Daisy came into Grace and Doug Jones’ home as a young pup, and lived a happy life with an active family who loved her. She enjoyed hiking, kayaking, and camping with her people and got to experience the outdoors in a way some dogs never do with the people she loved most.
At 9 years old Daisy became sick with pneumonia, and a trip to the veterinarian determined that the cause was Megaesophagus.
Normally, the esophagus will move food from the mouth to the stomach. Megaesophagus is a condition where the esophagus is enlarged, and does not move food as well as it should, if at all. Dogs may eat less than they need because of the difficulty swallowing and can suffer from aspiration pneumonia if food gets into their lungs, among other issues.
Their veterinarian let the Jones family know that Daisy would need to be fed upright in a Bailey chair to let gravity help get food going in the right direction. They were able to borrow one from their vet, but later, Doug and his son made one better suited to Daisy’s size. Eventually Daisy learned to love it and even put her tray down herself, as seen in this viral GIF:
But that took some time. Grace told iHeartDogs,
“Initially, it was difficult to get her into the chair. She was about 80 lbs. we would have to physically move her into the chair and sit in front of her to keep her from escaping. Eventually, she realized that that was the only way she would get food and so she tolerated it.
“One night I was speaking to my daughter on the phone. My husband came in the room and asked if I had put Daisy in her chair. I hadn’t. She got in on her own and pulled the tray down. She was ready for her dinner.”
The photos of Daisy in her Bailey chair are so adorable – it looks a lot like a baby sitting in a high chair getting ready for a meal! Because Daisy is so sweet in her chair, she’s raised some awareness for Megaesophagus with people who thought they were just looking at cute photos!
When the family would take Daisy hiking, the chair came too.
“Whenever we traveled, we took her chair with us. It fit into the camper perfectly. She couldn’t eat or drink anything without being upright.”
“If she went hiking or kayaking and needed water, she would have to raise her front paws on a log or rock while she drank.”
“Water goes straight down so she only had to remain upright for a minute or so.”
The Jones family had several years with Daisy, making lovely, happy memories. She passed away late last year.
“She passed away on Christmas Eve morning 2018. She had an underlying cancer in her chest that was filling up the chest cavity. She was well loved and had a good life.”
According to Bored Panda, Grace broke the news several months later on Facebook in a support group for people who love dogs with Megaesophagus.
“It’s taken me a couple of weeks to be able to write this. My Daisy passed away on Christmas Eve morning. We are heartbroken. We are grateful to have had 16 additional months with her after her diagnosis and are grateful for the suggestions and support we received from this group. My vet has her chair which will be used by a local pup.”
“I would recommend that anyone dealing with this illness get involved with a support group for Megaesophagus. They provide a wealth of information and support.”
All images used with permission: Grace Jones