By Sue Klapholz
Daisy was our family’s first dog. She was a stray who had recently given birth when she was picked up by Palo Alto Animal Services. We are strong believers in pet adoption because there are so many wonderful animals in shelters. We would not have felt right about finding our new family member at a pet store or a breeder. We visited three shelters in our quest to find Daisy.
When we met Daisy, we were drawn to her timid, gentle nature and her sweetness. She seemed like she’d be a good fit for our family. We were also worried that because she was so shy, she’d be less likely to be adopted than some of the more lively and outgoing dogs we had met.
When we first brought her home, Daisy was a scrawny, timid, and fearful two-year old with sad eyes and a coat that felt like dry straw. Our family of five quickly came to adore her, and she thrived. Her coat turned soft and silky, her eyes began to sparkle, and she made “mooing” sounds when she was content. When we played a board game on the floor, she would plop herself down in the middle, claiming her place in our family circle. It was a gift and a revelation to be able to share ten years of our lives with this wonderfully complex, social and loving being.
Daisy came with some bad habits too, like a desire to eat pens, plastic toys, rubber bands, and balloons, perhaps learned from her life scavenging on the streets. As much as we tried to keep her from these objects, this habit led to more than one vet emergency room visit.
Daisy also developed two cancers in her lifetime, both of which required hospitalization and surgery. The second, more aggressive cancer also required many weeks of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. After one of a long string of vet visits, it occurred to me that many people, as much as they would have wanted to, could not have afforded to treat Daisy’s cancer or taken her to the ER as often as she needed. Routine veterinary care alone—checkups, immunizations, and preventive care—can cost a small fortune.
After Daisy passed away, I wanted to do something to help other pets obtain vital veterinary care that their families otherwise could not afford. Several years ago, I made a donation to PAHS in honor of Daisy to start the Daisy Fund. The Daisy Fund provides life-saving veterinary care to underserved families who otherwise could not afford it. This year we will hold our third annual Daisy’s Day fundraiser on Sunday, October 13, from 1 to 4 PM at the lovely Quadrus Conference Center at 2400 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. As in previous years, the event will feature delicious plant-based food, wine, and plenty of time to socialize and learn more about the wonderful work that PAHS does to advocate for and help our animal friends. We will also hold a live auction and a fund-a-need auction. We would love to see you there!