Thursday, May 8, 2014

Farewell, friend

Today was a rough day. 
Maddie has been my constant companion since May of 2000. I brought her home when she was 6 weeks old and weighed barely over one pound. She could sit in my hand. She was so tiny and so very, very precious. It was love at first sight with her. She was born in Andrews, Texas and moved with us to Killeen, then moved with me to Fort Worth. She always slept in the bed with me, 80% of the time under the covers. Maddie always loved red squeaky chew toys, especially balls. She also loved to howl - anytime you howled, Maddie would join in and usually drown you out with her howling.
She never liked walking on a leash. I tried so many times to get her to let me put her on a leash, but every single time I attached it to her collar she would begin to flop around like a fish caught on a hook. Even when you gave her plenty of slack for walking, she felt trapped and reacted that way. She also refused to let me dress her in little doggy sweaters or costumes. Because she was so tiny, I thought during the winter time she would enjoy having a warm sweater or two. Every time I would get her dressed, she would freeze and look at me as if to say "help, I can't move". You would've thought she was in a straight jacket. So I gave up the sweater idea a while ago.

Maddie loved my mom's house. Every time we would go out of town, Mom would be happy to keep Maddie for us. I think that because someone was almost always asleep at Mom's house (either Mom at night or Richard during the day since he worked overnights), Maddie always had an excuse to be in the bed. She loved it. They also spoiled her with people food, which she isn't normally allowed to eat. I'm pretty sure she would've rather lived at Grandma's house than ours, but isn't that typical?

Friday when I went to pick her up after our Vegas trip, Maddie wasn't quite right. Honestly at the time, Mom and I assumed that she was depressed about having to go home with me. She was acting sad and kind of shying away, not walking very happily. But after a couple of days she didn't seem to cheer up, and she began to start limiting her movements unless necessary. Maddie was always following whoever was at home all over the place, from room to room. For her to stay in one place when someone left the room was unusual. Her appetite seemed to go away until I bought her some canned food, but she still wasn't drinking anything. Then yesterday the hardest part came - I actually had to help hold her up so she could go potty outside. She couldn't even hold hind end up to poop without help. I knew that was a bad sign.

I had to make the tough decision this morning to let Maddie go. I stayed with her and ran my hand down her back while the vet gave her the injection to put her to sleep. It was so quick, just a few seconds, and she simply laid down and took her last breath. It was hard. She's been my constant friend for 14 years, and no matter what she loved my unconditionally. I will sure miss my Maddie Lulu. This morning we took our last official selfie:
So long, friend.

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