Happy Birthday!

At the end of 2009 I hit the deepest and lowest point. I was not just depressed, I had my plan, I had it worked out. There were a lot of things, people and circumstances that came together to save me.
Maddie is one of them.
Softy Maddie
I adopted her in 2005. She was 4 years old, skinny and sick. She had a lot of health problems and the vet said that she’d probably make it to 6 years old maybe 7 years old. Today is her birthday and she is 11 years old.
From the moment I called out her name when I went to pick her up she was mine. She imprinted like a gosling, there was never any doubt that she was my dog. She is my shadow, my constant companion. More tears have been spilled into her fur than could ever be counted. When I was at my lowest, when it all seemed pretty hopeless, she was there reminding me that I was needed.
She puts herself between me and the world. Every morning, when I make coffee, she sets herself halfway between the kitchen and the front door. When I take a shower, she is on alert.
The Guard
Dog love is a funny thing. Dogs are bred to be loyal, they’re programmed to love. Maddie is doing what dogs do. The difference is that Maddie is doing that for me and she does it so completely, entirely without guile or expectation.
Today is Maddie’s birthday, she is 11 years old.
I’ve never told anyone this, but when I got her and they told me she had only a few more years left I decided that my job would be to ease her as painlessly as possible out of this life. I was desperately searching for ways to redeem myself, to right my wrongs. This is what I would do. It would be hard, it would hurt, but it would save me.
She did save me.

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday!

  1. The day you picked her up in the parking lot of WalMart/ Target, I remember holding her her trembling body while you us back to the house–the whole while you kept telling her she was safely home.

  2. Maddie is good, even if she doesn’t know about not eating chocolate chip cookies. You are good too, and I’m happy you’re here with me.

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