“Mom, can we pray for Daisy? Can we pray for her to be safe & taken care of?” Asked the broken hearted nine-year-old owner. “Sure, we can” I replied. It was the first time that he asked to say a family prayer. It was a milestone that this mom will never forget and warmed my heart on this bitterly cold winter day. It’s not surprising when you know how this small, special beagle stole his heart the minute she came to our family.
Our family made the decision to move to northern Missouri several years ago. It was very difficult to leave our entire family in Nebraska and many tears were shed by our children and us. To ease the pain of our boys, we discussed how wonderful it would be for them to get their first dogs on our new acreage. Our family added a Golden Retriever that fall, but Jaydon’s heart was set on getting a Beagle despite our assurance to him that one dog is enough.
A Beagle pup topped Jaydon’s Christmas wish list that year and Santa heard his request. A horrific winter storm hit that holiday and many of our family gatherings were postponed. Luckily Santa’s sleigh was able to fly over the 14 foot drifts to uphold the Christmas Eve traditions. Our family was gathered in the basement of Grandpa & Grandma’s Nebraska house enjoying gifts and family time. The back door upstairs creaked open and a loud “HoHo HOOOO!!” was heard over the jingling of bells. Justin & Jaydon quickly sprinted upstairs to investigate. The boys hit the landing of the top step and paused to recognize a howling sound in the garage. They discovered a small, sassy beagle pup jumping in excitement and ring the bells on her red velvet collar!!! The letter attached to the kennel read as follows: “Dear Jaydon, I am sorry to deliver your present a little early but your beagle is getting cold riding in my sleigh. “Daisy” has also been barking at the reindeer so she may be thirsty. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Love, Santa”
The warm brown eyes of this beagle matched the sparkling blue eyes of her new young owner. Jaydon jumped in disbelief and excitement for several minutes. Daisy loved to snuggle on our shoulders and sniff our ears to make up for her sassy personality that got her in some trouble. In the years that followed, Jaydon and Daisy became best friends as the explored the creeks, trees, and hills around our home.
Daisy’s hunting instinct was very strong and she went on daily hunts in the woods surrounding our house. It is our belief that this was at the root of her disappearance. We realized on January 18, 2013 our ornery beagle had not come home. We conducted searches in all the surrounding creeks but all the miles were fruitless. Jaydon hung flyers all over town and delivered them to the neighbors. There was much sadness from everyone in the family throughout the weeks that followed. We received many phone calls with possible leads but each one ended in disappointment.
Jaydon missed the companionship of his dog each day and began to earn money to purchase a new pup. He read many library books to research the best possible breed for him, because he had ruled out another beagle who would hunt and run away. Besides, none would “ever be as special as Daisy”. He earned enough money to purchase his own Chocolate Lab puppy in the spring of 2013. “Husker” brought his little owner many smiles, hours of playing and healed heart. However, there were many discussions about “what Daisy is probably doing?”; “how do you think Daisy would like Husker?” and “Mom, what would happen of Daisy ever came home?” The spot in his heart that his first puppy earned could never be filled by anyone else. We smiled at the dream of how the two dogs could play and hunt together but never allowed our hearts to believe it would come true.
Fast forward 375 days after Daisy went missing, I happened to notice a posting of a “Found: female beagle pup” on the local swap shop. This was not an uncommon posting and each time a small piece of my heart hoped to discover it was her. The distinct white stripe up her tiny face caught my eye. The familiar brown eyes immediately stopped my heart. I printed off the “missing flyers” to compare and the markings were the same. My hands were trembling as I called the number shown and schedule a time to come view her before he took her to the dog pound.
When I arrived at his house, Ron explained how great of a rabbit hunter she was over the weekend and I agreed that could be Daisy. He told that me she is small but energetic and that also describes our Daisy. He indicated that she was a lucky dog because he had picked her up after she had crossed a busy highway multiple times. Ron also said that she has not responded to any name that he has called her, so he was uncertain of her identity. I waited at the top of the stairs while he called her up from the basement. When she rounded the landing on the stairs to make eye contact with me, her dainty face instantly drew tears from my eyes. I quietly knelt down crying and asked “Daisy Mae, where have you been!!!!??” Her wagging tail made her body run sideways as she sprinted up the stairs into my arms. She licked the tears from my cheeks as quickly as they rolled down. The man who I had just met and I both continued to cry as I told her story and how long she had been gone.
I quickly scooped her up into my arms and anxiously took her home. My hands shook on the five mile drive back home. Her favorite boys in the world were already home from school and had no idea of the surprise that was in store. I left Daisy in the car and went in to ask the boys to carry in some grocery bags. Jaydon came out to the garage and instantly noticed a small silhouette in the tinted window. His blue eyes became huge and he looked to me asking if it were Daisy. The tears welled up as I simply replied, “I am not sure, open the door to see”. Daisy bounded out of the car to beg for all of his love and attention instantly. He knelt in disbelief as she gave him a kiss for each day he had been gone. He kept looking for all the unique markings of “his beagle” before he allowed himself to believe that it was truly his beloved Daisy. The only thing missing was her collar and identification tags.
Daisy now leads the life of luxury as a house dog. She has a new hunting partner and chase buddy with Husker on the days it’s nice out. She has been confirmed as healthy by our local veterinarian and our family is now allowed to believe in the dreams our heart says to follow. We can also confirm that last year the Good Lord above heard the prayer of a broken heart boy who said: “Dear God, please take care of my Daisy. Please keep her safe. She likes to hunt and play tug-a-war. I really miss her & love her. Thank you”.
|This is when Jaydon was studying her - "she has a spot on her neck like Daisy"; "she has the white tail like Daisy"; "she has the brown spot on her shoulder like Daisy"|