Sunday, September 9, 2012

Remembering Maddie

If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.

I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?

The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship, and love, and death: Old Skip was my brother. 
They had buried him under our elm tree, they said – 
yet this wasn’t totally true. For he really lay buried in my heart.


My sister Kathy and my brother-in-law Pat, who live in Long Beach, California, have three sons, now ages 20, 17 and 15 years. Yesterday Kathy told me that they just lost Maddie, their Australian shepherd of 13 years, which makes me very sad. I’m typing this with tears in my eyes. Maddie was a beautiful, smart, wonderful, patient, great dog. 

Today I thought I would share some of the pictures that Kathy posted on her Facebook page today, of Maddie and the boys through the years.

Scott (today a 20-year-old college student) with a young Maddie.

Michael and friends with Maddie and friend. 
Kathy says that if she had a digital camera back then 
there would have been a lot more pictures like this!

Here’s what Kathy said about this photo: Brian after a hard day of play ... what every boy needs – his dinosaur, a trusty weapon, an action figure, and a good dog for a pillow!

And here’s Brian a few years later ... the dinosaur and sword have been replaced by a baseball and a book, but the “good dog for a pillow” remains a constant.

When I told my husband about Maddie yesterday, one of the first things he said was, “Remember how she used to carry her dish around when she was hungry?”

Pretty soon she figured out that if she carried it like this, she could actually see where she was going!

A good night hug from Michael (from a few years ago; Mike is now 17)

Maddie, perfecting the art of begging. At first she was subtle ...

... in her old age, not so subtle. Here she is with my Dad on a recent trip to Long Beach.

Good-bye, Maddie ... we’ll miss you!


Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Made me tear up as I look at my two little old men :(

Virginia Floyd said...

Beautiful dog. It's sad to lose a pet. We have 2 Australian shepherds, and we love them, too.

Karen M Schmidt said...

Elizabeth, I know you are no stranger to the loss of a beloved animal. Our awareness of how short a time we really have with them makes them that much more precious!

Virginia, thank you. Aussies are wonderful, aren't they? My parents have two, and my sister and family are already preparing to welcome another Aussie puppy into the family. :)

Anonymous said...

Gosh this made me sad for them. We lost our 13 1/2 yellow lab a couple of years ago and it is still very clear in my mind. After we had him put down because he was having continual seizures we all (my husband, my 25 year old son, and my 20 year old daughter and I) stood at the vets in a huddle and wept. They are human. . .seriously the best creatures God created.