Posted by: chapmaar | September 27, 2010

For Daisy

Today I returned home from a magical week traversing Yakushima island with my best friend Bridget Snow and adventure soulmate David Abramovitz. I was greeted in Kanonji by pouring rain and a letter from my mom letting me know that my beloved dog, Daisy, died sometime last week. I want to share my photos and happy memories of my amazing adventure in southern Japan, but first I need to pay tribute to the dog that was my best friend and constant companion for the last six years.

daisy dog

I once read that you never really grow up until your mother dies. I’ve also heard it said many times that no parent should outlive their child. Right now, these sayings have little meaning to me or my situation. The knowledge is raw – shock. Those are just things I know people say about the significance of death.

People who didn’t know my dog Daisy might think it callous or insensitive for me to even suggest some correlation between her death and the devastating loss of a parent. Those who knew us would understand it immediately.  Daisy was the most reliable friendship in my life the last six years. I cared for her, worried about her, and loved her as my baby and my best friend. She also showed me an incredible way to approach life. Her smile, her wagging tail, the long pink tongue that lolled for days out of her big open mouth.

“There were days, so many days,” I told my sister on the phone tonight, “so many times this happened, that it began to become a habit.” I would be in a bad mood, I wouldn’t want to do something, I would feel myself starting to get bitchy. And then I would think about Daisy. How no matter what we were doing, where I was going, she was alert, excited, ready to go. She didn’t know what was up, or what was going to happen, but she was so frickin ready to get out there!!! Her tail dotted the exclamation points, again! Yay – again! Yay! Again! This is the best most fun day in the world!!!! This was true whether it was a long drive through Walla Walla wheat fields, central oregon’s high deserts, or the winding forest road to the beach; whether it was for a run around Mill Creek, a swimming race through tall green wheat, a frolic in a snowey meadow, a crashing joyous hurdling through Oregon forest underbrush, a sprint down the hard sandy stretch of the Cannon, Sauvie, or George Rogers Park Beach.

Thinking about how Daisy approached life inspired me. My tongue would swing to the right corner of my mouth. I would smile, and my whole attitude would change. In this way, Daisy has made my life immeasurably better. Daisy loved life, she was excited to live it, she wanted to chase and smell and explore it all. I can only hope that I will always remember her energy, and try to continue to preserve it in my life even though she’s gone.

What follows is a photo tribute to the dog that changed my life, and, I know, the life of so many of my friends as well (her sisters/aunts/second mommas in The Wasteland are one recent example). It occurs to me, as I think of the people that I imagine Daisy influenced, that you can’t really have known me, or loved me, without knowing Daisy, and at least acting like you loved her too. Her presence in my friendships and relationships turned ordinary friendships into families, packs. To all who knew her, I hope you can take a moment to remember at least one moment that Daisy made you smile, or that her wagging tail brightened your day. I feel so thankful for every second of my life I got to spend with her, and I know that even though she’s gone, I will love her forever.

driving to the beach with the D dog

the infamous tongue

ball!!!! sandy ball!!! how daisy spent most of her life - dreaming about or actually playing ball

daisy face

how daisy spent another good portion of her life - running, or walking, along with me. running adventure buddies forever.

daisy catching snowballs

a well trained pup sitting for her snowball

good catch!

daisy with her BDFF (best dog friend forever), Jack

I feel this next photo sequence really captures our everyday friendship, and how in tune daisy and I were with each other. Every morning would start off with a simple snuggle - Daisy was for sure the best dog at spooning I've ever seen. Notice how she lets you get the arm AND the leg over.

then, while i'm still trying to be tender, daisy starts in with the mouthing

and then, she starts to get that crazy look in her eye, and before you know it - Crazy Daisy!!

Growl!

from there, there's only one escape - a really vigorous belly rub, to calm the beast

daisy knew how to get a lot of things. she was the life of the party and always managed to get the best seat on the sofa.

my impression of the daisy face

From there, there’s not much to say. I’ll leave you with a video of Daisy frolicking at her favorite place on earth – Cannon Beach, Oregon. I wish I could have taken her there before she died, but I’m thankful that me and my mom got to spend one last great weekend with her there before I left for Japan. Rest in Peace my little Daisy Dogg. You have been so so so so loved, and I will miss you every day.

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