The Nine Lives of Madaline Stevens

Posted by Lisa Stevens on

If you know us, you have heard us talk about our dog, Maddie. When they say (whoever they are...everyone I guess haha) that dogs are man's best friend, they are not kidding. This dog has been with us through the last 12 years of our lives. She has been a constant for us, even when everything else around us was changing...she was Maddie, there to comfort and rejoice with us through every stage of our lives. 

She has seriously had nine lives, there have been so many times over the years that she could have died/should have....another dog might have. I won't get into those now, some of them you (as readers and friends) have been around for. But unfortunately, like every living being....there comes a moment when there is no more magic and the last of the nine lives comes to an end. I am actually writing this while she is on, what we believe and know, is her final life, there are no other magic tricks the vet can pull out of her hat. We have known for a while that the end is coming near....but each week it is getting closer, and we worry that we are only hanging on to her for ourselves at this point. We don't want to lose her...but as we see her pain growing steadily each day, we know we cannot be selfish and keep her around, we need to let her rest in peace. She needs to be free to go to doggy heaven, where she will run free, play fetch for hours on end...and swim the lakes of the clouds. 

If you looked at her now, you would never know what kind of a dog she was...she is mainly skin and bones now, no fat, hardly no fur, so fragile, can barely get up on her own...walking is hard for her. But in her prime, she had a beautiful coat, was energetic....she would swim in the lake for hours following ducks or even just cause she loves to swim. She would play fetch indefinitely, everyone would tire out long before she ever would. We always had to take turns throwing the ball/frisbee/stick....we all got too tired. She loved walks, was happy to go anywhere and everywhere. 

This is a hard blog to write....seeing her laying in her bed, all curled up, she "almost" could be her old self...until she lifts her head and I see the white hair on her face, the clouds in her eyes. Her ears are still the softest doggy ears I have ever felt....and I will always be so glad she never minded me playing with her ears when I was lonely or sad. I wonder now, if she enjoyed it as much as I did...if even now it is bringing her some comfort, reminding her of her youth. 

She cuddles so close these nights, I am sure she knows the end is near....whether she understands and is anxious or is ready and anticipating, we will never know...but we do know this....she is a good dog, the best...she will be missed by many, she was loved almost as much as she loved (she had a huge heart and loved everyone). She truly was one of a kind, there will never be another Maddie....and you know what?!? That is ok with me. I will remember her always and how she taught me the love of animals and how they are truly a member of our family. She had also helped me see that growing old is ok, as she has aged, she does so with a joyful heart…she loves her family and shows it anyway she can, even if it is just a small tail wag. And while our hearts will be breaking....we will also be thankful that we had her for 12 wonderful years and that we took a chance on the cute 4 month old puppy with kennel cough from the SPCA all those years ago.


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  • Beautiful heartfelt message.
    Thankyou for sharing her story, hugs.

    Beverlee on

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