Daffodil Doodle, August 28 2008 - March 6 2023

Daffy in a reflective moment. Daffy came to live with us on January 9, 2010. She'd been listed on Craig's List VT on December 25; her family realized they could not manage this 15-month-old hyperactive bundle of crazy; there was a 24" snowstorm on the 24th; they had a new baby and little kid and a little house. They couldn't give the kids away, could they?

After a couple of potential re-homes decided that she was too much to handle, the owner offered to let us take "Bella," as she was then called. I drove up to St. Albans on the coldest day of the winter to get her. She was barricaded in their tiny kitchen with no toys, no bed, nothing to chew on. She sported a spiked collar which gave me a clue about how they controlled her. I loaded this neglected, terrified, confused animal into my car. The 3-hour trip home took 4.5 hours, stopping at every rest area to clean the poop out of the back of my car, and walk her around to poop some more. There was a lot of poop in that dog.

By the time we reached Athens, she had a new name - Daffodil - she was feeling a little better, and she had finished pooping. When we went into the house she ran around, sniffed everything, immediately fell in love with Sam, and claimed possession of the Dog Couch (it was Woofie's previously).
She was home.

That was a Saturday; by Tuesday we were at Puppy Kindergarten class. Daffy remained scared of the car that I had used to dog-nap her, so whenever we went anywhere for weeks I had to physically load her into the car. We went to a 6-week session of Puppy Class. Mostly Daffy just got used to being around other dogs. We immediately signed up for Puppy Kindergarten again, and this time she learned the basics. Sit, Stay, Off, No, Wait, Down. She never really learned Come.

She came to us virtually unsocialized, having left her litter as a baby, no contact with other dogs until she came to us. Our neighbors' Cairn Terrier, Molly, gave Daffy lessons on how to be a dog: Porcupines 101, Basic How-to-dig-up-stuff, Remedial Run-around-and-get-dirty. Later on, Levi, a Beagle-Basset-Jack Russell-and-maybe-other-stuff-mix, gave her more advanced classes in Don't-bother-me and How-to-be-dog-friends.

The NoseOur place was perfect for a dog who needed a lot of space to run around, a comfy place to sleep, and toys to play with and chew up. Daffy made friends quickly - with everybody. She was a real people person; she even loved going to the vet. She never really got to love the car, though, so she lived most of her life on our hill, romping in the woods, looking out for the property, chasing the chipmunks.

At first I brought Daffy to work with me at Doug Cox's violin studio, but she kept escaping and discovered that the neighbors had chickens! They run away from you, clucking and flapping! What fun! So that didn't work after a while. After her first year with us, she stopped barking at the ice maker, the clothesline, the garden cart, anything that she thought was out of place or threatening, once she realized that those things belonged.

Daffy delighted in stealing toys from the neighbors, stealing socks from us, and at first, stealing a pancake off the kitchen counter. With the toys and socks she would parade around the house with the contraband in her mouth, and would only release it if offered something even better - a treat perhaps, or a better toy, or a tennis ball.

BoingingDaffy was a true companion. She loved nothing better than to be wherever you were, whether it was tromping around in the woods or lying on the couch. When anyone was in the pond, that's where she'd go, whether you liked it or not; if she was in the house or on the porch, she'd know you were in the pond, and she'd bark until you weren't.

Visitors were greeted with barking and sniffing, and wild romping when appropriate. It didn't matter to Daffy whether they were invited or not, welcome or not, it was always time for a party if anyone showed up, regardless of why. Delivery trucks, snowplows, graders, lost tourists, all were greeted with the same enthusiasm. Don't like dogs, especially big dogs? Too bad. She liked you.

Daffy didn't mellow as she aged, but in the last few years she became less agile. We put traction pads on the stairs, to help her navigate on the way down; in the last year or two we had to barricade the stairs so that she would not go up, because she couldn't successfully go down. We started walking her on leash because she would over-romp and then be unable to walk; we changed her food several times to find what she liked and would eat. We pampered her every way we could think of.

We hoped she could live long enough to see the Spring come, and go for walks in the woods again, and even have some summertime, but it was not to be. Her tail stopped wagging, she stopped eating, and it became clear that she was leaving us. I don't know when I have been so sad.

What a very good dog she was.

Beautiful Daffy