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D is for ...

Wow, this is a tough one because the word that immediately comes to mind for the letter D is Dad. But I just don’t think I’m ready yet.

So instead, today D is going to be for Daisy the Dog!

My husband and I had just finished a wonderful meal at an Argentinean restaurant. It was one of those rare occasions when we actually succeeded at going out on a ‘date night.’ We were both feeling hopeful as I neared the end of the sixteen chemo treatments required in my journey with breast cancer. I was bald, thin and tired…but hopeful.

We took a short stroll in the strip mall before heading back to the car. That’s when I saw her. In the window of a doggie day care shop, there was a large litter of sweet, little rescue puppies. I think they were a mix of chihuahua, pincher and terrier.

I stopped to watch them. They all looked so happy, running around playing with each other. But there was one with a droopy right ear that caught my eye. She stopped playing long enough to look up at me. Her eyes were adorable and she seemed so snuggly. I decided I wanted to go meet her.

Let me back up.

We’d talked about getting a dog several times before. My husband was never a ‘dog’ person. (Although that’s not what he told me on our first date.) But I guess he really liked me because eventually he came to love my dog, Sparkles. She’d helped me through my twenties and into my thirties- as I learned my own value and stepped into the strong, powerful woman I was meant to be. She was my best friend. Tried and true. Always there for me. She lived long enough to see my heart’s dream come true, when, after so many disappointments, I gave birth to our first son. About six months later, after fifteen and a half years together, she sensed it was safe to leave me.

But since then, life seemed too busy for a dog. And honestly, I didn’t believe another dog could ever fill the empty space that Sparkles left.

Still there was something about that dog in the window. I looked to my husband with my own puppy eyes, “Can we just go inside to look?” He was trapped. He knew entering that shop meant much more than

‘looking,’ but, always wanting to please me, he agreed.

Beyond the normal adorable puppy things, (that dang puppy breath and their cute, tiny little paws!) this dog had something else going on that drew me to her. She had lots of puppy energy while playing with her friends. But once she was in my arms, she calmed and settled in right next to my heart. She then looked up at me like she was home. I was a goner.

We’d call her Daisy- mostly because we couldn’t decide on another name that seemed suitable. The other names being tossed around, Toff, Ang, and Katara, didn’t seem to fit her. (Yep, we were deep into “Avatar the Last Airbender.”)

Surprisingly, making her way into our family wasn’t easy at first. To be more accurate, it wasn’t easy for me. My chemo treatments left me really depleted, so I wasn’t able to give her the attention she deserved. Luckily, my parents offered to care for her for a while, which was a great solution because this also allowed her the opportunity to socialize with other dogs. More concerning was the fact that I found myself resistant to opening up to loving her wholeheartedly. I wasn’t sure if I was still holding on to memories of my Sparkles or if it was just all the stuff I’d gone through over the past year, cluttering my mind and my heart.

But Daisy was patient. She continued to cuddle up next to me, give me space when I needed, and encouraged me to keep moving on our daily walks. Slowly but surely she was inching her way into my heart. And eventually, I let down my guard and allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to open to loving our Daisy.

Our boys had no problem welcoming Daisy into our family. They fell in love with her immediately. Four years later and our older son now talks to her through zoom calls from college. And our younger son, who wasn’t one to express emotion in the past, has opened up, showing affection in a way he’d never before. Even my husband has embraced Daisy, (although he will only begrudgingly admit this,) taking her on her evening walks and even allowing her to sleep in our bed…as long as she doesn’t creep into his space.

So no big insights being revealed through this D blog. Just a story about a dog named Daisy and the love she has brought into our lives. She shares it through a wag, a tip of her head, or a snuggle. And we just can’t imagine our lives without her.

That’s our Daisy.

In loving,



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