I had my doubts about adopting a six-year-old Shih-Tzu who was on her way to the pound because her owner could no longer care for her. I was reluctant, but I gave it a try. That was seven years ago. Seven years that went by too quickly, for both of us. Seven years together, many of which we had only each other…me and my shadow. Seven of the best years of my life up until three days before Christmas when that little 14-pound wonder took her last breath as I held her in my arms.

Her name was Maddie. She was a blond/caramel tri-color Shih-Tzu, who thought she was much bigger in stature, so I nicknamed her Matterhorn. I wasn’t even sure what Maddie was as far as breed; until I took her to the vet for her first check-up I thought I had a Maltese!?! The vet cleared that up for me quickly.

Maddie was quite spry. She would accompany me on 5K walks quite frequently, although I’d end up carrying her the last 1 1/2 miles. Maddie was also attitudinal; she had a way of talking to you in disapproval. She didn’t so much as bark, but had a sound she made more like that of Charlie Brown’s teacher (wah, wah, …wah, wah, …wah, wah.) She could be a bit of a mule when she chose to exercise selective hearing when playing out in the yard not wanting to come in.
I can truly say that Maddie changed my life…made it better in so many ways. I will never forget her big brown eyes, her little blond mophead (I’d kill for those highlights!), her swimming in my arms to try to get back down on the ground to play, her possessive nature with her toys, her Dr.Seuss-like tail, her velvetty coat, her unabashed snoring in the middle of the night, her sloppy licks on our faces, her long curly ears that seemed to have an expression of their own, her unconditional love she gave to all she came in contact with, and there’s so much more.

She loved my family and extended family, and seemed to know each and every one of them as if by name when she offered them greetings. Boy, did she ever love her humans! Maddie was one of the greatest loves of my life; I will miss and love her forever.

Lisa from KY