Daisy Springer SpanielIt is quite difficult for me to remember what year I brought my long awaited small ball of fluff home. Daisy was the runt of a working springer spaniel litter from a breeder in Withernsea, near Spurn Point in East Yorkshire.   I received regular photograph updates to show her progress, including a photo of her standing in the middle of the the shared puppy milk clearly trying to make up for being half the size of her brothers and sisters! She has always been a character with real strength which became  apparent after she collided with a pick up truck when she was let out of the front door where we lived at the top of a hill.  She then spotted Isaac, our middle son setting off down the hill on his skateboard.  Daisy thought it was a game and chased Isaac all the way down the hill but didn’t stop when Isaac did.  It was incredibly upsetting for Isaac to witness Daisy hit the truck.  The truck did not stop either.  Daisy was left on the road with her eye clearly damaged beyond repair unable to move.  She was bundled carefully into our car and immediately taken to the vet where they gave her a check over and put her on high pain relief.  She couldn’t walk, and her leg was assessed as severely nerve damaged.  Her hips were all broken, so she was pinned and plated, her eye was removed and sewn up, and then it was a waiting game to see if she would need her leg removed.  I gave her daily physiotherapy,  hourly care and many cuddles as she was unable to walk.  Taking her out to the toilet was difficult as I had to sling her back end in a towel so she could walk with her front legs.  After a few weeks, the vet checked her again and said that the nerves in her leg were reacting slowly and that meant that she would be able to keep all 4 legs.  Needless to say, it was a very difficult time.

During this time of recouperation a friend of a friend told me that she was having to rehome her 4 year old dog Keano to the Dog’s Trust because the council did not allow her to keep dogs. Personally, I would have moved house in order to keep a family member, but this was her decision. I had a (very quick) think, and agreed to adopt her.   Keano moved in and became Daisy’s sister and protector. She encouraged Daisy to move around which was good, and cuddled up to her at night.

Keano Dog in the GrassI think Daisy must be 7/8 and Keano 11/12 years old now.  Time has really moved on. I joined a Springer Spaniel forum online and had some amazing support from other spaniel owners who I did not even know personally.  A couple of owners even sent me donations to buy Daisy a special teddy and a bone!  There are some wonderful people in this world!  To look at Daisy you would never know she nearly had to lose a leg, obviously she has one eye, but she has adapted to life so well.  When she runs her tail rotates like a helicopter, I think this is because one back leg is much stronger than the other.  We love them both dearly, Keano is an old lady now, she has a grey muzzle and likes to sleep a LOT!  They are extremely sociable and love to meet new dogs and people, but probably would not like a burglar so much.

Daisy’s favourite thing to do when we go to the park is to squeak from the other end of the field to ask for the ball to be thrown.  She doesn’t ever actually retrieve the ball, but likes to be near the location where it will land so that she can have half a chance of catching it before Keano who runs after the ball and retrieves at as you would presume a dog would.  You can imagine Keano’s expression when Daisy catches the ball then runs into the undergrowth to hide it!  Daisy is a VERY messy dog, and will locate a bog/stagnant puddle from the other end of the field, she then runs for it, stands about in it, and then usually lies flat (very flat) into the murky water to encourage all of her fur to be covered!  She then emerges in dark brown bog dog sludge looking extremely pleased with herself!  All we can do is laugh, because she has never been any different.

Keano has just found a new lease of life since we have had wooden floors laid in our new extension.  She has a new game of hiding her tennis ball under her blankets, then pounces on the blanket after dragging it out of her bed to try to relocate it.  Once she has found it, she drops it up the hall way and runs to catch it, then when she is too tired to do that she lays on her back with the ball in her mouth break dancing!   She is a very tidy dog and does not like to stand in puddles.  She also dislikes standing still when we are out for a walk and starts to howl very loudly to make us move on. Dogs!!!