We had puppies on Good Friday.
It was kind of wonderful, really....
While I prayed and thanked God for his amazing sacrifice, I welcomed new Golden Doodles into the world.
This is a Doodle:
A "Doodle" is what happens when you cross this:
(This is Mick, our Golden Retriever stud dog)
This is Libby, our chocolate brown Standard Poodle...
And here's what's happened all four times they've mated...
Don't ask, I try not to pry into their personal lives!
When people come to me for puppies, I lecture them.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, RIGHT???? :)
I say sage things like, "Puppies should be crate trained"... and "Don't let your puppy run the house! Be the Alpha Male!" (or female, but they have other words for the Alpha female...
And I remind new pet owners that they will most likely outlive their dogs... That animal love is a temporary thing, that there will come a time when they need to make difficult decisions...
And then live with them.
I made that decision today. Well... Yesterday.
This is Maddie:
Isn't she gorgeous? She was a very naughty puppy... (most Goldens are!)
But what a wonderful dog!
Sweet, affectionate, funny, easy with kids, cats, chickens...
Best of friends with Libby, the two ladies shared a room, shared space on my carpet and they never bossed each other around.
We found out ten days ago that Maddie had cancer.
It was a total shock to us and the vet. Instead of spaying her, the vet removed a huge splenatic tumor...
And we realized the beginning of the end.
Maddie. My friend, my pet, my sweet, affectionate girl was riddled with cancer.
Waiting for the histologist's report, I went online and read whatever I could find on spleen cancer in dogs.
Grim. Days. Weeks.
Those are the words I read and I steeled myself to accept what I couldn't change.
At age 6, I was about to swallow my own words of wisdom about Maddie...
I was going to face the tough choice I've watched others make.
We got ten days. It wasn't nearly enough to repay this sweet dog for the years of love and affection she bestowed on us.
It wasn't nearly enough for the litters of puppies she gave us...
Sweet red babies who've gone to multiple states and cities, including one named Jeter and one who live one subway stop from Yankee Stadium.
This is Libby nursing one of Maddie's litters two years ago...
And this is Maddie nursing Libby's pup that same year:
We got the official report from the veterinarian at about five o'clock Tuesday..
Maddie had been having a good day, eating... wagging her tail... smiling.
But I understood what the report meant...
And by nine o'clock that same night, we knew.
Maddie could no longer eat...
Her back legs stopped working.
She couldn't come upstairs to sleep in my room, so I came downstairs.
We napped in the living room together.
We talked about old times.
We discussed dog foods, the good, the bad, the forgettable.
We agreed not to discuss my shoes.
And instead of going to the vet's this morning to have her surgical staples removed,
we went to have our pretty girl put down.
She's here now.
Back on the farm.
Paul and Seth dug her grave.
Come spring (real spring, that is) I'll plant flowers with the kids.
We'll make a cool cross marker and they'll put her name on it.
And we won't forget.
But tonight, despite the coos and whispers of ten little pups, there's a yawning gap.
A silence that can't be filled.
Because Maddie's gone.
But she'll never be forgotten.