Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Saying Goodbye Sucks

A few days ago I had to say goodbye to my first baby, my furbaby, my constant companion for the past 15-1/2 years. Maddy Moo's spirit has been set free to chase squirrels and cats on the big farm in the sky. My heart is heavy. I am so sad. I am prone to spontaneous bursting into tears. But I need to write this. I need to talk about her and honor her and remember her in my own way.
Maddy Moo 4/13/97-10/5/12
I'm still coming to terms with the fact that she is gone. When I close my eyes at night and try to sleep I keep reliving the nightmare that was Friday evening. We were headed out to the country, Maddy's favorite place in the world. My parents have a little farm a few hours west of here and as soon as she would hear the word "Grandma's" she would go nuts. We loaded her up in the car (she could no longer jump up to the seat herself) and headed out to my sister's house to switch cars so we could travel together. She had the entire backseat of the van to herself so she could look out all the windows. Before we were even out of the driveway she fell against the seat and couldn't get up. I will spare you the details that keep me awake at night... let's just say that she wasn't doing well. My sister said her vet was on the way out of town, we could stop there and have her checked out, but I knew in my heart that this was it. She wasn't going to be okay. By the time we got to the vet, she was unresponsive and they took her in. Within minutes they had started an IV and did an ultrasound. It turns out she had a tumor (probably cancerous) on her spleen that had ruptured and she was bleeding internally. Rapidly. She wasn't aware of her surroundings at all. I knew I had to let her go. It was the hardest thing I ever did and it was worst day of my life so far. 

I thank god that my sister was with me. I'm grateful that my nephew was there also and he stayed with my daughter while I was with Maddy saying goodbye. I'm thankful that Maddy wasn't in pain or scared during the last moments while I was stroking her and talking to her. (Lack of blood/oxygen to her brain made her pretty "out of it") And while this experience totally and completely sucked, I'm glad that she went quickly and most likely not painfully. And while I may have nightmares for awhile, I'm glad I was with her during her final moments. I hope she knows I was there. 

She was truly the best. dog. ever. She was so easy to train as a puppy. We never needed an electric dog fence because she learned where her boundaries were and stayed in them. When we brought the baby home from the hospital she rolled over and submitted. I could leave a turkey sandwich inches from her nose and be 100% confident that I could walk away and she wouldn't eat it. She endured years of playing Princess Madeleine Mooples and being dressed up with scarves and crowns. 
Princess Madeline Mooples Fuzzbut  Cousineau
She never bared her teeth or showed aggression. Her joy was chasing squirrels and cats, playing frisbee when she was younger and ball when she was older, napping in the sun, and showing unconditional love. 
Pooped from playing ball.
She followed me from room to room and was my constant companion. My walking partner. My fuzz therapy. She helped me endure all my cancer treatments and stayed by my side during chemotherapy. 
At Grandma's house
She was the world's biggest mooch, she loved peanut butter, buttermilk pancakes, chicken, beef jerky and popcorn. She sat and waited patiently, staring at us until she got her nibble. She was so gentle taking food and she would chew every tiny morsel instead of gobbling and/or swallowing whole like a lot of dogs do. She stood patient and still while little kids pet her and poked her and pulled her fur and loved all over her. 
Enduring the love.
I seriously couldn't have asked for a better dog. She was my shadow and I don't know what I'll do without her. I'm going to have to get used to a new normal. Again. I love you Maddy Moo.
When dogs and recycling bins collide...

I would like to thank Animal House Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Sage for the extreme kindness and compassion they showed while caring for Maddy. And all of the people who have offered their condolences and understanding.


  1. Oh honey, I am SOOOO sorry to hear this! But you did her justice in a beautiful eulogy; sharing her life with us.
    Big hugs to you my friend~~~a dog is the best family a human can ever hope for.


  2. Sending love and hugs your way. plant some bulbs in the garden for her and be happy in her memory when they bloom in the spring.

  3. Sending lots of love and hugs to you and the family. What a wonderful companion for all those years. I hope in time you will find comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of her.

  4. This is such a beautiful remembrance of Maddy. I feel like I too know her through your words. The hardest part for us was how quiet the house was first without Barney and then again just last year, losing Satchmo. I would wait to hear the pitter patter of paws coming around the corner down the hallway. I would come up the stairs to the front door looking for their faces eagerly awaiting my arrival home. And all of a sudden, they are gone. Emptiness. We only have one dog now and even he was mopey and depressed for about two months after Satchmo died. He had to learn how to take over as the alpha dog. We all had to adjust. It takes time to heal. It hurts! You miss them so much! But in the end, know that you gave Maddy a happy life filled with love, She was so very lucky to have you as her family! Hugs, Lorena

  5. I'm so very sorry. She was a beautiful dog, inside and out, and I know that your pain must be unbearable. My thoughts are with you.

  6. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I know no words can ease your pain. I know that you know to grieve and not hold it in. After more than 30 years, my husband cannot speak of our first dog without tears. Here's something that comforts me.
    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author unknown...

  7. Oh, sending hugs and tears. I have walked that road and will walk it again - and it never, ever gets any easier for any of us. I am glad you knew this gentle,loving spirit and shared your life with her, and I know that the nightmares will eventually ease and the goodest times will be bigger and sweeter. Hugs to you and your family in this most difficult time.

  8. Oh, sending hugs and tears. I have walked that road and will walk it again - and it never, ever gets any easier for any of us. I am glad you knew this gentle,loving spirit and shared your life with her, and I know that the nightmares will eventually ease and the goodest times will be bigger and sweeter. Hugs to you and your family in this most difficult time.

  9. So sorry for your pain and loss. I am glad that you shared this beautiful spirit in your life. Those of us who share our lives with companion animals know your pain and grief. Big hugs to you and your family during this difficult time.


  10. Much love to you all. What a poppet your girl was. xxx

  11. Lisa I am so sorry for your loss. These sweet souls bring so much to our lives. How lucky you both were to have each other.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. I still get teary eyed about the sudden loss of my Jasmine 6 years ago. I appreciate being able to participate in your celebration of life that you have so gently shared with us here and my prayers are with you all. <3

  13. Lisa, Your Story and your sorrow have touched me deeply. What an incredibly awesome Puppy you had. Thank you for sharing her gifts with us. I have a 15 yr old Dachshund. Digby just went blind this last week. I will soon be facing what you are going through. Sharing her life here has given me courage to go on too. What an exceptional Pup! I LOVE the third photo you posted. Thanks for sharing. "mourn with those who mourn..."


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