Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nothing Hurts More than the Loss of Your Dog

If you are a “dog parent” no explanation of grief is necessary, if you are not, no
explanation will suffice

I lost my Maddie Monday, May 17th. She was almost 15 /12 half years old. I had just nursed her back from to health from vestibular syndrome, completely healed, and was looking forward to a wonderful summer together. We had just got back from a vacation in the U.P. I have lots of great pictures. This one is one of my favorites

When a terrible accident occurred, something went wrong with the garage door and it opened on its own….it happens sometimes I am told but I never knew

It had opened once that day but when I came back Maddie was on her bed….I know now that it opened sometime soon after we came back from our walk in the park and she thought that we were going for our “neighborhood walk” because the car was in the garage, (Maddie knew that when the car was in a garage it was a neighborhood walk ) so I believe that’s why she went out and started walking to catch up with me on our walk and she just kept walking, she was about 4-5 miles from my house which I would have never ever thought she would go so far…..I looked with a flashlight in my neighborhood for hours…..then came the awful call from the police….I think she made have had a heart attack…so very far for her to have walked.

The Lord is giving me “a peace that passes all understanding”….not that it isn’t very painful, I am grieving and grief must run its course He gave me a vision of Him calling Maddie, patting her on the head and taking her to my “mansion” to wait for me….her long journey was over

I became Maddie’s mom when she was 12 weeks ago. She was a little ball of Chow/Lab red fluff, with a black mask and like the Chow in her, a black tongue I didn’t know her exact date of birth so I assigned her January 22, 1995. Together we were “apackof2”

Maddie was a one of-a-kind. I often referred to her as "Maddie the Wonderdog". You could ask anyone who knew her. Maddie was intelligent, independent, dignified, beautiful, an excellent hunter, watchdog and an amazing athlete, adaptable, adorable, charming, loving companion and travel buddy. I adored her and she loved me with that “unconditional love” reserved for only dogs and God and that dog parents are so very blessed to know.

We always walked, in parks where she could be off leach and hunt. When a youngster
She would take off and be gone too long, sometimes 2 hours while I frantically searched for her, I would go back to where the car was parked and there she would be! She did learn that choices had consequences method, “Good come, no leach, bad come leach”! And she learned to come back when called or tell time and come back in a reasonable period and it became part of our walk…if she took off on an excellent adventure, I would continue my walk knowing that if she didn’t catch up to me on the trail then she would be waiting at the car when I returned.

She always came back. Oh were there a few times when a thrilling adventure took her longer than she should and I would get anxious and worried and look but she always came back, head hung knowing she might get a spanking..(Then a loving)

She was a wonderful watchdog, the Chow in her made sure she only barked when necessary so she was a quiet girl. She had a doggie door and could come and go as she pleased and she preferred to be outdoors protecting our yard from furry critters

She had a "Yuppie Puppy treat machine" that she was a wiz at…a gum ball machine gadget with a fake bone that she pushed and treats came out!

She traveled everywhere with me and was a great traveling companion, always ready for an adventure, quiet so readily accepted anywhere. Five years ago we went out West, Montana, and Wyoming and stayed at motels and the ranch and where ever we went she became the “mascot” She was a welcome guest at friends, even over night.

She would wait patiently for me in the car if necessary. We went everywhere together, even for short errands rides because we just wanted to be together.
She would poke her nose out the window to catch all those great smells! At times, when stopped at a light I would see the driver of the car next to ours looking over at her sitting up so straight, and they would have big smiles, she made such a pretty delightful picture!

She loved to put her head down and to the side and stick her bottom up in the air for a good scratch she did a thousand adorable things that made me laugh, gave me joy, endeared me to her, and made me fall deeper in love.

I was so blessed to be her mom for over 15 years, to know that kind of love. My friend Kevin said, “The only time they hurt you is when they die”
And it’s true

But I know my Maddie is waiting for me in my “mansion”

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2)

It’s personal. My “mansion” will be different from yours. In my mansion will dwell all the dogs I have ever loved and that have so unconditionally loved me. Gloried doggie bodies.

And Jesus does return on a white horse, so where does the white horse cone from?

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. ….The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean…..
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16

No, there are animals in Heaven. And my Maddie is there now, in my mansion, patiently waiting for our reunion

"Be comforted, little dog, thou too in the Resurrection shall have a golden tail”
Martin Luther from the book” “A Friend Like No Other" by H. Norman Wright

Tribute to a Dog

The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.

George Graham Vest - c. 1855



Margery said...

Oh, Joan...we just read your beautiful tribute to Maddie, and wanted to tell you how sorry we are. What a wonderful companion she was...and what a void there is as you grieve her passing. We had to put our 15 1/2 yo Molly down just two months before your beloved Maddie died, so we can in all sincerity say we know how you feel. We loved seeing your life with Maddie through your eyes and pictures. Thank you for sharing. Praying you'll continue to know God's grace and peace in the days ahead.

apackof2 said...

Thank you so much and I am so sorry about your Molly. Only another dog parent can understand the complete shattering of the heart at such a loss and the immense void. My Maddie was my "everything"

I so appreciate your prayers as I am clinging to the Lord's grace and to the kindness and prayers of friends like you.

Know also Margery I will be praying the same prayer for you ...And some day we will all be united....And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

Ellen B. said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post. I lost my Lucky just over 1 year, so I can relate to your story. Maddie sounds like she was just a wonderful dog, and you both were lucky to have each other. Your story is inspirational, thank you so much for sharing it.