My cousin and I read an article a decade back that said the cleaner in Swiffer mops could kill pets.
Our first instinct was to spray my grandma’s dog, Daisy the Bichon Frise, with that deadly liquid as much as possible. Our floors were as shiny as a bald man’s head, but Daisy lived on.
We tried different methods, like not looking behind us when we backed out of the driveway. The little devil always ran away just in time.
And she was a little devil. She was the Adolf Hitler of poodles. She would scratch you until blood ran down your skin. She’d bite you if you looked at my grandma wrong. Upon showing my grandma the trickling blood, she’d hold her demon dog closely and say, “Well, Daisy didn’t do that!”
That’s right. Daisy turned our own grandma against us.
When she wasn’t defecating on the floor just to spite us, Daisy would give us dirty looks. Oh, you don’t think a dog can give you the stink eye? She did.
It was a terrible accident—“accident”—that almost took Daisy’s life one evening. My grandma had a recliner with a remote, and the chair did everything but dance the jitterbug. Sometimes, Daisy would crawl under there so she could ambush me later. My grandma couldn’t find her that evening, and we all looked everywhere for her. And by everywhere, I mean, nowhere. I was told to check under the recliner. Behold! Daisy was there, all right, but in a tangled mess of crazy.
She was stuck in the recliner. All I could see were twisted limbs and white fur.
As much as I hated that dog, the idea of an animal dying in such a grotesque way caused me to sob. My mom took my grandma into the living room to calmly explain that Daisy was dead, while my dad retrieved the dog’s lifeless body.
“Mom, Daisy’s gone,” my mom said, patting my grandma’s wrinkled arm. If you’re going to tell someone their dog is dead, it’s best not to smile from ear to ear. My mom didn’t follow this rule.
The wails from that woman were ear-piercing. “She’s the only one who ever really loved me!” she cried.
Now, my parents had opened their home to her and had taken care of her every need. My mom’s eyes narrowed, and I’m certain her grip got tighter.
And then, like a flash, there was Daisy, bolting right into my grandma’s arms.
“She’s alive!” she screamed, her eyes gleaming.
“She’s…alive?” my mom said through gritted teeth.
She turned to see my dad—the hero—walk through the door. “I saved her,” he said matter-of-factly, his stride just a little too proud.
I’ve seen my mom get mad. I’ve seen her furious. But I’ve only seen that irate German kind of angry once, and that was when she realized my dad saved the dog we’ve been trying to off for years. If she could’ve strangled him then, I believe she would’ve.
All hail Dad the dog savior. He would be awarded a cape and a fake name so he could save more furry lives.
After my grandma died, we gave away Daisy to a couple, who promptly brought her back an hour later, saying, “Sh-she’s just not for us.” With that, they literally shoved her in my arms and ran off our porch. It was like a drive-by dog-giving.
Finally, we got smart and gave her to Pets & People in our hometown so some poor sap—I mean, no, yeah, so some poor sap could take her off our hands.
Sometimes, I wonder what ever happened to Daisy. Then I take note of the scar on my stomach from her claws and think, Meh, who cares?