Daisy’s Trip

Daisy’s Trip

From A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Daisy’s Trip

Daisy stood on Abe’s lap in the front of his faded blue truck. She licked his face. His fingers were buried in her neck.

“I’ve never seen Pop so happy,” said Peter Galan, Abe Galan’s son. “Since Mom passed away, that dog has been his life.”

And vice versa, evidently. Ten-year-old Daisy just completed Modesto’s version of The Incredible Journey, a tracking so amazing even dog experts marvel.

“Daisy tracked her master four miles to a place she had never been before, over a route that her master never walked.” It defied logic, but that didn’t mean a dog couldn’t do it.”

Daisy yaps. She’s half Chihuahua. She’s a soprano.

The journey began last Friday, when Daisy watched Abe’s children drive away with her master. They took him to Memorial Medical Center, where he was to undergo cancer surgery.

Another car came and carted Daisy to the house where Rachel, Abe’s daughter, lived. Daisy was supposed to stay with Rachel while Abe was away.

No one filled Daisy in on the plan.

The first night she never slept. She paced the floor and whined.

The second night, Rachel let Daisy sleep in the yard. Daisy spent the night digging. She tunneled out before dawn.

Rachel called all of the brothers and sisters at six-thirty in the morning and said, “My God, Daisy is gone.”

The extended Galan clan gathered at Rachel’s home and fanned out like soldiers.

They walked every step of the neighborhood, taping posters to all the poles. They scoured the street where their dad lived. They knew it would kill him if he lost that dog.

Darkness fell, and still no sign of Daisy.

Meanwhile, Memorial staff was mesmerized by a stray dog. Daisy just sat there by the emergency entrance, and every time the doors opened she’d run in. Someone would chase her out, and she’d turn around and run back in. For hours she did this, starting before dawn.

Employees considered calling the pound, like they do with other strays. But Daisy was different. She was clearly looking for someone. She even made it into the main hallway and was sniffing at the doors.

Paramedic Nina Torres took her to dispatch, where Lou Menton and her partner LaVonda Barker soothed her with a blanket and a Wendy’s hamburger. Then she just curled and slept.

Dispatch tried to page the master. “Will the owners of a light tan dog please come to security. . . .”

By six-thirty that night, another one of Abe’s daughters —Chris Hackler—made the long walk down Memorial’s hall to tell Dad the bad news.

He was coming home the next day. They had to let him know about Daisy. He went nuts when they told him. He tried to get out of bed to go look for her himself.”

Chris went out into the hall to compose herself and (as is her fashion) began telling her tale to whoever would listen. Good thing because a woman overheard her and said, “Hey, they’ve been paging all day for the owner of a lost dog.”

The woman went with Chris to call security, who called dispatch, who called the dog “Daisy” to see if it was a match.

Her ears shot right up.

A security guard told Chris she couldn’t bring a dog into the hospital, “but if I don’t see you do it, I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Chris wrapped Daisy in a blanket and carried her infant-style into the elevator. A man in the lift tapped her on the shoulder: “Pardon me. Your baby’s tail is showing.”

Chris told everyone on the elevator the Daisy saga, so everyone on the elevator had to get off with her and watch the reunion. Twenty people were in the hall when Chris handed Abe the bundle: “Dad, I have something for you.”

Daisy popped out like a showgirl.

Abe let out a yell, and Daisy started barking. The rest of them were crying like babies.

When Abe was well enough to return home, Daisy’s new friends gathered outside to bid them adieu. “We like it when things here at the hospital end happy,” Torres said as she planted a big kiss on Daisy’s wet nose.

Abe turned to the crowd outside his truck and waves.

Daisy licked her chops and beams. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and Daisy had done found her man.

Diane Nelson

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