Madison was a great dog. Dr. Ken

We said goodbye to our beloved Maddy recently.

Maddy was Melanie’s dog before we married 13 years ago. I wasn’t particularly drawn to black labs. But I worked from home and spent much time with Maddy and Casey, our American Eskimo.

We walked five miles almost every day. Maddy loved to walk and run away if she could. We thought we had lost her a few times but after an hour or so she would come home with a big smile on her face.

We went to the lake in the summer. She loved to swim. We threw things for her to fetch and she would swim all day long if she could.


Maddy was a lover. She connected with everyone she could get close to. She liked to burrow her head into and through you and would be so excited that it was hard to pet her. She never gave or received enough affection.

I came to love Maddy.


The years flew by. She was now more than 14 years old and had issues the last two years. Her back legs were bad and our walks went from five miles a day to a long block on a good day. It was painful to watch her lie down: so stiff and slow. It had to hurt, but she never showed it. Dr. Ken said, “She is a tough dog.”

Stiff and sore or not, she never hesitated to get up when Melanie or I were in the kitchen where she might get some food. She ate anything fit for human consumption and much that wasn’t.

The time came when she was unable to control her bowel movements. We coped with it for 18 months and frequent messes were hard on us. We tried to figure out her digestive system so we could predict when it was time to get outside but we never could. She became more and more unpredictable. It hurt us to restrict her to the mudroom near the end of her life. She didn’t like it.

Casey has lived with Maddy all of his 11 years. He began to show symptoms of anxiety. He didn’t seem to like it that Maddy had to be in the mudroom. When Casey ate, Maddy would stand behind the gate and stare at him. Casey began to move his kibble, one piece at a time, to a place out of Maddy’s sight, eat it and go back for more. He snuggled closer to Melanie and me and aggressively scratched the floors and rugs.

We hoped and prayed Maddy would pass in her sleep.

Finally we went to Dr. Ken. He told us it was time for us to act on Maddy’s behalf.

We took 11 days to try to prepare ourselves and to say goodbye. The kids spent time with Maddy. They took wonderful photos. Maddy loved their visits.

We cried—some openly, others privately.


The dreaded day came. We filled up with guilt and sorrow. Maddy got extra food and treats.

She was thrilled to go for a ride.

We arrived at the animal hospital and Melanie walked Maddy outside and let her smell the piles of leaves—always a big attraction. We went to an examination room. We gave her lots of dog biscuits while we waited for the doctor.

Maddy was happy to see Dr. Ken. He administered a sedative. Maddy never seemed to feel shots and she showed no sign that she felt the injection. She laid down as the drug took effect. Dr. Ken picked her up and put her on the examination table. When we were ready, he administered the shot. Maddy did not react.

And then she was gone.

We stayed with Maddy for a time and cried over her.

I hope this great dog knew how much we loved her.

12 thoughts on “Maddy

  1. Condolences on your recent loss. Putting a pet down is about one of the hardest things to do in this world. I know; I’ve done it several times. It never gets easy. It’s so hard to say goodbye to unconditional love.


  2. What a sweet and beautiful tribute, Tom. I can assure you that Maddy felt loved every day of her life … and that is the greatest gift you could ever have given her. My heart goes out to you and Mel for your loss.


  3. Oh hugs to you. She knew your love and she is free of pain right now.
    Thank you for telling us about your beloved Maddie. She is with my yellow lab, Bailey. They are running through fields of flowers and dog bones await for them on their return!


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