Corgi puppies rock!
Partners in crime…
Partners in crime…
Corgi puppies rock!
It has been 3 weeks now since we lost our little Bug. The support we’ve received has been amazing and comforting beyond words. I will share some of the cards and poems we have received below.
Mic does not seem to miss her that much. She was pretty bossy to him and really had him cowed so not too surprising. Moli misses her a lot. She is very clingy. She used to go into Maddie’s crate all the time if Mad was not in there and now she doesn’t. She may pop in and lie down but only for a second or two.
We brought Mad Bug’s ashes home on February 14 – her Mama Rose’s and Auntie Moli’s birthday. She is in a beautiful little wood box with a little brass plaque that says “Madelaine”. We had planned to bury her ashes but I am not sure now if I want to do that. There is just something about having her here and I am not sure I am ready to let go of that just yet…
Just another note or two about our vets…. I really think Dr Moore had a soft spot for Maddie. The internal medicine specialist told us once that he called her and practically demanded to know what she was doing for our little hound when it did not seem we were making any progress with her incontinence. After her cancer diagnosis, which was with Dr Wachtel, he phoned to tell us how sorry he was about her. And as I said before, he was spectacular when we had to say good bye. We have a recording called “Dog Ease” by Dr Lee Bartel that is new age-y music with embedded subliminal sounds that only dogs can hear and is designed to calm them. We played a piece called “Inner Peace” while we were putting Maddie to sleep. Dr Moore teased us a little and said “how do you know she wouldn’t rather hear Led Zeppelin?” Which even at the time we thought was hilarious. As Mike said “well there’s probably something subliminal there too.” Dr Wachtel did everything she could to find an alternative diagnosis to cancer and when that was not to be, just gave us everything we needed to take care of her. And I cannot thank enough Kim, Sue, Hannah, Tina and Kristen who took such good care of her over the years and at the end.
She was a special girl. I had frequently taken her to work with me over the last 2 years and the staff just loved her. These last 2 months I took her every Thursday. She would just hang out in my office (I have a baby gate) and sleep or chew on a Kong. Or visit with all the staff who would come by for a little Maddie love. One day I came around the corner and she was getting a massage from Jim, one of the medical assistants. She LOVED that. Jim sure seemed to love her too. He took lots of pics of her. And from one of them, had a friend of his who is an artist, paint her portrait. I am amazed at how it captures her. How many Corgis do you know who have their own commissioned portrait? It hangs in my office over where Maddie’s spot was.
The poem “I haven’t left at all” came via email from friends of Nan’s – at whose house Maddie was born! We were very touched by their reaching out to us. The poem “The last battle” came from Dr Lawrence and staff – the surgeon who fixed her ectopic ureters and took such good care of her. Our friend Sheila had a wood carving of a corgi made and put an engraved name tag with Maddie’s dates on it around the neck – this sits on our mantle. Friends Emmie and Lowell gave us a miniature yellow tea rose as a memorial to her. And friends Bridgett and Stu gave us a lucky bamboo in her honor. We are overwhelmed and grateful for all the love and concern for us and the love of Maddie. She really managed to worm her way into every heart she encountered.
You let them into your heart knowing someday they are going to break it. – Georgia Bowker
There’s more room in a broken heart. – Carly Simon
It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are. – Unknown
Maddie – AKA Madelaine, Bug, Super Bug, Angel Dog – went to the Rainbow Bridge today. That she was a part of our life at all was an amazing blessing. We never went looking for another dog. If we had been looking, we could never have imagined finding the best dog that ever lived. Ever. And we had almost twice as much time with her after her diagnosis than was predicted so… I am grateful. I still intend to capture and tell stories of her life with us here – when I can.
With regard to her cancer, she had been doing this pattern whereby she declined, then rallied but not quite as high as before, then plateaued for awhile. This past weekend she had a big decline but rallied a very little bit. Finally, by Sunday, her breathing was becoming labored and we were not going to let her get to the point that she was in distress. So we decided that if she seemed like she could make it, we would take her in today. She did OK until today and she was really laboring to breathe today. But she never lost her appetite; she was a chow hound up to the very end. We took a little bowl of turkey gourmet dog food to the vet and as they were giving her her injection, she was having a little feast. And then she was gone. Our vets and their staff (Audubon Vet Clinic) are just the best. Dr Moore has always been awesome with Maddie and us. He was so comforting and gentle. And I can’t single out any of the staff because for sure I will miss someone in my fog here – but EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has helped us in this journey.
