Today is Daisy's birthday and she is 14 years old. She has been an amazing dog. When we got her 14 years ago, I never thought she would live this long, especially at the pace she's usually going at.
Rick & Daisy enjoying a nap.
Armfuls of Daisy
She has always been a super high energy dog. She is a very good pheasant hunter, but she's always had difficulty working in close to us. We got really spoiled with Candy who always worked in close right between me and Rick and if she got too far out ahead, she would always stop and come back to us. Daisy is just the opposite -- we've always had to keep up with her. I guess that's the difference when you get a dog that's been bred specifically for hunting.
A few years ago we almost lost her. We were pheasant hunting in southwestern Minnesota and the day was dry with temps going into the 70's. Daisy was hunting really hard and then she collapsed. She just couldn't run anymore. Rick carried her back to the truck and we tried to get her to drink as much water as we could to get her rehydrated. On the way home when we stopped for a bathroom break, her urine was the color of blood. That's when I got really scared. We called the vet as soon as we got home and she came the next day to check Daisy. The bloody-colored urine was the result of over exertion and dehydration and cleared up in a couple days (no permanent kidney damage). However, the incident had damaged Daisy's heart and she has a heart murmur to this day. We still take her hunting, but for much shorter periods (a couple hours at the most) and also try to limit her activity level when it's really warm outside. She just doesn't know how to slow down!
She always had a good personality, but it took her a while to become the "people dog" that Candy was. Daisy wasn't much of a cuddler when she was younger, but she has become much more attached to us as she's gotten older (and especially after Candy died).
We think Sophie has been a big factor in keeping Daisy more youthful and active. They spend all their time together and even though Daisy hasn't been able to teach Sophie much about hunting, it's fun to see them out together in the field. They work especially well together when they're in hot pursuit of a streaked gopher or bunny in the yard.
We had a special birthday supper for Daisy with her own treat from John Hardy's Barbecue in Rochester. They love John Hardy's and as soon as they smell it when you walk in the door they just go crazy -- barking and running around. It was a lot of fun.
Yes, our pets are extremely spoiled, but we just love them to death and they love us right back. We are thankful for every healthy and happy day we have with them and hope for many more joyful years together.