Friday, September 10, 2010
"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
- Gene Hill
Today I said goodbye to my very best friend. Little miss Madeline (Maddy) Waldron. She was 12 years old and my greatest companion. I know that she was in pain, but I'm still completely heartbroken this loss. She was a reflection of my personality: bullheaded but loving.
Maddy originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, and when they moved to a place they couldn't take her I took her on as my own when I moved into my very first apartment. In my place the couch was right by the front door. She would jump up on the arm of the chair that was closest to the door when I left for work, and when I came home she was sitting in that very spot waiting for me. Every day I left for work I would say "Be good Maddy!", and when I came home I ask how her day was. She followed me all over the house, even to the bathroom. She always had to be near me. As she got older and couldn't move very well she would bark until I came to get her.
Despite being small Maddy was always the alpha dog, no matter where we were. My ex and I used to have a black lab, Xena, and Maddy never hesitated to let Xena know she was the boss by snipping at her, barking at her, or stealing her food. If we went to the dog park and bigger dogs were playing and roughing around, Maddy would bark at them as if to say "Break it up! Stop having so much fun!" She was like Bea Arthur packed into a tiny body.
Tonight I held on to her as she slipped away. I looked at the doctor and asked if she was gone. As she nodded yes I felt a part of myself leave with her. I'm so grateful to my cousin K for being there and praying with me. I know some people who don't own pets think this is silly, "it's just a dog"; but Maddy was my very best friend and was a part of me. We've been on many adventures and went through a lot together. She was very charming and loved by anyone who met her.
Maddy had many aunts and uncles. If you were one of them I would love it if you shared something in the comment section.
I'm not feeling particularly profound tonight, so I don't have a very good sign off. Thanks for reading, and good night.