Maddie is Five

Feb 05

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During a photo shoot for my yarn earlier in the year, Spring took this shot of Maddie, the birthday girl.  Even though the dogs have been on my nerves all week (mainly Coco, who has taken a step back in her house breaking), I'm grateful to have them in my life.

Less than a month after I moved to New Mexico, I adopted Maddie from a no-kill shelter.  My oldest sister was visiting me, and we were headed for a day in Santa Fe.  We stopped at Starbucks for a chai to take on the ride, and as MB ordered, I perused the dogs that lined the sidewalk.  Maddie (then named Tickle) stopped me in my tracks.  I hemmed and hawed, MB sat patiently on a folded chair and made her "I'm not going to tell you what to do" face, and before long, Maddie was in my arms in the back seat of the car as MB drove us back to the apartment.

For the first two weeks, I cried almost every day. Despite Neal's warning that dogs are a lot of work, I had no idea what he meant.  I wanted to give Maddie back; the only thing that stopped me was knowing that I would lose Neal's respect if I did.  Then one day on a walk around the complex, Maddie barked at a stranger who approached me.  He was a new neighbor, but one she didn't know, and she was ticked off that he dared come near.  I told Neal about it that night, a little embarrassed by her behavior.  He said, "She's bonded to you.  She wants to protect you." From that moment on, I knew that we were a pair, me and Maddie.  I learned to adjust my schedule, going to bed early so I could be cheerful at her 5:00 wake up nudge, staying home from parties so she wouldn't be alone.  During the big hailstorm that fall, she snuggled up to me, just as scared, I think, as I was.  When my first husband called to tell me our divorce was final, she licked the tears from my face. 

I love my other dogs, no doubt, but Maddie is my first dog, the dog I had as a single woman.  She'll always have a special place in my heart, even when she's misbehaving.  Happy birthday, chica!

11 comments

  1. Awwwwwwwwwwww…
    Happy Birthday, Maddie!

  2. I know how you feel about Maddie. My girl was Ebony, a mutt but a true and devoted companion in my single years. She and I traveled across country in 1979 in my VW bug. She never left my side for 14 years…she’d been everywhere with me right through my marriage to my DH and then we both loved her! Happy Birthday little Maddie….good for you for sticking with your mama!

  3. Happy birthday to Maddie! The first night we brought our dog home from the shelter, he ripped through his crate and peed all over the floor. I was freaked out – cats don’t DO that kind of thing. Thought we had made a huge mistake in getting a dog. Now it’s hard to imagine not having him around πŸ™‚

  4. Spring /

    Happy Birthday, Maddie!

  5. Happy Birthday Maddie! You and Ethan are birthday buddies! πŸ™‚

  6. Happy Birthday Maddie

  7. What a cute face! Happy Birthday Maddie!
    We rescued our dog from a no-kill shelter…she was missing half her fur and had all sorts of medical issues. 2 years later she is healthy, happy and ever-so-grateful.
    Nobody loves you like your dog.

  8. Happy Birthday, Maddie.
    Beverly, I know I’ve already told you this – but the story of how you came to be bonded with Maddie was really one of the things that helped get me through the adjustment period with my dogs, especially Allie. Your support was really invaluable to me.
    Now Allie is the dog of my heart and I can’t imagine a day without her, even though she does still pee on my floor periodically. πŸ˜‰

  9. Happy Birthday Maddie, you lovely girl!

  10. Maddie, you look mahvalous!

  11. Happy Belated Birthday, Maddie!

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