We said goodbye to my sweet girl, my sidekick, my dog Maddie this weekend. I have had her for over half my life. I loved taking care of her, and I loved her cheerful, devoted and sweet spirit.
I got Maddie sixteen years ago. I wanted a dog for so long. I wanted a furry companion, but I had no idea that when I met Maddie, I was getting exactly what I needed.
She was with me throughout my teenage years, when I so often felt alone and misunderstood.
She was with me in my bed lying next to me every night.
She was with me, sitting on my suitcase, when I packed for college.
She was with me as I grew up and figured out who I am.
She was with me on sunny days at the beach, sprinting in the sand.
She was with me on snowy days, even when the snow towered over her.
She was with me, riding in the passenger seat when I drove to D.C. to start my first real job.
She was with me in the kitchen, right at my feet, hoping for scraps.
She was with me when I moved into my own place.
She was with me on long walks and hikes, often surprising big-dog owners with her stamina.
She was with me when I lost my job.
She was with me when Will and I got engaged, standing beside us.
She was with me on my wedding day.
She was with me for sixteen sweet years.
“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling the emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.”
Through it all, she has been with me, by my side for sixteen years. It is hard to put into words the value she has added to my life. Now that she is gone it is even more apparent just how big her spirit was. Her love and loyalty was much greater than her 10 lb. body.
Making the decision to say farewell has been one of the hardest things for me, because I selfishly did not want to see her go.
I know her spirit is still with me, but it is not the same. I will forever miss how she greeted me at the door and followed me everywhere. I will miss her sweet, happy spirit, but I am so grateful for those sixteen years.
Maddie was a constant reminder to me to look on the bright side. She taught me that there is always time to stop and smell the roses. She taught me about selflessness and loyalty. She taught me what it means to be a loving friend.
Maddie, you are a great dog and a true friend. You have a heart and soul of gold, and I’m so grateful you were my girl, by my side for sixteen year.
I’ll love you forever sweet girl.