Friday, August 2, 2013

I've lost my one true constant in my life...

Friday, August 2, 2013

current mood:  lost and lonely

My thoughts are so scattered as I write this…
I think my friend Michelle summed it up pretty well in a message to me on FB.  Maddy has been the one true constant in my life for the past 14 years.  Those words are so powerful and so true.  I have been through so much in the past 14 years but the one thing that has always been there has been Maddy’s unconditional love.  Her wagging tail as she greets me at the door.  My apartment is so empty without her.  Her favorite spot on the couch is bare.  Her water bowl and food bowl are now up in my cupboard.  Her collar and leash still sit on my kitchen counter and will remain there until I’m ready…
Will I ever be ready?  Does this pain ever go away?  Will my tears ever stop flowing?
Making that tough decision, you know the one that no one wants to make was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. 
I held her in my arms like a baby, with her head to my chest.  I was  uncontrollably crying and she did what Maddy does best...she picked her head up and licked away my tears.  couldn't believe even at the end she was still trying to comfort me.  I strongly believe that was her way of letting me know that it was OK to say goodbye.
After she was gone I put her lifeless body on the table and wrapped her body with a towel, except her head.  I was still petting her.  I sat with her and just talked and told her how much I loved her.  I found myself not wanting to ever leave.  I felt like I was abandoning her.  I called my Dad and told him that.  He reassured me that I had done the right thing and that I wasn't abandoning her and that I needed to stay as long as I wanted.   I tried to leave three different times and each time, I went back and knelt down at her lying on the table.
 I did at one point take a picture of her paw.  I found myself caressing the pad of her paw.  I used to love to do that to her when she was lying on the couch, even though I knew it drove her crazy.   That was the only picture I took.  I've decided that her paw print is going to be my next tattoo.

I remember the day I got her.  It was 4th of July weekend 1999.  It was really supposed to be my Dad’s puppy but he had changed his mind about having two dogs.  I had just bought my house at the end of April and to be honest with you wasn't too keen on the idea of a new puppy and all the fun house-training that it entailed.  But my Dad convinced me and that’s where Maddy and I’s adventure began…
It’s funny cause when we went over my Aunt’s house to pick her up, she was the only puppy left so she was among 4 or 5 adult dogs and she didn't seem very playful.  I remember telling that to my Dad and boy did I jinx it.  Maddy was beyond playful once I got her home and her puppy years lasted well into her 4th year.  I think then she finally started to calm down.
I used to do and bring Maddy everywhere with me.  From rides in the car to vacations.  She has been on every mode of transportation…car, train, subway, boat and air plane.  It’s sad to say but sometimes I think she’s lived a better life than some children. 
Maddy has been with me through all of my life’s ups and downs.  All the joy and especially was there for the sorrow.  She licked my tears when my Mom passed away and then a few years later she licked the tears away again as my Grandmother passed away.  She loved me unconditionally and never judged me during my cancer treatment and never looked funny at me with my bald head.  As a matter of fact she liked my bald head and liked to lick it. 
She never complained when I chased my dream and moved to NYC.  She never questioned where the green grass went and why she had to do her business on the concrete jungle. 
I loved packing up a lunch, her portable water bowl and a blanket and heading to Central Park.  We could spend hours at the park and both of us would be content.  I would catch up on my reading and she would people watch and just be happy to see green grass. 
She loved visiting my Step-Dad at the Lake House.  She would kayak with me and loved to go in the water.  She also loved to chase the ducks.  No ducks were allowed on the beach in front of the house, not on Maddy’s watch.
Later on in life she was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease.  It took a toll on her body before we finally got her stabilized and diagnosed.  I learned to give her percorten shots every 23 days.  I would do anything for my Baby.  After all she was there for me through my cancer crapness, now it was time for me to be there for her.

It was tough watching her get older.  Her hearing had just recently starting getting really bad and she had some night blindness.  But it didn't matter to me.  If it meant our walks in the morning took a little longer, I simply adjusted my morning alarm.  If it meant putting more lights on in my apartment so she could see more easily than that’s what I did.
Maddy was a true blessing in my life.  I am privileged to have been the owner of such a sweet dog.
I will miss her every day of my life.
I will see again Maddy, at the Rainbow Bridge.    

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jill, I stumbled across your blog and read your post about losing your dog, I really relate as I lost my dog 5 weeks ago and promptly got diagnosed with cancer two weeks after that happened....I have lost a few dogs in my life and you will never forget your faithful friend, their gentle spirits are still with us with wagging tails, ready for fun playtime when you are together again in time. Stay strong and if you can consider finding another little soul to care for...

Jason x