Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daisy (Blindsided: Two Dogs with Cancer) by Hope Lisle

I have read that one in four dogs will die of cancer. It appears that the statistics at my house are going to be at least two in four dogs will die of cancer. In December 2008, I had been battling osteosarcoma with my 8 and 1/2 year old American Bulldog, Lily for 17 months. I had also started to worry some that Lily's puppies, Rosie and Britney who were 6 years old, might develop osteosarcoma. The one dog that I wasn't too worried about was my Boston Terrier, Daisy. Daisy was 8 ½ years old and I thought that was young for a small dog. I actually used to joke around with my friends and tell them that Daisy would outlive all of my American Bulldogs because I thought small dogs lived longer. Then, on Valentine's Day of 2009, I learned how wrong I was. That is the day that I lost my beloved Daisy to brain cancer.

Daisy's health problems began when she started having seizures on December 30, 2008. I rushed Daisy around to three different veterinary clinics and she had 7 seizures within a 23-hour period. When I finally got an appointment with a neurologist, Daisy was put on medication and monitored in the I.C.U. for 4 days to make sure she did not have any more seizures. I brought Daisy home, kept her on medication and she acted completely normal. She never behaved like she felt bad and to my knowledge she never had another seizure. Then my heart was broken into a million pieces on Valentine's Day when I woke up and my Daisy, who always slept with me, was not moving. She was gone. Daisy had died in her sleep a few days before I had an MRI scheduled to rule out brain cancer. I knew two other Boston Terriers who had seizures, so I had not been as worried as I should have been. The veterinarians told me that Daisy had died from an astrocytoma and that even if I had done the MRI sooner the outcome would have been the same due to the location and aggressive nature of the tumor. One of the things that I always liked about small dogs is the fact that they are supposed to live longer than large dogs. Before I lost Daisy, I honestly did not know that you could lose a small dog at such a young age.

Boston Terriers have always been my favorite breed and Daisy was absolutely my dream dog. Daisy behaved like a large dog in a small package. She was extremely intelligent, energetic, outgoing, friendly and athletic. She was like the Energizer Bunny – she never stopped. She thought everyone was her friend and she wanted to greet everyone by jumping up and licking them in the face. Daisy (aka CH Bandit's Darling Daisy AX, AXJ, NF to name a few titles) was an AKC Champion and an International Champion in the conformation ring. She also had excellent titles in agility and we were working on her MACH (Master Agility Champion). Daisy was also a model who appeared on a couple of Boston Terrier calendars.

I have always been an animal lover but Daisy is the first dog I owned to have any official obedience, agility or conformation training. She was extremely intelligent and that quality made her a fantastic dog to learn agility and obedience with. She could think a lot faster than I could. I will never forget the first time that I laid eyes on Daisy. I had seen a few agility dogs on television and I had decided that agility would be a cool sport to try. When I met Daisy for the first time, this little four or five-week old puppy was running in circles around her brother who was twice her size. She would run around her brother and then take a flying leap over him. I knew then that I had found my "agility dog." I'm sure that I probably drove the people who owned Daisy at the time crazy, because I would not stop calling them to see if they were going to let me have this puppy. Later on, when I started taking agility classes with Daisy, one of the
instructors would often criticize my technique and tell me what I did wrong. However, it really didn't seem to matter if I made a mistake, because Daisy almost always compensated. The time spent training Daisy for agility created an incredible bond between the two of us. Daisy also performed well in the conformation ring. Some of my Boston Terrier breeder friends might say that there were dogs who matched the Boston Terrier standard better than Daisy. However, Daisy was just a little show-off. She enjoyed being the center of attention and she had attitude.

Daisy's favorite things were eating, agility, stuffed animals and traveling. If Daisy could have had things her way, she would have eaten all of the food I was giving to my three American Bulldogs in addition to her own food. When it came to training, Daisy was highly treat-motivated so she was easy to train. Daisy excelled at agility and she always wanted to be moving. She was not the type of dog who wanted to sit in my lap and be held. Daisy adored stuffed animals and always curled up with one of her stuffed animals when she went to sleep. Her favorites were her stuffed Easter bunny and the lion that roared. She had lots of stuffed animals because almost every time I saw a cute stuffed animal, I would bring another one home.

I love to travel and Daisy was the perfect travel companion. Because of Daisy's small size I was able to take her places I could not take my American Bulldogs. As soon as I pulled my suitcase or her travel bag out of the closet, Daisy would get really excited and start running in circles around the house and up and down the stairs. She knew we were going somewhere. Daisy traveled with me all over Colorado and to places like San Francisco, Sante Fe, Washington, D.C., Annapolis, Las Vegas, Orlando, Houston and Memphis. Daisy was a frequent flier and she especially loved airports. During the almost 9 years that I had Daisy, I only flew somewhere without her one time. Daisy always behaved perfectly at the airport. When I got ready to put my belongings through the x-ray machine at the airport, I would take Daisy out of her bag and she would stand motionless on the table in her perfect little "show-dog" pose. People would often ask me if Daisy had to be sedated to fly and I would tell them “No, she just knows the routine." When we arrived at our destination, I would occasionally let Daisy out of her bag while we were waiting on the luggage to arrive and she would stand right next to me and follow me around just like she did in the agility ring. Daisy also loved hotels. One of her favorite things was jumping back and forth from one bed to another in the hotel room. If we stayed in a really nice hotel, Daisy was so well-behaved that she just seemed to belong there.

Daisy was an incredible little dog who was so active that she seemed to pack 15 or 16 years into the 8 ½ years that we were together. She introduced me to a lot of people that I would never have met otherwise. There was never a dull moment when Daisy was around. I didn't realize that the little dog who tagged along on all of Lily's chemotherapy appointments had cancer also. It just seems especially cruel and ironic to have lost a dog that was as intelligent as Daisy to brain cancer. "Daisy Crazy Baby" I will always love you. I will never forget you.


Anonymous said...

Counting Jigsaw, that's 3 in 5.

Anonymous said...

Your love for her shines through. I am so sorry for the lose of your Daisy.