Following the loss of their 15-year-old sheltie, the Simon family endured the longest stretch of their lifetime without a canine family member. They were hoping that a seizure assistance dog would come through. The Simons’ youngest child has juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, a form of epilepsy which often increases in severity when children enter their early teenage years. While the Simons had hoped that a seizure-assistant dog would come through, the fourteen months without a four-legged, furry friend in the house felt like a lifetime, especially for the Simon’s daughter.
In June, 2007, a close friend called. She’d learned of a small Golden Retriever that was available for adoption. Though the Simon’s daughter had initially wanted a puppy, she was willing to check out the not-quite-thirteen-month old female dog. At that time, she, herself, was not quite thirteen years old, and thought that “almost thirteen” might be a lucky sign.” Simon and her daughter met Daisy, (named by her animal foster care giver) and there was an immediate connection. “She came right to us when we called her,” Simon recalls. The dog was sweet, gentle and affectionate, though according to the foster care giver, she did not usually show that kind of warmth to strangers. Simon and her daughter were soon heading home… driving Miss Daisy. “We just all clicked,” Simon says. “It’s almost scary.”
Daisy’s antics worked additional magic. Simon had been looking for a way to combine her writing and research background with her passion for animals to develop a home-based busines so that she could be more accessible to their daughter. One morning, while Simon was sitting at the kitchen table sipping her coffee and attempting to read the newspaper, Daisy brought her favorite toy and dropped it on Simon’s lap. “Not now, Girl,” Simon told her, patting her head. “It’s not ALWAYS about YOU, ya know!” That was Simon’s “aha” moment.– the moment the family dog inspired her to create her home-based business.
Four months ago, Simon quietly launched the first issue of DAISY’S PAW PRINT NEWSâ„ , a bright, cheerful pet and wildlife animal newsletter with the tag line: “the upbeat monthly treat for all who love animals.â„ ”
DAISY’S PAW PRINT NEWS is a 4-color, 4-page glossy with monthly features that include: Dear Daisy, a column addressing common companion animal problems expressed in Daisy’s voice, but written by guest veterinarians or other animal specialists; TIPS AND QUIPS, offering holistic or healthy ways to deal with issues of nature followed by either humor or other quirky bytes; Creature Feature, the major story of each issue that focuses on a courageous or inspiring deed(s) that animals do; and Daisy’s Pic(ture) of the month (pet and wildlife photos submitted by readers.) Each month, a photo of Daisy, taken by Simon’s daughter, appears on the front page of the publication. “If Oprah can be on every cover of her magazine, we figure Daisy can appear on every cover of her newsletter,” Simon says.
Photo by POHAN.