Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Madison remembered

I wanted to post one more time about Madison. It is slowly getting better. We still have our sad moments as to be expected but overall each day is getting better. The pictures are definitely helping us remember some truly great moments with our little pup. So tonight I thought I'd share just a few of the dozens of photos we came across of Madison.

First, some more pics from her summer home in Ohio where she vacationed to get away from the Texas heat.

Since the beginning, Madison has always found a spot near a window or balcony that she can keep an eye on the world walking by. At each apartment or house she lived in, she found a place where she can look for kitties or her favorite, squirrels. At her second apartment in College Station, there was a window in the living room that went all the down to the floor. She would lay there for hours and hours watching people come and go. A couple of neighbor girls saw Madison and they would always yell out for her when they came out. If she wasn't at the window already, she would run over and get really excited and wag her tail. I can still clearly hear the girls yelling out, "MAAAADISSOOON!!" This was her spot by the window.

Like I've said before, Lisa and I treated her like our child so when it came to taking some of our first Christmas photos as a new family, why wouldn't we include Madison? This was Christmas 2000 from Rosenberg, TX.

Then there was Cypress, TX at our 3rd apartment in 3 years. Oh, the life of a young family trying to find the right jobs. Madison took it all in stride and even though she was a husky and was born to run, she lived inside with us in our overly air conditioned 1000 sq ft apartment.

A few funny stories...
Funny now looking back at it but she always got along with other dogs...as long as they were smaller than her. She became best friends with a Daschund when she was a puppy. It was comical to see a little wiener dog and Madison chasing each other around. Her favorite trick was to try and lay on top of the smaller dog and pin them down. If the other dog let her, they were immediately life long friends. If the other dog was equal size or a little bigger, her hair would stand up on the back of her neck as they sniffed each other out. Here are a few pics of some friends she made along the way.

The one of me holding her down was after she was getting a little too friendly with Stormy, the puppy. Amy and Dave were brave enough to invite all three of us to their home in San Antonio for the weekend. Madison met Stormy and couldn't get enough of him. It was an entertaining weekend.

This one was pretty funny. We were watching a friend of our's beagle for the weekend. We didn't think it would be a problem but then again, no dog had ever been in Madison's den. She followed Chase around while he investigated with the white of her eyes showing...sniffing everything over again that he just sniffed. We watched as they got along pretty good and put aside any fears that we had. Then, disaster. Chase found Madison's toy stash and tried to take something out to play with. A small riot ensued. We separated the dogs and while we were trying to calm down a LOUD beagle as he was howling in protest, we see Madison go back over to her toys and squat over them. SHE PEED ON HER TOYS!!! What could we do but laugh? We couldn't believe she was so mad that she would do that. This picture is after everyone calmed down and found a spot on the couch next to Lisa. You can see both dogs safely separated by a pillow.

Madison was never a barker...thank goodness. The first day we brought her home, she cried and cried as we drove her back to Lisa's little apartment. That night as we were playing with her and she was getting used to her new environment, an ambulance drove by. Madison stopped and her ears perked up. She leaned back and gave a big deep hooooooooowwwwwwwlllll. She put her head up in the air so high that she lost her balance and fell over backward. We laughed and laughed and tried to get her to do it again but she never did...not once.

She wouldn't even bark at the moose. She was so quiet that a couple moose that we encountered walked right up to me and Madison. One was literally 2 or 3 feet away from us and just the week before she died, we had another very close encounter where a moose on our street walked right up to us before we got out of it's way.

The rare occasions that she would bark would be at young boys...like 6-12 years old. The neighborhood kids would always run up to pet Madison and for some strange reason, she would put her ears back and bark at a few of the younger boys. Even strangers in the house never phased her. She would eagerly make new friends with whoever was visiting. We joked that if we were ever robbed, she would be licking their face instead of protecting us.

Last summer, she proved that theory wrong. This is one story I will always remember because she really showed us where she fit in the family. After the girls were born, Madison didn't care much about them. Occasionally, she would come inspect to see why someone was crying but would always retreat under the coffee table or bed. She licked a few baby faces and hands but never seemed to interested in them. One day, a friend of mine came by to pick me up to go golfing. He hadn't been to the house before but since I was still getting ready and Lisa and my mom were busy with the girls, I told him to just come upstairs instead of ringing the doorbell. He did and to every one's surprise, Madison did NOT like the intruder in the house. I was getting out of the shower when I heard her barking a deep, mean bark that I'd never heard before. I put some clothes on and came out half dressed to find Madison had backed poor Jeff into a corner and was still barking at him.

He looked at me and at Lisa in terror...trying to figure out why we were just standing there watching Madison bark. It was because we were amazed at what was happening. She had never barked at anyone inside the house and to see her protecting us, and the girls, gave us so much joy. So the standoff lasted a bit longer than Jeff would have liked but we eventually pulled her away and separated the two. Jeff, thinking all along that we had a mean dog on our hands...I had to fill him in later as to why we stood there so long watching the standoff. We kinda wanted to see what she was going to do.

I realized yesterday that she's been with us 1/3 of our lives....1/3!! That's amazing. Madison was a very special part of this family. Although it didn't end the way we had it planned, I know it ended the way God planned it. Madison was always meant to die in our arms, in Alaska. She had an amazing life. She brought us so much joy these last 11 years.

So hug your pets tonight for us. Take a few extra pictures of them to help you remember them by. Go take a walk or drive them to the park. Make some memories. We were certainly blessed to have spent the last 11 years with Madison.


Honey said...

Andy, such sweet, sweet memories and wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing Lisa's and your love for Madison with all of us. I absolutely think it is amazing to read your thoughts....from a Mom know knows you all too well.

ILY, Mom

Todd said...

Chase is impressed and flattered that he made the blog. We all know that infamous beagle howl, all to well. I was thinking about the time you stopped by our house in Hockley after you had taken the pics of Madison in the blue bonnets. We let Madison and Chase run around together in the back yard, and we had to constantly keep them out of the numerous mounds of fire ant beds. That has to be the best pic of her...with her tail end poking up out of the blue bonnets!

Kristine said...

Andy and Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear about Madison. It is so hard to lose a pet. Hugs for you. Love the pictures and stories. Madison lived a great life with you. She was a lucky dog. :-)

Mom &/or Dad said...

In years to come, Alyssa and Kaitlyn will give you many occasions to be proud of them. Some of those occasions will be watershed events that become etched indelibly into your memory because they showed extraordinary qualities. Your last entry into your journal is one of those occasions for me with you. Your words describe an incredible love for one of God’s creatures that He gave to you for your, and for her, joy. No one can read what you wrote without recognizing how comfortable you are expressing that love. I’m reminded of an event your sister experienced. You may remember it. The lesson she and I have come to appreciate from that event was this: the ease and comfort with which you speak and act, especially in times of stress, often say more about what's in your heart than the actual words and actions. Andy, it is so very evident that the words of your post just flowed from your heart onto the page. Your thoughts, and even more the ease with which you share them, are a fitting eulogy for Madison. She knew you and Lisa loved her. She would be pleased to know you have such fond memories of her, and I am pleased with how comfortable you are in sharing those memories.

I love you,