Daisy is gone.
Daisy is gone. Alive and well, but gone. I dropped her off at her veterinary hospital this morning, where the vet, the vet tech and two receptionists stood in the lobby, listened to me cry and welcomed my little dog back with words of care and concern.
If you’ve been following Daisy’s story you will know that Highland Park police officers found Daisy starving and near death, and brought her to Theresa Sumpter’s Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue. Theresa and her team get abandoned and abused dogs off the streets of Detroit; they are miracle-workers who extend kindness and medical help to neglected animals found on the edge.
Daisy (originally ‘Bristol’) almost didn’t make it. Her body was skeletal, and she could barely stand. I visited her at Center Line Veterinary Hospital while she was attached to an IV, undergoing medical care.
“People did this to her, “said Theresa. “Wild dogs live off grass. She’s had nothing to eat.”
The emaciated pup tottered into my lap, looked at me with trust and licked my chin. She thumped her tail and settled down with exhaustion. I could feel her knobby hip bones, count her ribs, and see every single vertebrae. Her human had failed her…I could do better.
And I did — with boiled chicken, rice and broth; with puppy chow snacks; with a special mattress for her painful bones, and with a soft blankie she called her own. When she wasn’t eating (or frantically trying to find more to eat), Daisy spent most of her time in our laps, soaking up love and attention. She followed us like a baby duck, and wriggled in happiness when we talked to her or scratched her belly.
I expected this dog to come to me with trauma, but I was unprepared for everything she brought with her from the street.
Last night Daisy attacked my older dog, Fig. Thankfully, Fig was in her crate. I had learned to go slow in helping Daisy and Fig develop a relationship, and the crates helped them get used to each while they took turns having the run of the house — and my attention.
What caused sweet Daisy to ferociously batter her healing body against the sides of Fig’s crate, for what seemed like forever? Daisy was crazed; she barked and growled, hurling herself at the wire, biting though a blanket thrown over the top, rapidly circling the crate to find a way in, ignoring us — ignoring blankets and pillows we threw over her — ignoring our voices — even ignoring her beloved chicken. Daisy wasn’t with us, and we couldn’t stop the attack. In her blind fury she entered her own crate, and we slammed the door shut.
Was Daisy determined to get rid of a dog she saw as an impediment to our total attention and to her own survival?
Was Daisy used as a bait dog in her previous life, and thrown away as a one year-old has-been?
Fig is fine; understandably she is a little jumpy. The attack was inexplicable, and terrifying to witness. Fig will recover, Daisy will not.
What person took an extraordinarily sweet-natured puppy and trained it to hurt another dog? Canines are domestic animals, they are dependent upon us for food, care and socialization. Daisy’s first human failed her many times over…and I had to admit, for the safety of my household, we couldn’t live with what I couldn’t fix.
“I promise you we will find her another home — one without animals,” the vet told me this morning. “She will not go back on the street.”
Daisy was unafraid; she knew these people and they were kind. I put her sleek, soft little body on the floor (she had filled out on non-stop chicken!) and watched her trot down the hall toward the kennel on her pink leash, terrier ears up, eyes bright and loving.
The remaining staff members looked at me with sympathy.
“She looks good,” the vet nodded. “You did a good job.”
And maybe that was my part to play? Maybe for each human who fails an animal, or a child or our planet, maybe it takes a team to help repair the hurt.
Daisy had the kind police officers, Theresa and her Pit Crew Rescue volunteers, and the caring veterinary hospital staff on her side. She had the support of my family, and the power of Facebook friends and followers who sent her prayers and encouraging wishes.
Briefly, she had me.
Have a good life, Daisy. I hope somehow you know your team is right behind you ♥