Daisy came into our lives one fateful day in August 2014. Following my partner’s dog dying of cancer, a fairly sizeable hole was left in our home. When Daisy arrived one evening with her foster parents, she was fat, filthy, wearing three different correctional collars and had fleas. My first impressions of her were terrible. She was unresponsive, stubborn and extremely hyper — with an insatiable prey drive — and she had major dog aggression. It was clear something terrible had happened to her in the past, and that she was suffering from PTSD when it came to other dogs. What more could one want from a pet? We obviously took her in.
The first six months were very difficult. She learned to open the fridge — and developed a real liking for salmon, micro greens and crème fraîche. More often than not, we would return home to find fecal matter in the living room, food strewn all over the house, and occasionally a very damp bed. We initially put this down to separation anxiety, but soon realized Daisy acted this way because she was an absolute bitch. She’d have my partner in tears on a daily basis, and there were many conversations about sending her back to the kennel or finding her a new home. However, the truth of the matter was that she was never going to find another home, and all roads would clearly have led to her being put down. It was around this point she developed the nickname of Rhianna, and we created an Instagram account for her that proclaimed she was a heartless, social-climbing L.A./London-based model.
After these initial six months, there was a defining moment when her antics and terrible attitude stopped annoying us and served only to amuse. I’d like to think this was the moment that she developed an iota of respect for us! Nowadays she is a much happier, calmer and more loving dog — partly due to the doggy Prozac, but mainly due to the healing powers of time. The most baffling thing for me in all of this is that we have loved her unconditionally throughout all of the crap she’s put us through. Dogs are widely recognized as man’s best friend, but I think it runs deeper; it’s something that I would struggle to put into words. Let’s put it this way: the more dogs I meet, the more I dislike humans.
There is no greater sadness for me than when I’m in a venue where the Wi-Fi is terrible and I can’t manage to FaceTime with her. Not that our conversations ever get any further than me smiling adoringly at her as she looks back at me with her resting bitch face, which has the ability to make anyone feel subhuman. Nevertheless, Daisy has taught me a lot about life and how perseverance and self-belief are some our greatest assets. Within the first two weeks of us moving back to the Hollywood Hills, she got skunked four times. She didn’t learn; she wants that skunk and she’s not going to stop until she gets it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty inspiring.
Daisy is my hero.
Kids are going to be so easy after this.