This is the story of Maddie as told by Tracy H., who commissioned this portrait as a Mother's Day present for her mom...She asked if the setting could be "in a beautiful garden with butterflies and birds (especially a cardinal and bluebird) because I know that's where Maddie is..."
"I was 16 and wanted a dog in the worst way. My parents weren't giving in, so I basically wore my dad down until he said yes. My sister and I went to the SPCA numerous times but nothing was clicking. One day, we got there and they had a litter of puppies. Maddie came right up to us and it was love at first sight.
"She slept in a box in my bedroom the first night we had her. She cried because she missed her litter mates so I gave her a bulldog slipper that eventually became her new best friend.
"Initially, she was supposed to be an outside dog, but it didn't take her long to worm her way into the house. First it was the basement, then it was just the kitchen, then not on the furniture, etc. She wasn't content until she launched a full-on siege and had the run of the place. She would get up on the recliner with my dad (those were the days when recliners didn't have the open spot between the seat and the footrest) and lay right between his feet. Sometimes she would play devil dog and go running up and down the hallway yipping and streaking around like she was on fire. No one could catch her until she finally flopped down from exhaustion! She was also famous for her 'flying nun' ears because she would have a way of perking them up and when she looked up at you she looked just like the flying nun.
"Last summer, Maddie started to develop serious arthritis in her back. We were able to hold things off for quite awhile but by March it became apparent that she had had enough of life on earth. So we did the only thing we could and helped her go peacefully.
"The hole she left in our hearts is unlike anything I have experienced.
"Someone once said choosing a pet is the only time you get to pick a member of your family. We certainly chose the best and I like to think she chose us too."
Thanks, Tracy, for sharing such beautiful memories of such a special friend!