It’s been eighteen months since I adopted Daisy. The day after Christmas, 2017, I went out and got my dog Pepper a dog. Pepper has looked at me sideways many times since that fateful decision.
Why did you get a Jack Russell?
Why did you get this Jack Russell?
Why does she growl at me? I’m bigger, stronger, and younger.
Why is she still here?
What do you mean she gets to sleep in your bed? I don’t even get to sleep in your bed!
Why does she always have to get your lap?
Tell me again why you need two dogs.
But this morning they played as I was getting ready. They know when my shoes go on, I am either going to leave or am getting ready to take them on a walk. While they were waiting they romped around, biting each other playfully on the mouth.
On the 4th of July, I hurried home from my date. I couldn’t find Daisy. But while sitting in my recliner I heard a noise behind me. A mouse? Nope, it was the Jack Russell hiding from the neighborhood fireworks behind my chair. She is not a fan.
When I went to bed that night, she hid in my closet. Later, after I had been asleep for awhile, she jumped up on the bed and burrowed under the top quilt.
The next night more fireworks. She crawled under the bed and stayed there for a while.
As labs go, Pepper is laid back. As terriers go, Daisy is bred to kill. She stalks squirrels, birds, rats, anything that moves. I found an intact rat in the yard one day. Daisy had shaken it to death and left it for me to find.
Today she got out and ran to her favorite clump of native grasses in the front yard. Something lives under that clump, and Daisy is determined to get it. So far, she hasn’t had any luck, but not for lack of trying.
I often tell her when she has done something bad, like try to run me over while I am heading out to the yard or accidentally biting my finger, “No, I am not going to give you back, even though I want to.”
She pulls like a sled dog, she eats like she’s been starved, and she scratches my bare legs when I get home, so excited that I have returned. When I try to pet her she either shies away or stays tense. Someone has done her wrong. She hates noise, trucks, lawn mowers, bicycles, skateboards strollers, men with beards and riding in the car.
She is too damaged of a girl to survive another rejection. She has been surrendered, adopted, and surrendered again.
Twice is enough. We are stuck with each other.
She needs us.