"Tell me a Daisy and Taffy story," Jules implored me before her bedtime. Awhile back, on a whim, I started telling bedtime stories in which the main characters were our beloved dog Daisy and my parents' kitty Taffy.
Daisy and Taffy try to drive the golf cart.
Daisy and Taffy eat blueberries in the bounce house.
Daisy and Taffy go for a ride on the dirt bikes.
Of all the animals on the farm, the only two that Sydney and Jules care much about are Daisy and Taffy. Taffy is special because she's a sweet little kitty. Daisy is special because she's been in our family for more than eight years.
One of the hardest things about living in an apartment down south was that Daisy couldn't live with us. She lived here at the farm, and when we finally all moved up here for good then it was a happy little reunion. Though I may begrudge my children from sleeping in bed with me, I never begrudge my sweet little Daisy snuggling up to me.
On our first night of vacation in Florida my sister called me just as I was in the middle of telling a Daisy and Taffy story to the girls. We chatted a little bit about how our day had gone and then after a little bit of hedging, Andrea said, "Well, I have some sad news."
Immediately I had a bad feeling. There are a few people in my family who aren't in good health, and I figured my parents had asked my sister to deliver the bad news.
It was bad news.
Andrea and I chatted for a few minutes, and Sydney quickly figured out that something happened. Something that was making her momma cry. "What's wrong?" she asked over and over again while I talked with my sister.
When I finally got off the phone, I tried to decide whether or not to tell Sydney the news. She knew something was wrong; I had to tell her.
Daisy was attacked by coyotes. My mom found her that morning near the mailboxes.
At first the girls were quiet, and then Sydney burst into tears. She and I sobbed in the darkness, and Jules--who remained silent--put her hand on my arm. Together, in the dark, we grieved over the loss of our sweet Daisy.
It's been over a week now, but I still cry every day. I cry mostly at the thought of Daisy meeting those coyotes. How scared she must have been. How hard she must have tried to get away from them. She was a reckless dog--always escaping the yard, always running off, always running across the street to chase the horses--but she was a good dog.
For the first three years of her life, Daisy was our only baby. We took her to school with us, took her on vacation with us, bought her presents for Christmas. When we couldn't take her on vacation, I would call my parents twice a day to check on Daisy and talk to her over the phone. I didn't work the last few months I was pregnant with Sydney, and so Daisy and I hung out at home, curled up on the couch, watching Oprah together.
I asked Sydney what her favorite memory of Daisy was. She said it was when Daisy would chomp down on her rope-bone, and we would pull her around the floor, Daisy's legs splayed out behind her. Jules' favorite memory is making Daisy howl (which I captured on video). Jason and I have too many favorite memories, but one of the best being when she was a little puppy and we would raise her up above us and she would throw her legs behind her, flying like Superman. Hence her name: Daisy the Wonder Dog.
There's still a dog bone on the kitchen window sill. Still a lone chew toy in the toy room. Still her leash in the bookcase. We still have Daisy's doggie bed in our livingroom. Neither Jason nor I have the heart to remove it. "I can't let go of Daisy yet," Jason said.
I can't believe she's gone.
I loved that dog.