Today on the blog, meet the fabulous Daisy! Daisy came to our hospital on referral from her primary care veterinarians at Arguello Pet Hospital, in order to get a second evaluation of her heart prior to going under anesthesia for surgery.
Below, Daisy’s human companion Minette shares more about this 14-year-old beauty. We appreciate Minette’s taking the time to write Daisy’s story and share the pictures with us. It was our honor to be a part of Daisy’s veterinary care team, and we are so happy her dental surgery at Arguello went well!
All About Daisy!
In March 2000, when I finally felt ready to care for a dog of my own, I started my search for a female Maltese puppy. When I took Daisy home at 12 weeks old, I assumed I was getting a “foo foo” prim passive lapdog. The joke was on me when I soon discovered that Daisy was the opposite of “foo foo” 🙂 Daisy was a scrappy, feisty, overly curious, and highly independent “big dog in a little body.” And a definite “alpha dog” and pack leader. Daisy considered ME to be the more passive “foo foo” member of her pack. Daisy was fearless and territorial and would bravely face off with a Rottweiler or a Mastiff to protect me (or to rule the street). When Daisy was still a puppy, she once confronted an actual burglar who was breaking into my office downtown, and she scared the burglar so badly that he returned my purse and phone that he had stolen and apologized to me!
The softer, sweeter side of Daisy would come out in quiet times, showing affection to me and my family and friends. And uniquely with children. Daisy would allow (endure) little children to pick her up and carry her around in the most lopsided, uncomfortable positions, and she would never flinch or complain. It always touches my heart to watch Daisy with children. Once a year at Christmas time, Daisy dons huge feathered angel wings and marches in the Redwood City “Hometown Holiday Parade” and blesses the children on the sidelines who scream out “Angel Dog!!!” as if she were a celebrity.
I am a photographer, so I taught Daisy from puppyhood onward how to pose for photos with props and hats and costumes. She became accustomed to being frequently photographed in amusing get-ups. I swear that she is a canine “supermodel” who knows how to smile for the camera and come up with various “poses” and positions of her own.
When not barking at dogs 10 times her size, or modeling hats and fashions, or marching down Main Street in a parade, my Daisy loves these activities:
- more eating
- rolling around in grass in a park
- running up and down the hallway in our apartment building to fetch soft stuffed toys in exchange for treats
- napping with her head propped/draped over stuffed animals … or sometimes draped over my shoes!
- taking car rides and car trips
- exploring new places and spaces
- going shopping with me inside her carry bag
- going to movies with me in the carry bag
- sneaking into restaurants with me and being totally quiet in the carry bag (knowing I’ll slip her treats)
- flying in planes (under the seat) to visit pet-loving relatives in Florida and New York
- swimming in the pool in Florida
Through the years, Daisy lost most of her teeth (a weak physical trait in Maltese) and by 2012 – when Daisy was 12 years old – she only had four canine teeth and one molar left. That year, Daisy’s vet diagnosed a heart murmur. Her littermate brother was also diagnosed, and he sadly passed away from congestive heart failure in 2013 at age 13. My fears about Daisy’s heart condition escalated as her five teeth deteriorated.
My wonderful veterinarians at Arguello Pet Hospital – Dr. Mike Ina and his daughter Dr. Jamie Ina – were understandably concerned about the awful condition of Daisy’s teeth, but they understood my fear of putting her under anesthesia (with a heart condition) to extract the teeth. Fortunately, Daisy’s heart murmur did not get worse, so by the summer of 2014, I was given counsel by Dr. Mike Ina to consider the dental surgery while Daisy was still relatively healthy.
While reviewing October X-rays and blood test results with Dr. Jamie Ina, she told me that I might attain some expert specialist counsel (and possibly some peace of mind about the anesthesia) if I took Daisy to VCA SF Veterinary Specialists, and to ask for Dr. Justin Williams to assess Daisy’s heart, and Dr. Craig Maretzki to assess Daisy’s liver and advise about an elevated liver enzyme on her blood test.
I was at a crossroads, trying to decide IF I should submit my precious 14+-year-old senior dog to dental surgery, knowing the risk. So I went to VCA SFVS in desperate need of help to make my decision.
The rest of the story is the HAPPY ENDING. I had a wonderful experience at VCA SFVS. Both Dr. Williams and Dr. Maretzki told me with confidence to go ahead with the dental surgery and that Daisy was in good shape for her age. Dr. Williams assured me that Daisy’s heart would be fine with the anesthesia. He was totally correct! Daisy survived the dental surgery at Arguello Pet Hospital just FINE! She bounced back to normal in two days.
Daisy is now toothless, but her “Mona Lisa” smile is still intact. She’s still a “photographer’s model.” But there will be no more bacteria getting into her system. And she has sweet breath again and can enjoy her food without dental pain. She is kissing my face and I think it means “thank you Mom for getting me the best of care.”
The partnership of Daisy’s regular vets with VCA SFVS resulted in proactive and preventive care for my “senior” pet by extracting decayed teeth to extend her lifespan and quality of life.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I think you can, if you do everything you can to preserve your older dog’s health for as long as you can. Thanks to Daisy’s regular vets, and our new vets at VCA SFVS, I know she is in the best possible hands for as long as she lives, and I hope she lives a very long life.
Right now, Daisy enjoys living “in the NOW” (the lesson we humans learn from our pets) and she is running around the hallway and later plans to drape her head over her stuffed elephant and dream happy dog dreams. I follow her lead and try to live “in the NOW” and enjoy every single day I have with Daisy.
Would you like your dog or cat to be featured in our Patient Stories series? Please email us for information. We look forward to hearing from you.