• Charles A. Smith

A special dog



This true story, “A special dog,” was submitted to me by one of the visitors to insightofcaring.com. Pets (especially dogs and cats) are an important element for expressing our caring and receiving the benefits of their devotion.

Do you have a story that illustrates the power of caring? I'd love to hear from you. You can send me a message here or send it to my email address at casmith@ksu.edu.

When I was little, I wanted a dog… a special dog; one that would follow me everywhere and sleep in my bed. I wanted to teach my dog tricks. I wanted a buddy to be a part of my adventures… one of those smart dogs like Old Yeller.

At age four I began to beg.

“Mom… can I have a dog?”

“Absolutely not!”

“Oh, please. I really want a dog.”

“The answer is no.”

“But there’s no one for me to play with.”

“Sorry.”

“Please … I’ll clean my room everyday if you let me have a dog … pleeeease!”

This went on and on… until at age six, my mother said OKAY!

I named my new pup Daisy. A yellow Labrador retriever, she was the golden color of a cornfield at harvest.

Daisy lived in a pen outside, and would greet me every morning, wagging her tail. We played together all summer.

School started up again, and a long winter passed.

By next summer, Daisy was full-grown. Although she was short for a lab, she weighed a good seventy pounds. Daisy would jump all over me. If I wasn’t looking, Daisy would catch me from behind and knock me to the ground. Mom said, “Just tell her ‘NO’ when she jumps on you. Make her obey.”

But Daisy was not an obedient dog. She wouldn’t come when I called her, and she never learned to heel. “Fetch-the-stick” was a very short game. Daisy was good at fetching, but she would never give up the stick.

I liked to go fishing in our pond. Labs are supposed to be good swimmers who love the water, but not Daisy. Being in water over her head frightened her. Mom made me wear a life vest at the pond. She said we couldn’t count on Daisy to save me if I fell in.

Daisy was a nice dog, but I was disappointed that she had not turned out to be the kind of dog I had dreamed of. She wasn’t like Benji or Lassie. Daisy just wasn’t that special.

Years passed. I got older, taller, and stronger. Daisy got older, fatter, and weaker. She developed white hairs around her muzzle. She moved more slowly, and sometimes with pain.

One Saturday morning, Mom made me get out of bed and take Daisy for a walk. At twelve years of age, she didn’t come bounding out of her house to greet me anymore, but I could tell by the steady wag of her tail that she was happy to see me.

We headed off, and about a mile later reached a spot with lots of trees. Daisy went on ahead to get a drink from a nearby stream.

I was enjoying the early morning chatter of birds when I saw a young fawn taking tiny steps out of the trees. I couldn’t believe my luck to see such a sight only twenty yards away. But my joy came to an end when I heard grunting and crashing noises near the fawn. Suddenly, a large doe burst on the scene. She was glaring at me, and savagely snorting her distress at my being so near. She charged a few steps towards me, stopped, then charged again. I couldn’t move. I was frozen to the spot.

Up close, deer are big. You can see their powerful muscles and sharp dangerous hooves.

My heart was pounding when now, only ten yards away, the angry doe charged at me again.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a streak of yellow. It was Daisy. She planted herself directly between the deer and me. With short legs spread, fur raised on her back, and teeth showing, Daisy made it plain that the deer would have to deal with her before me.

It was enough for the doe. She turned, and with huge leaps, sprang back into the trees, followed by the small fawn.

For a long minute I didn’t even move. When I could finally relax, I dropped down on my knees and called to my dog. Daisy turned and came over to me. I threw my arms around her neck saying, “Good girl, Daisy…good girl. You are a very special dog!”

I don’t know why I ever thought she wasn’t.

#pets #devotion

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My email:

casmith@ksu.edu

My location: 

Olathe, Kansas