My name is Amanda Hopkins and I would like to introduce to you our dog, Daisy. She has inspired me to write the Daisy Dog series of books: Daisy Dog I love My Family, Daisy Dog My Rabbit Buddies, and Daisy Dog Goes to School. My husband, Scott, and I adopted Daisy 6 years ago. She was a puppy, found all alone by friends of ours. She was about 8 weeks old. She only weighed 7 pounds. Our friends were unable to keep her because they already had a dog.

So they called us to come over and look at her. When we arrived, she ran across the yard towards us. Her little ears were standing up in the wind. She was clumsy running because she hadn’t grown into her paws yet. Daisy came right up to us, and Scott and I couldn’t resist her. She was too adorable. We wrapped her up in a yellow towel and brought her home with us. With that, we began a journey of transformative love. We thought we were changing Daisy’s life, but in reality, she changed our lives for the better.

As we grow older in life, we become jaded or immune to the little things that happen everyday all around us. When you have a new life around you, be it human or animal, you get to see them experience this world brand new. You get to see them learn and grown everyday. You get to see them discover all of the little joys that make this world such an amazing place to live. They reopen your eyes to all of the simple things in life and how truly wonderful they are. Daisy reopened our eyes.

Daisy has reminded us to have fun everyday. To take time and stop from the whirlwind of work, school, taking care of your family and home and have fun. Fun in playing fetch with her everyday. Fun in playing tug of war with her. Fun in wrestling with her toys and blankets. Fun in taking her riding around town in our truck. Fun in taking her places and exploring.

Daisy has reminded us to laugh everyday. There are times that she makes us literally laugh out loud. Her personality, sweet and bossy, can completely crack me and my husband up. Daisy doesn’t even realize how funny she is! When she doesn’t get her way, she will make the most adorably pouty face. My husband and I cannot resist. The looks she gives us when we are singing in the truck with her are hilarious. This little dog brings laughter to us everyday.

Daisy has reminded us to go outside and see our neighborhood. We take Daisy for a walk everyday. If it’s really hot, we go early in the mornings while it’s still cool. If it’s really cold, Daisy wears her little red jacket and we put on layers and layers of clothes and we walk the block. We are able to see the seasons pass first hand. We watch our neighbors’ children grow. We visit the neighbors who all want to know how Daisy is doing. Daisy has brought us closer to the great outdoors and our neighborhood.

Daisy has reminded us that having peace and being still can be very enjoyable. I have learned to enjoy sitting quietly with Daisy on our patio in the backyard. She and I could sit out there for hours in the afternoons when it’s warm and sunny. The world just passes us by. We watch the birds and squirrels that enter our yard. We talk to our next door neighbors. We keep track of the cars that drive by. When I was younger, I used to wonder why do so many people sit out on their porches? Now I know, It is a time to clear your mind, enjoy nature, and be with someone you love (Daisy).

Daisy has reminded us to be happy. Every day when I come home from work, Daisy is standing at the door, waiting to greet me. Her eyes are shining, she has a goofy grin on her face, her tail is wagging like a helicopter blade. She is so happy to see me. No matter what kind of horrible day I may have had at work, when I see her, it instantly goes away. Her happiness is contagious. It drives the bad thoughts from my head. I want to show her how happy I am to be with her too. Daisy is reminding me to let go of all of those things that have weighed me down during the day, be happy and enjoy this life.

Daisy has reminded us to be more caring. Because Daisy was once homeless, we now want to help other dogs who do not have a forever home. We donate part of the proceeds from the sale of Daisy’s books to two local rescue groups in our area. We’ve also donated food, blankets, and dog toys to them. We have been also been lucky enough to have book signings with these rescue groups during adoption events and Daisy has helped seven dogs be adopted. People who came to purchase a book, also ended up falling in love and adopting a dog while they were there. All of this has happened because of Daisy.

We thought we were rescuing Daisy, but in truth, she has rescued us. Rescued us from a life of indifference. She has shown us to take joy in each day that we live. We are so grateful to her for this gift she has given us. Unconditional love is a powerful thing and that’s what you get when you have a dog. I would like to encourage all of you to Adopt! Don’t Shop! There are many, many wonderful animals in shelters, rescues, and pounds that are in need of a home. Being a foster parent to an animal while they are waiting for their adoption is also a wonderful way to help these animals. I can assure you the love you receive from your pet will change your life forever.