likely amused and shaking her head at the young dog’s pranks. The pranks will continue, even without the sedate playmate. But the teasing rambles won’t happen, absent his soul mate. Indeed sad.
I remember that Daisy was almost never exuberant as other pet dogs that my daughter and son-in-law had in prior years. Whenever I facetimed with them, she would call the dogs to greet Grandmama on the screen. While others pushed their face to the screen, a gesture that I took for a snuggle, not Daisy. She just looked briefly at the screen (at me) and very slowly moved aside to give way to the other dog. When the camera was focused on her, I would recognize that big heart in her stare, her smile, her regal pose.
When I visited in the past, Daisy always seemed shy, yet not declining a pat on the back or a stroke on her head. Truly affectionate and demonstrative with her Mommy and Daddy, she chose to be private with others, a stance that easily could be mistaken as aloofness. But I didn’t think so. When I looked at her eyes, there was kindness there, a sweet personality. You see, I like looking at eyes – people’s eyes, or pet dogs’ eyes. It’s in the eyes that one sees the true soul. Daisy had a good soul.
And her smile – showed her true heart. The last I saw of that wide smile was when I facetimed with Joy last week. Daisy was wearing a lovely sweater of beige and light brown shades that my daughter crocheted for her. Joy said that Daisy always walked proudly in it, like a princess, head high, feeling and looking pretty, and with the widest, contented smile on her face. That big smile I shall never forget.
Many hearts are heavy for missing Daisy. It is comforting to imagine that Daisy is in dog heaven, running the prairie with other dogs gone before, answering to the call of the great Master, playing, tumbling, and jumping up and down because the sickness, the weakness, the pains, they’re all gone – there, in dog heaven. But from earth, goodbye, Daisy.