Longing for a Long Lost Childhood Pet

dog5The dog experiment has officially failed.  Daisy, the dog temporarily known as Mae, is back in the shelter in Michigan awaiting an x-ray of her back right leg. Daisy just wasn’t meant to be my family’s dog.

For the three days we had Daisy, we learned that she likely had very little human interaction before we drove her to Indiana. She was completely untrained. She didn’t know the command “sit” or “heel” or “come here.” She only knew the command “shut-up.”

She was also likely beaten by a man at some point in her life. She preferred the girls in the house and followed Addie and Vivi wherever they went. As I began training her with basic commands, she started to obey me, but she cowered in fear whenever I touched her or gave her a command. Whenever I bent to pat her head or her back, she would tuck her tail between her legs and shake. She didn’t exhibit any of that behavior or fear when the girls pet her.

The only times she was really happy to be with me over the girls was when I took her for walks and jogs. Even then she wasn’t completely happy because I noticed she wouldn’t use her back right leg very often when running (hence the upcoming x-ray).

This dog has had a sad seven years of life and I was really hoping we could be the family to give her a better life.


We did everything the experts told us to do in introducing the cats to the dog, but it just wasn’t going to work. After Wink nearly lost his life when Daisy learned that a door wasn’t completely shut, Casey decided to ask the vet what we should do about the problem.

The vet told Casey that because cats hadn’t been introduced into Daisy’s life early enough, her instinct to hunt the little critters would never leave. It couldn’t be trained out of her and our cats would always be at risk of losing their lives while Daisy was roaming free in the house.

Nobody wants a dead Wink, so the decision was made to take Daisy back to the shelter in Michigan.

It was a long sad drive up to Michigan and it was even sadder when I had to hand Daisy over to the workers at the shelter. They didn’t pause to let me say goodbye to Daisy or to explain why she had to find a different family, they just put a rope around her neck and walked her into the backroom where all the yappy dogs were stuck behind their cage doors.

As Casey and I talked on our way home about what we should do next, I told her we were going to take a break for a while.

I’m not a fan of all dogs, because I’m not what you’d call a dog person. I’m not interested in owning a Collie, or a Retriever, or a Springer Spaniel. It’s not that I don’t like those dogs or think anything bad about them; I just don’t have much interest in owning any of them. I don’t look at pictures of dogs and think oh, how cute. However, when I look at German Shorthaired Pointer dogs, I’m reminded of my childhood dog, Coco, and memories of my happy childhood are brought to the forefront of my mind.

What I’ve learned from this whole experience is that I don’t know if anyone ever really gets past the loss of their favorite childhood pet, and maybe this whole search for a dog has been my collateral attempt at getting some more time with my long lost dog. Because there were moments while jogging next to Daisy when she’d glance over at me and give me the same look as Coco used to give me with those same brown eyes  as we played in my childhood backyard.

My dog Coco.

Truth is, it was really difficult when I lost each of my three childhood dogs and losing Daisy wasn’t easy either, and I don’t know if I want to have to go through that again.

So for now we’re going to take a step back and spend time with each other as a family and see if things change in the future.

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More on Babble Dad:

A Dog’s First Day Living with Cat Owners

The Many Expressions of Vivi

10 Things I Miss Most About my Daughters When We are Apart

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