We brought her home for a bit so Mic and Moli could see her and that she was gone. We all sat on the kitchen floor and cried. Mic had actually said his good byes before we took her to the vet. Before we took her in, he snuggled up to her and would not leave her. Mike had to carry him downstairs – he would not go on his own, and he LOVES his bed and a cookie. So when we brought her little body home, he sniffed and then lay down about 4 feet from her. Moli lay down face to face with her and kept sniffing her face. Moli is going to miss her a lot. Which is funny because Moli was not enthusiastic about her when she first came to live with us!
We are going to have her cremated. The current plan is to bury her ashes in the garden near St Francis and I have a special flower to plant over the top of her. I took a little lock of each of our hair and wove it into her fur so a part of us will be cremated with her. I can’t pick a “hardest part” about this whole experience. It is still evolving. It has been especially hard, though, to see my husband unable to talk because he is sobbing. I think I know a little of how helpless he has felt for the last 2 months while I periodically fell apart.
As I write, I keep looking down at my feet to see if Maddie needs to go out – but she is not there. She is now free – running, barking, chasing bugs. And I hope waiting for us.
Just a quickie tonight. Maddie is hanging in there. And not by a thread but with some panache. She has actually wanted to walk a bit with the big dogs this week. She does not go far but she did walk all the way to the corner this afternoon without getting too winded. She has lost a little weight but not too bad all things considered. She is still eating like a champ and barking for pets. She is going through about a pound of chicken a day plus the sweet potato/russet potato/peas/carrots concoction I make for her in the crock pot. We are coming up on 8 weeks since the official diagnosis – which is about twice as much time as our vet anticipated. So every day is a bonus. No new pics this post – just want to keep everyone up to date. More pics soon! Gotta go cuddle.
Well, the Bug was a little better this morning. Her breathing is still more labored than it has been but I increased her pain medication and gave her a dose of anti-inflammatory and she seem comfortable. She was perky enough just a bit ago to bark at me for more chicken. I do feel the ticking of the clock, though.
My brother came to visit over the summer and one day of his visit, it just poured! From his nice warm dry spot on the couch he captured me trying to get the mutts to ‘do their business’ in spite of the rain. He was just rolling with laughter when Maddie very clearly said “screw this!” and broke for the neighbor’s porch where she KNEW it was not raining. She’s no dummy. Enjoy his pictorial essay!
Tonight is a bad night. The Bug is starting to have trouble breathing. She is still not acting distressed but clearly is putting more effort into just breathing. If worse in AM we will be calling it quits.
We have been in such a ‘honeymoon’ of borrowed time that it almost has been easy to forget that she is quite sick. She seems to have had a good day with me at the office – got to meet a couple of patients. And all of the staff just love her. If they had a gun they would’ve held it to my head to get me to bring her every day!
So … prob won’t be sleepng well tonight. But she has rallied before so we will see what morning brings.
Hello Maddie fans. We have had a pretty quiet week. No major changes but a little bit of a decline. Still lovin the chow and pets! She is such a little trooper. She has always done this thing where she jumps straight up and down in her x-pen when we come home and come down to get her. It used to be that she could jump high enough that her head would clear the top of the pen. Now she still tries to jump but can’t quite get her back feet off the ground. It is heartbreaking in both the positive and negative sense of that emotion. Positive in that she is still so much herself and negative in that it shows a little more being taken away from her. She still barks with the big dogs but her voice is fading. I have spent hours this week on the floor of the living room just stroking her back. And if I stop, she head butts me. The following pics are from one of those sessions. Quality is poor because they are just cell phone pics but they are sweet anyway. She still seems to have no pain. She is not struggling to breathe but she becomes visibly winded if she walks more than a few yards so we are carrying her everywhere – even if just outside to pee. Still eating like a champ but has lost about a pound. She is eating about a pound of chicken a day plus a fair amount of the sweet potato and veggie mix I am making for her in the crock pot. Moli is being amazing. In one of the pics you can see Maddie with feet on Moli’s belly. And Moli never moved – just let Maddie be where she wanted to be. Mic too with the spooning. I fear our time is winding down but I am still loving having her with us. And since she seems to not be suffering, I am holding on. Thanks for all of your support.