Stephanie Weaver and Daisy May
Stephanie and Bob lost their first Golden Retriever, Buddy Girl, to hemangiosarcoma when she was 11. Her sudden decline shocked them. Buddy Girl was the first dog they had as adults, and her loss left the couple bereft.
Sadly, in the 18 months after Buddy Girl’s death, Stephanie and her husband suffered the deaths of seven more family members, making the loss of their Golden—and her emotional support—even more difficult.
As part of her grieving process, Stephanie, who is a writer, had begun collecting stories about Buddy Girl to share on her blog. Eventually, her stories about Buddy Girl and their new puppy, Daisy, evolved into a very personal book about grieving and starting over. Daisy, who is now 2, was named for her sunny-little-flower personality, which Stephanie says suits her to a ‘T.’
Stephanie heard about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and enrolled Daisy at the earliest opportunity. Stephanie, who has a master’s degree in public health, is impressed with the far-reaching implications of the study and the richness of data being collected. She hopes the research will provide great insights into many aspects of canine health, far beyond cancer. What kind of food is best? Does it matter what sort of bowl you use? Will a certain level of exercise provide a protective effect?
As a study participant, Daisy does her part to raise awareness, too. Stephanie trained Daisy for hospital therapy work, and the Golden Retriever frequently wears her Morris Animal Foundation colors to the hospital.
Daisy’s sweet, gentle temperament is perfectly suited for hospital therapy work, although she had to work hard to overcome her skittishness and fears: big things, tall things, loud things, water and riding in the car.
Although Daisy still doesn’t love riding in the car, and runs and hides when she hears the car harness, she now does great in public, riding on elevators and even tolerating the noise of garbage trucks. The only time she barks is during playtime, when her friend Willa won’t play with her. Stephanie knows that if Daisy is alone in the backyard and starts barking, it’s because she’s trying to get a bee or a butterfly to play with her.
Daisy’s cheerful personality certainly brightens up life for Stephanie and Bob—and her contribution to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will also help to brighten the future for all dogs.
To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.