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Brian Hamilton: Everybody loves Daisy

Spoiled rotten?

Do you, or someone you know, have the most spoiled pet in Western Nevada County?

Share your favorite photo and tell us why in 100-200 words at http://www.TheUnion.com/petscontest for a chance to have your pet featured in The Union. The contest is open through March 31.

Be sure to come back and vote April 1 through April 11.

It’s the same each time we pull into the parking spot.

“Hon,” she says, “Please, remember, they really don’t want to hear about Daisy.”

“Got it,” I reassure her, patting her hand and nodding in agreement … with no clue what I’m actually thinking: “But, of course, they do! They just don’t know it yet.

“Everybody loves Daisy!”

These days, the cute lil lab/cane corso mix that once snuggled at our feet now has us sleeping in some seriously twisted positions …

It’s true. I swear. Whether sharing with friends over dinner, talking to colleagues in the office, or even while leading a field trip in the newsroom, anyone who hears them seems absolutely enthralled by the adventures of our Daisy Mae.

“They’re just being polite,” she says. “You really have no idea how ridiculous you sound.”

Maybe not. Fair enough. But she wasn’t the one holding the leash in Truckee a few weeks ago, when we walked across the parking lot and spotted a slew of Forest Charter School students out at recess.

“Hey guys!” one boy shouted. “Look! It’s Daisy! … Daisy! From the Sierra Sun!”

Just as I’d expected, after listening intently to me ramble on about the history of the Sierra Sun, and the newspaper industry in general — talk about just being polite! — I knew Daisy had stolen the show, when the kids insisted she had to be in the group photo at the end of the field trip. (And, seriously, just look at how she slightly tilted her head at the moment the photographer called her by name! I mean, have you ever seen anything so cute? Who’s a good girl? Yes, you are!)

OK, after that last sentence, maybe my wife is onto something.

But, rest assured, I’m no worse than the rest of you ridiculous animal lovers!

Last week, The Union launched a contest to see who has the most spoiled pet in Nevada County. And though I wondered whether we should postpone such a frivolous feature with all that’s going on right now, our team said it would give folks something fun amidst a lot of bad news. And sure enough, they were right. No fewer than 35 people have entered their dog or cat — or parrot — in the contest, by submitting a photo and 100-200 words why their pet is the most spoiled in all of western Nevada County. Nominees are welcome through March 31 — at TheUnion.com/petscontest — with reader voting set to run April 1-11 to find the winner. (And don’t worry, Daisy is not eligible to enter. So, what I’m telling you is that there is still a chance.)

It wasn’t quite a year ago that our boy Shadow — a 10-year-old lab/great dane mix who loved to give hugs by leaning every bit of his 100-plus pounds into you — started limping around on three paws. We thought maybe it was a sprain, or perhaps a fracture after a week or so. But … it was bone cancer. And within a couple weeks, after many tears and kisses goodbye, our home was suddenly without a pup for the first time.

We thought were OK with that, until Daisy’s face popped up weeks later on our Facebook feed.

Through the years we’ve always had two dogs, as it seemed to make sense they’d keep each other company and the older dog would show the new pup the ropes, but also all their bad habits. Now, though, we had a fresh start with Daisy. And from potty training to obedience classes, she’s done quite well — even though she’s been absolutely spoiled rotten.

I think it was her second night of yelping in the crate that we couldn’t stand the thought of her being afraid, away from her brother and sister pups for the first time. We gave in.

These days, the cute lil lab/cane corso mix that once snuggled at our feet now has us sleeping in some seriously twisted positions (Remember doing can-openers or cannonballs into the pool? Yeah kinda like that). We’re working on fixing that now — both the back pain and the sleeping arrangements.

Maybe it’s because she’s an “only child” or maybe because I’m getting older and more sentimental — my wife says I’ll make a good grandpa — but I can see we’ve spoiled our own “kid” and are now paying for it.

If the “diaper bag” I drag along on our weekly trips to Truckee — food, treats, blanket, bone, leash and “Lamby” (her favorite stuffed animal, of course) — isn’t a dead giveaway, the “Sleeps with Dogs” pillow on our bed or the full weekly reports I offer to my wife and daughter on Daisy’s day in Truckee certainly should be.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized they were just mocking me, acting as though they were interested in listening but actually just having a few laughs at the expense of a doting dad.

“Fine,” I said. “Be that way. I won’t share anymore stories with you two.”

“Nooooo!” my wife insisted. “We do want to hear about Daisy’s day.”

And there you have it. See what I mean? As I said from the top, and I’m sure she wasn’t just “being polite,” everybody wants to hear about Daisy.

Contact Editor Brian Hamilton at bhamilton@theunion.com or 530-477-4249.


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