After we got married, we wanted a dog. We got an eight-week-old sable collie.
After we got married, we wanted a dog. My wife was going to nursing school. I was working two-month nights, two months days, twelve-hour shifts. There were times we wouldn’t see each other for three days. She wanted a dog for protection and companionship. We got an eight-week-old sable collie, named her Daisy. She provided not only protection when she heard a noise but companionship for both of us.
She went everywhere with us, affording both of us how to raise a young pup and look after her needs as she provided us with her unconditional love. She’d follow my wife around the house, out in the back yard, always exploring her surroundings, watching her, us, where we were as she wandered around.
One night we had our two best friends over for a barbecue, sitting quietly looking at the firefly back yard the first summer we had Daisy. We had a neighborhood cat that liked to cross our yard, which Daisy never seen before. We watched as the cat crossed from the left walking slowly looking at us. Daisy coming from the right also looking toward us. We remained silent wondering what would happen. They slowly approached each other, when they were about three feet apart they noticed each other. Stopped short, for a second staring at each other. Then both at the same time, the cat hissed. Daisy barked and both quickly turned and ran the other way. Daisy came to us looking back where the cat was a few moments before. We petted her, telling her how good she was.
We went to Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County NY, to pick out the name of our first child, male or female we didn’t know. Daisy was with us enjoying the beautiful grounds as we had a picnic and just enjoyed being there under a warm sunny sky with clouds barely moving. The smell of pine needles and newly mowed grass was ideal as we picnicked under the pine trees. We walked around the water fountain, found a spigot and Daisy drank the fresh water from my hands.
Retiring for the night she’d already be on my side of the bed. She looked at me as if that was her spot. I’d inch my way onto the bed, which caused her to move to the end on the bed and stretch out there.
When we had our first son, as soon as I entered the house, I put the baby carrier car seat on the floor, Daisy came over and smelled the new baby. I wanted Daisy to know I trusted her with our new son. A few weeks later, we had the christening. Many new unknown people for Daisy were in the house. As soon as a person Daisy didn’t know went to look at the baby, Daisy went between the crib and the person, just looked at the person, ‘protecting’ our son by just being there. She’d lift her nose and sniff and listen to him in the crib making sure he was fine.
When our son was about three, we were sitting on the couch. Our son came running from the dining room into the living room, immediately turned and ran back into the dining room. We heard a low noise that sounded like a slide and bump. He did this a few times. I got up to see what he was doing. As he turned going back into the dining room, I watched as he ran, went on his knees to slide on the dry cereal he spread over the wood floor to slide on, before bumping into the hutch stopping his slide. His buddy, Daisy was right there trying to eat the cereal before our son took another slide toward her. She’d quickly scamper out of his way to let him slide enjoying her new-found goodies before I cleaned the cereal up.
We went to Nickerson State park on Cape Cod, camping one summer. I had just brought a large tent that was big enough for twelve people. One night lying in bed a ferocious thunderstorm started. It was raining cats and dogs I thought the fly I had fixed over the roof was good. It sagged, and we got drenched when the fly dripped onto the top of the tent. We worried about Daisy, never being out in a tent and especially a heavy rain. Next morning there she was sitting on the only raised portion of the floor looking at us happy to be dry.
After being out, we’d come home and Daisy would hurry to us, sniff our clothes, hands, waging her tail. If she found another dog or cat’s scent on us she’d get this look as if we betrayed her by petting another animal. Then she’d sulk for a few minutes until we washed our hands or changed clothes.
In the mornings if I opened my eyes Daisy would be right there and start wagging her tail and pushed her nose into me to get me up. Some mornings I’d hear her approach the bed, only peer through my eye lashes and see her nose two inches from me, watching me intensely to see if I was awake. After a minute without me opening my eyes, she’d lay down waiting for me to get up, which I did in a minute.
Our neighbor, Charlie, would see her out in the yard, she knew immediately what he had. She eagerly goes to the fence, and Charlie would give her a slice of cheese. He always told us Daisy was the only dog who would daintily take the cheese from his fingers.
One summer we had a barbecue for about twenty friends. Mark was sitting talking to someone. Daisy was right in front of him eyeing his burger. He had the burger in his hand, brought it up to eat. He ate and looked at the bun. It was empty. He thought he may have dropped it. A few people looked around his chair. Then someone spotter Daisy, with a half-eaten burger in the back of everybody. We got the rest of the burger away from her with no trouble. Daisy must have skillfully removed only the burger without taking the bun very deftly. Mark never noticed it was missing until he bit into the bun. Our naughty dog.
She never growled angrily at anyone. Anyone who met her, said she was a dog they wish they had.
We’ve had other collies over the years. Nevertheless, there was only one Daisy. A truly remarkable dog. Daisy was family.