Shared by, Ealena Callender
I grew up with dogs and I knew that I would have one on my own as an adult. I kept thinking I would need to wait until I was married and had a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence. I had none of those things at the time. And, financially, I was barely making it. But I decided I didn’t want to wait. I wanted a dog in my life. I talked to my family and they agreed to support me and help in any way that I needed. She could spend the night at my parents’ house when I worked overnight. My sister lived close by and would walk her if I couldn’t get home in time.
I thought it would be fun to have a dog again. I had no idea what a blessing she would be to me. I had no idea that Daisy would essentially save my life. When God brought her to me, I was in a very stressful point in my medical training, had been through a very difficult relationship and was very depressed. Having more responsibility was probably not what you would think I needed. But it was exactly the right thing.
As hard as it may have been to get out of bed on my most depressed days, Daisy wouldn’t take no for an answer. She had to eat, she had to walk and she absolutely had to play. Daisy required my love and attention. I could no longer just focus on how bad I felt emotionally. I had another being who needed me and demanded by attention – in the cutest way. Daisy was adorable, rambunctious, energetic, curious, friendly and loving. I thought she would never run out of energy. Daisy needed me. And I needed her. Daisy made me laugh when I wanted to cry. Daisy made me feel hope when I felt hopeless. Daisy made me interact with the world when I wanted to stay inside by myself. And she helped me to see the world in a different way. On our walks, we explored every facet of our neighborhood. No longer just walking to get from point A to point B, Daisy helped me to really see what was around me and appreciate the beauty of the small things I might not have noticed without her.
Now, at 13 years old, Daisy is a very different dog. While her spirit is the same, her body is ailing. She has had two leg surgeries. She now has heart disease and kidney disease. She has cataracts and is hard of hearing. We move even more slowly on our walks – which are much shorter now. So much has changed. It is hard to watch her get old. Each time we go to the vet I wonder, “What’s next.” She needs help getting up and down the stairs, I have to give her medicine every day and she may pee in the house every now and then. But I’m willing to put in the work – to give back to her what she has given me. She is a gift from God. I am thankful for all that we’ve been through together. And I am thankful to God for every day that I have with her.