On Tuesday, Wendi and I said goodbye to our beloved Madison, a chow, shepherd, husky mix that came to us as a stray in Hillsboro, Ohio, around 15 years ago.
Madison was the sweetest dog, unless she was around other dogs, then, no, I wouldn’t say she was sweet at all. The only dogs she could be around without getting into bouts of barking and biting were Riley, Parker and Corky, all owned by other members of our family.
She was so gentle around babies and infants, softly kissing them and rubbing her them with her nose.
She was a great dog for us because she kind of just liked to keep to herself. She was content whether laying down on the futon, walking around outside on her lead or chilling out, literally, on the ice and snow for hours. She loved the cold weather, along with the ice and snow. She would stay outdoors in the winter for hours, not wanting to come in.
Madison was a fighter and a survivor, but in the end, she could not fight off what her own body was doing to her. Over the past week or so, she had not been herself. She was vomiting every day and having diarrhea.
We took her to the vet, and she was treated for stomach problems, perhaps something in her digestive tract. But, over the weekend, she became lethargic. She didn’t want to move. She was having trouble standing to that point that she would fall and go into a seizure.
So, it was back to the vet on Monday. Wendi and I agonized, cried and prayed as we wondered how we were going to handle this visit to the vet. To look at Madison from the neck up, she was very alert and active. But, from the neck down, she had very little function. We did not think she would come home with us.
To say Monday was a tearful day for Wendi and I would be an understatement. Perhaps, in some small way, we got a glimpse of what Abraham was going through with his son, Isaac. When Madison showed signs of improvement on Monday, we were hopeful. When she went home with us from the vet visit, it was as if we got her back from the dead.
But, Tuesday would be the fateful day for her. I took her out at lunchtime to go outside, and brought her back in. It would be the last time I saw her alive.
Earlier on Tuesday, when Wendi left for work, she kissed Madison and told her it was OK if she wanted to go be with God. We would understand. She did.
We had so many wonderful memories of Madison and with Madison. There was the time we were going to a baptism on a farm. The young boy wanted to be baptized in a creek on the farm. When we arrived, Madison saw a rabbit and jumped out of the window of our van. Needless to say, we never rode with the windows down all the way with Madison.
She loved Amish country. We would often take her on our trips through the Amish heartland.
Madison was primarily on a bones and raw food died. She loved Certified Angus Beef and Gerber’s chicken.
I mentioned earlier she was a fighter and survivor, and she was. Before she ever showed up on our door, she had been hit by a car, which damaged her pelvis, and she had been shot with buck shot. These were bits of history we found out in recent years when we had a scare with Madison. A vet did some X-rays and talked to my wife about what was discovered.
Because of the pelvis problem (she came to us pregnant), she could not deliver her puppies, and they did not survive.
Then, there was time her tongue got caught in a shredder, and about half of it had to be removed. If she would not eat or drink, then she would not have survived. Madison learned to drink again. We tried getting her water with a rubber nipple used for calves; it did not work. We tried syringes and plastic bottles. She eventually figured out how to get the water in.
It is going to be tough not having her around. Madison really loved Wendi. Whenever she would see Wendi, Madison would get all excited, pinning her ears back and shaking her body. When the two of them went for walks, I swear Madison would prance. She loved her Mommy.
She also loved our cats. She never would hurt them. When Buddy was young, he would play with Madison. After we got Mr. Thomas, he always had to greet Madison at the back door when we brought her in. He would then run alongside her.
The 14 years we had with her were a blessing. There were probably three or four times when she was not expected to survive, but she always pulled through. There would be no pulling through this time, but it was a blessing that God took her, she didn’t suffer and we didn’t have to make the decision.
We will miss her everyday, but we will be grateful God gave us so many wonderful years. She was a joy.