After 17 years, 7 months and 27 days my dear, Sweet girl left this world at 11:07 yesterday morning. She lived a horrible life for 14 years until her former owners told me they where going to dump her at the pound because they could not stand to see her get any older.
I have shared 3+ wonderfull years with the companion that has changed my heart and my life. Shae was the dog that came to me just 3 days after my first lab and souldog Maggy left me at age 8. Truly it was not enough time with Maggy and I mourned terribly, but Maddie was there to lick away the tears and make me smile again.
For 2 years she was my poster dog and traveled all over the east coast with me doing shows and adoption events. In that short time she attended at least 30 major shows and countless local ones. She loved people and especially kids. In that time she also made two trips to the beach in North Carolina, well deserved vacations that would have never even been considered in her former home.
As her health started to fail, she was able to attend less events with me, and it broke her heart. She would lay by our door when I left, and still be laying there when I came home, either hours or days later. Her devotion was limitless and her love knew no bounds. She taught me that old dogs still had purpose and still had a lot to give. I was happy to learn this and eventually she had 5 other senior brothers and sisters here living with her.
Maddies passing marks the 5th of the seniors to pass since June of this year. Yes, you are welcome to say that I will be very happy to put 2007 behind me. Leaving a lasting impression on my heart, but a sadness in my soul with their passing where, MaxMaxMax (age 13), Bailey (age 13), Happy Hank (age 12+) Murphy (far too young at age 8) and my Maddie. I hold a special spot for every one of them, but I have to admit that next to Maggy, Maddie had my soul the most.
I will miss her greatly, but the reality is that the circle of life goes on. I picked up a litter of 5 beautiful lab/chessie mixes at Monroe County pound in Ohio earlier on the same day that Maddie started to hemorrhage, and will now turn my attention to them. Between the tears I am getting puppy kisses and it is helping to keep my mind occupied. I know that my big yellow girl sent these pups to me because she knew the time was near, and she wanted me to carry on and not dwell on her passing. It was her final gift to me.
Maddie was a grand Fox Red Labrador, weighing in at 115 pounds. I have pictures of her as a young dog and she was almost the color of a Irish Setter. However in the years I knew her she was almost white from age, except fro her red tail. As it turns out, there is a sweet little Fox Red in the litter from Ohio. I wonder if it might just be a female? The house does seem awful empty and we could fit one more forever resident in.
Southwest Pennsylvania Retriever Rescue Organization or S.P.A.R.R.O. and Shades Of Grey Senior Sanctuary
A 501c3 Non Profit Organization.
Saving one dog will not change the world But, surely, for that one dog the world will change forever!
Joe you truly are an amazing man! Every dog that you have touched is, and has been better off your it! Your tribute to Maddie is beautiful! May your heart hurt less everyday and fill back up with joy as you bring other pups that need you into your life!
What a touching tribute to your darling Maddie- i hope that your grieving gets easier and that the puppies that you are caring for help to ease the pain a little- it would be something special if that little fox red turned out to be a girl- i sure hope she is...
"some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree!"
Kate mom to Jed Jasmine and Joelly
Beautiful tribute to Maddie
I hope this is the end of the sadness for 2007!
Won't someone please feed me!
What a lovely tribute to a wonderful dog, I sure hope that your grief stays behind you and that 2008 brings a lot of puppy hugs and kisses. You certainly deserve it!
JOe - a wonderful tribute
I don't know how you do it.
Keep up the great work.
<br />Ellis (brown) & Yukon (yellow) - Sadly, we helped Ellis "move along" on Feb 22, 2007 at age 15 1/2 - and Yukon died suddenly on Feb 1st, 2006 - 4 days before his 11th birthday. We are devestated.
There is such bittersweet joy in adopting an older dog. They are so grateful for each day that they are loved and bring such happiness to those that are owned by them.
You have my heartfelt sympathies, as I know exactly what you are going through, having lost my 11 year old adopted boy of 2 1/2 years, on Wednesday. You will have Maddie with you forever in spirit, as her life has enriched yours permanently. May the happy memories ease your grief.
Joe that is a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Maddie. You write from your heart. Run free sweet, sweet Maddie. :'( :'( :'( I know you will be watching over those little puppies.
Joe to all the wonderful Labs you have loved and lost you have been a god sent. Without you they wouldn't have know the love and care from a good man.
I hope 2008 brings you and your dogs all the joy you deserve.