I have worked with the HIV community as a pharmacist since 1998, when few options existed for patients. I have lost a number of friends to AIDS-related illnesses, so one would think that after seeing so much loss around me, I would know how best to protect myself.
I was in disbelief when I was diagnosed with HIV in December 2013. I was devastated; I felt that part of my soul had died that December morning.
A few months later, I was trying to get a package out to FedEx after our regular driver failed to show up. That’s when I saw Daisy — this tiny blond pup without a leash — trying to cross a busy street. I ran into the FedEx, threw the package on the counter, and ran towards her. She bowed her head down and let me pick her up.
When I took her to a local no-kill shelter, the woman who ran the facility told me that Daisy had just had puppies, and if I took her to where I’d found her and walked her on a long leash she would lead me to her pups. I did just that — I followed Daisy for five miles to an abandoned gas station where her five puppies were.
In that moment, I forgot about the troubles in my life. I wondered how a pup could have survived as many days as she did without food and crossing busy streets on her own. In my opinion, it was because she had the will to survive. I thought: if she could do it, I have absolutely no excuse but to fight for my life and to stay healthy as long as she is in it. As a result, I don’t even think about my diagnosis much.
I call Daisy my little miracle, because she saved not only my life but the lives of her puppies — all of which have since been adopted. She is my hero, and I thank her every day for being with me.