I lost my Maddie Monday, May 17th. She was almost 15 and a half years old.  I had just nursed her back from to health from vestibular syndrome, completely healed, and was looking forward to a wonderful summer together.  We had just got back from a vacation in the U.P.  I have lots of great pictures. This one is one of my favorites

I became Maddie’s mom when she was 12 weeks ago.  She was a little ball of Chow/Lab red fluff, with a black mask and like the Chow in her, a black tongue I didn’t know her exact date of birth so I assigned her January 22, 1995.  Together we were “apackof2”

Maddie was a one of-a-kind.  I often referred to her as “Maddie the Wonderdog”. You could ask anyone who knew her. Maddie was intelligent, independent, dignified, beautiful, an excellent hunter, watchdog and an amazing athlete, adaptable, adorable, charming, loving companion and travel buddy.  I adored her and she loved me with that “unconditional love” reserved for only dogs and God and that dog parents are so very blessed to know.

We always walked, in parks where she could be off leach and hunt.  When a youngster, she would take off and be gone too long, sometimes 2 hours while I frantically searched for her, I would go back to where the car was parked and there she would be!  She did learn that choices had consequences method, “Good come, no leach, bad come leach”!  And she learned to come back when called or tell time and come back in a reasonable period and it became part of our walk…if she took off on an excellent adventure, I would continue my walk knowing that if she didn’t catch up to me on the trail then she would be waiting at the car when I returned.

She always came back.  Oh were there a few times when a thrilling adventure took her longer than she should and I would get anxious and worried and look but she always came back, head hung knowing she might get a spanking.. (Then a loving)

She was a wonderful watchdog, the Chow in her made sure she only barked when necessary so she was a quiet girl.  She had a doggie door and could come and go as she pleased and she preferred to be outdoors protecting our yard from furry critters

She had a “Yuppie Puppy treat machine” that she was a wiz at…a gum ball machine gadget with a fake bone that she pushed and treats came out!

She traveled everywhere with me and was a great traveling companion, always ready for an adventure, quiet so readily accepted anywhere.  Five years ago we went out West, Montana, and Wyoming and stayed at motels and the ranch and where ever we went she became the “mascot”  She was a welcome guest at friends, even over night.

She would wait patiently for me in the car if necessary. We went everywhere together, even for short errands rides because we just wanted to be together.  She would poke her nose out the window to catch all those great smells!  At times, when stopped at a light I would see the driver of the car next to ours looking over at her sitting up so straight, and they would have big smiles, she made such a pretty delightful picture!

She loved to put her head down and to the side and stick her bottom up in the air for a good scratch she did a thousand adorable things that made me laugh, gave me joy, endeared me to her, and made me fall deeper in love.

I was so blessed to be her mom for over 15 years, to know that kind of love. My friend Kevin said, “The only time they hurt you is when they die”

And it’s true

— Joan from Holt, MI