Good girl, Daisy

Our new family member Daisy. (PHOTO: Christina Hiatt Brown)

Aaron J. Brown

Aaron J. Brown is an Iron Range blogger, author, radio producer and columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

People blame many problems on the internet. Email scams. A lack of civility in political discourse. Naughty naked people and bad medical advice.

But for me the biggest way the internet affected my life is the fact that my wife Christina can view dogs available for adoption anywhere in the country, all day long.

She can sort them by breed, size and location. She can assemble folders of potential dog candidates. At any point in any day, she can call me over to her chair in the living room to gaze upon an adorable canine.

It is in this manner that Daisy, a 12-week-old half terrier, half chihuahua puppy came to be sitting at my feet, wondering what I am doing tapping my fingers on this delightful shiny chew toy.

This all started on our wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. Christina had seen an adorable puppy up for adoption at a Northern Minnesota animal shelter. She called to leave a message, but we didn’t know if she was still available.

So we began our anniversary with a choice between two doors. Behind Door #1, a dinner date and (non-animated!) movie in the city. Behind Door #2, a bootlegger’s run to Cloquet for a puppy.

Dog people, I’m sure you know how this turned out.

When Christina finally got through to the shelter, we learned that the dog was still there. It wasn’t really a choice. I knew where we were going.

Daisy was a little timid when we first met her. She’d been through a lot. Rescued from a kill shelter in Oklahoma. Taken from her mother a couple weeks too early. But as soon as we attached the leash and took her outside, Daisy realized that she was getting sprung from the joint. Time to celebrate! She became a beautiful, bounding puppy.

If you want to feel popular, bring an extremely cute puppy into a large pet store. With every turn, people’s faces lit up like fireworks. If teenage girls had flocked to me this way when I was 17, I almost certainly would have fainted.

We haven’t had a puppy since the first Harry Potter movie came out. It’s easy to forgot how much attention they require, at least if you want them to *not* chew and poop your house into a work of abstract art. Daisy wakes my wife up twice a night to go out. Every moment of the day is punctuated by an internal question, “Is the dog empty?”

But every night closes with a puppy sleeping on my lap, tail wagging in a wonderful dream I can only imagine. She cocks her head and looks at me to say, “What are you worried about? I’M HERE.”

We lost our dog Molly a few months ago. And while I still consider her irreplaceable, I have learned this. When there’s a hole in your heart you should fill it with love for others. In our case, loving this little mutt seems like a good idea. She’s pretty cute and fits right in. Every day she teaches me that life keeps moving.

Daisy is sleeping in the grass now. What’s fast becomes slow. Life awakens. The seasons turn, and joy may still be found on the other side of dark mountains.

And the internet? If it’s got dogs, it’s can’t be all bad.

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He writes the blog and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. This piece first appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.



  1. Over several decades, we’ve buried 5 great dogs, one hit by a car and the others from various unexpected illnesses. We have special memories of them all. Cats too. Some people can’t bear to get another dog or cat when they pass. We usually go the opposite route and get another furry friend very soon. They are all part of the family.

  2. Love this. Congratulations on your new puppy!

  3. While you can never replace a pet, it certainly helps to build new memories with another best friend!

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