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the occasions lady and

A Dog Named Daisy
by Audrey Poff, illustration by Brittney Guest

In January, our family began fostering a senior dog that had been surrendered by its owner to the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society. This month, Daisy will become an official member of our family as we finalize her adoption.

Although we were not actively seeking to add another pet to our home, there were circumstances that seemed to put Daisy directly in our path.

A few days after Christmas, we said goodbye to our oldest pet, 14-year-old Sam the Schnauzer. While we still have Bella, an 11-year-old Shih-tzu who can most often be found snuggled up next to me on the couch, our home and hearts definitely felt empty without Sam.

Shortly before my birthday in January, a dog named Daisy appeared on the NEAHS Facebook page. Her photo tugged at my heart. When my sister passed away in 2006, she had a dog named Daisy that looked remarkably similar to the one in need of a home. In lieu of gifts for my birthday, I decided to use Daisy’s photo and request donations to the shelter. Friends and family were generous and helped meet my fundraising goal for NEAHS.

The following weekend, our family decided to go to the shelter and meet Daisy. Signs posted outside of her kennel warned that she was very shy and for 5-10 minutes, she refused to come outside of her doghouse. When she made a brief appearance, it was easy to see that she was a fish out of water. Whether it was the noise, the cold air, or her new environment in general, she had decided she was better off out of sight.

After spending some one-on-one time with her, we asked if we could foster her to see how she and Bella got along and to determine if we were a good fit for each other. Daisy practically sprinted through the parking lot and leaped into our car as soon as Rodney opened the door. She spent most of the first weekend hiding under a desk in the corner of our living room. Fortunately, she has adapted well during the past few weeks and has added new life to our home. Here are a few of the things that we have grown to love about Daisy:

• A Corgi/Dachshund mix, Daisy has one of the most beautiful coats. With long flowing hair, she looked similar to a very compact Golden Retriever when we got her. After getting her groomed, her undercoat now resembles that of a teddy bear.

• We think Daisy was most likely paper trained by her previous owner. She is housebroken and loves to go outside, but she does not enjoy putting her paws in the grass to tinkle. She will often choose to put only her front feet in the grass and leave the back half of her long body on the patio.

• Daisy obviously had her share of treats in her former life. She came to us with a few extra pounds and the most adorable little Corgi “cankles” that support her stocky body.

• When it comes to food, Daisy doesn’t mind quietly asking you to share. She will pop up in a meerkat stance in the most proper looking begging pose that I have ever seen.

• She is a loyal companion. Although she is still timid, Daisy has decided that Rodney, the only male in the house, is her person. When he left the house for work during her first week with us, Sophie and I were shocked when she walked around the house, threw back her head and let out the most sorrowful howls. Fortunately, the howling has dissipated, but she continues to follow Rodney from room to room.

• Daisy is an excellent watch dog. Unless you are Rodney, she will alert everyone when you walk in the door. On a daily basis, Sophie and I gently remind her that we live here, too.

After caring for an aging dog with special needs, we have developed a soft spot for senior dogs. Fortunately, it appears that our senior dog, Bella, is willing to share her home with another aging dog who eats her food, drinks her water and takes naps in her favorite bed.

Welcome home, Daisy. You are safe, you are loved and you make our hearts happy.