My Pet: Oh Daisy, it was love at first sight
Look at this picture of Daisy as a puppy and you can understand why it was love at first sight when I saw her.
Daisy the Jack Russell is almost all white with a cute patch of brown on one side of her face, one ear, and on her tail. From her mother she has inherited her intelligent brown eyes and from her father her beautiful white coat. We both come from big families - I have eight siblings, she has seven, and like mine, they are all scattered to the four winds.
Since coming into our house, she has stolen the hearts of everybody she met and distributed her love to everyone.
Daisy loves to follow the flight of a ball but never brings it back. She just drops it and leaves it for another dog.
She is far more interested in her surroundings. While out walking, she sniffs every flower and shrub. Daisy's nose is her brain. She is a canine botanist.
Her nose is always up in the air. She can smell danger. She can smell happiness and she can smell sadness. I think she can even smell time.
She always knows when my son or daughter is coming long before she hears them parking their cars, and her tail goes into overdrive in anticipation.
She has a keen interest in books and Biros and takes them off into the garden to chew at her leisure. I am sure she is just trying to get her teeth into the whole business of writing.
She shares my interest in food, and with her front paws on the worktop, she watches intently while I prepare a meal.
Indeed, she is so curious that it wouldn't surprise me if I came down some morning to find she had whipped up an omelette for us both.
She was unlucky to have two operations to repair a ruptured ligament in her rear left knee. When weighed, she was 15kg when her ideal weight was 11kg. The vet recommended a strict diet which was tough. But we persevered and the good news is that the weight is coming down, slowly.
Legend has it that the Emperor Caligula wanted to bestow the title of consul on his favourite horse, Inciatus. I would never desire any political distinction for Daisy but when she passes on, my wish is that she will have many green fields in which to play with her four-legged friends.
And when my time comes, if I am met at the Pearly Gates by a smart Jack Russell with a splash of brown on her smiling face, why then I will know, that I, too, am in paradise.
Mairead Doohan, Stillorgan, Co Dublin
Finest hour: Running again after two painful operations Likes: Heated towel after a walk in the rain
Dislikes: A fox who set up house in our back garden shed
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