Daisy the Rescue Dog, Month # 5

Just when I think I’ve turned a corner with my little Jack Russell, she does something to remind me that she had a life somewhere else with someone else before I brought her home.
My son was over helping me flip the rooms around so that my sister wouldn’t have to go up and down the step to the 70’s sunken family room. It was two days before she would be discharged from the rehab place after her bout with pneumonia.
We moved the piano to the dining room, the dining room to the family room, and the family room recliner and TV to the living room. My worker lady Kelly showed up with the newly cleaned rug and helped Nick with one end of the piano.
“As long as you’re here, would you help carry the dining room table down the step? I asked. “I’ve taken out the leaves.”
“Would you mind helping to slide the sofa bed down the wall?” I asked.
“Would it be okay if you helped carry the TV up the step?”
‘I wasn’t going to work today,” Kelly said, “just pick up your rug and bring it over.”
”I’ll pay you,” I said, desperate not to hurt my back again.
Nick and I had already walked the three dogs together after lunch, my two and his Chihuahua mix. The dogs were hanging out while I directed my son and Kelly in the furniture moving. Then out of nowhere, Daisy attacked the dog half her size. Kelly saw her go for Violet’s neck.
My son grabbed my Jack Russell and held her over his head.
“Take your dog,” he said.
I took Daisy and carried her to the bathroom, where I set her down and shut the door. She whined and cried but had to stay locked away from Violet. Daisy went out the doggie door and came around to the slider. She whined and barked.
“No!” I yelled every time she saw me through the screen. “You can’t pick on Violet!”
Nick got the TV, DVD player, cable box and router repositioned in the living room.
By then Kelly had left. I gave Nick some granola bars, grapes, Izzies, and flour tortillas as payment for his help. He took Violet and said good-bye. I walked down the hall and opened up the bathroom door. Daisy was still at the slider in the kitchen. She ran around the house, came in the dog door, and climbed up onto my chair.
“Tell me,” I asked, “why are you so bad?”
Daisy looked up at me with her sad brown eyes as if to say, “I know I am bad. I can’t help it. I’ve been through stuff.”
What happened to you, Daisy?
The week before, we’d been walking the two dogs in the green belt after the mother/son lunch. I had Daisy on a double leash. I would drop the leash and let her run a bit. Then I’d call her back with a treat. I did this half a dozen times, and each time she came back. After Nick and I walked the three-block hill and came back down to the green belt, he let Violet go to run in the grass. I let Daisy go again. She made a beeline for the sidewalk that crossed a busy street to the sister greenbelt on the other side.
“Daisy, come!” I called as I watched her dash down the path and across the road.
A woman with her dog was startled by the blur that is a loose Jack Russell. She let out a little scream. Then she saw the trailing leash and stepped into the road to stop traffic.
“Daisy, come!” I called from the hill above. Daisy looked at me, then looked at the path that led down to the creek. I could see the wheels turning in her head. One way was freedom and cold splashy water. The other way was back to confinement, food, and a lap.
“Daisy, come!”
The woman held up her hand to the cars while I kept calling my dog. Daisy made her decision, came running back across the road, and ran up the hill to me. I grabbed the leash and gave her a treat.
Yes, she ran away, but she came back. A treat for choosing to return to me.
“Thank you!” I called to the woman 100 yards away.
She waved and disappeared down the sidewalk.
I kept hold of the leash the rest of the way home.
Yesterday I went to put on the double-long leash and found three bite spots where it was almost chewed in half. It had fallen on the floor. Daisy, in her neurotic craziness, had ruined it.
Pepper, you have your faults, but you sure look mellow in comparison.
Maybe I should listen to the vet and get those doggie tranquilizers after all.

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