Our 13-year-old Pekingese, Daisy, was given six months to live by our vet. That was three years ago. As of this writing, Daisy is alive and eating everything in sight, including the cat's food whenever she can. We call her our little "Energizer bunny" because she keeps right on ticking, and thank the good Lord for that!

Daisy has congestive heart failure (just like me), and now she has only one eye -- she lost the other one in a dispute with our Beagle, Buffy, over food. We suspect Daisy got so upset with Buffy that her eye "popped" out. That can happen to a Pekingese, I've read.

Since then, Daisy has also been successfully treated for an abscess in her remaining eye, but unfortunately, she is pretty much totally blind now. She's also very deaf. We have to yell for her and tap the floor to get her attention.

I know it doesn't sound like Daisy's quality of life is good, but she still seems to be enjoying life. And she loves her humans ... and Buffy ... with every ounce of her being. When I come home from work, she follows me everywhere. Part of that is because she, of course, wants a treat. But she also lets me know that she's glad I'm home. Her little tail pops up, and I swear she smiles.

Although Daisy is still able, for the most part, to get around the house without her sight, she sometimes gets confused. Often when she wakes up from a nap, she is disoriented, and on her way to her water bowl, she'll walk straight into a table leg or a wall. Sometimes, she just stands in a corner waiting for one of us to come to her aid. It breaks my heart when she seems so lost and confused. I will pick up her then and put her down in front of her water bowl so she can drink.

I like to pick Daisy up and sit with her in my lap. I hold her close and nuzzle her. I want her to know I'm there, that she's not alone and that I love her, and I can tell she understands by the look on her face.

We would never allow Daisy to suffer, and we believe she will let us know when it's time for her to go. I pray she goes gently in her sleep.

When that time comes, our home will be so much emptier. Daisy is the heart of it. Even now whenever she's taken to a vet's appointment, Buffy wanders around the house whimpering for her Daisy.

I don't understand why dogs and cats don't live as long as humans do. 

They are with us for far too short a time.

Contact the writer: cbarker@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5525.


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