Friday, February 8, 2019

Goodbye Dear Friend and Companion

This past Monday we had to say goodbye to our eldest four-legged crew and family member Madison.  After her cancer diagnosis in August we knew this time would come but it still does little to prepare one for it.

Madison entered our lives in 2004 when she was about 8 weeks old. We adopted her from a local rescue and she has been a part of our family ever since.  For 15 years, she was a wonderful, adventurous, smart, loyal, and occasionally mischievous companion. She enjoyed playing in the yard (including chasing cats and squirrels out of it), our daily walks when I worked from home, hiking in the mountains, camping, car rides, and food.  One vet once described her as the most food motivated dog they had ever known.  It was an easy choice to cook special meals of steak and lamb for her the last few months.

Cruising seemed like a natural fit for her.  Getting to see new sights and smell new smells was something I know she liked.  Being able to lay out on deck while the house moved to a new location was something she really seemed to enjoy.  I guess it was like both laying in the yard and going for a car ride at the same time. Although she wasn't a big fan of water (or at least baths), she did like playing in the surf with her brother.

Having moved back to Colorado, we had access to one of the premier veterinary cancer centers at Colorado State University. While her cancer was found too late to cure, they were able to provide her comfort and make her last months with us more comfortable.  Thanks to their efforts in palliative radiation and chemotherapy treatments, she was able to go on one last family vacation, celebrate the holidays, and celebrate her 15th birthday with us. We are grateful to them for the added quality time we got to spend with her.

In her final days, we took her on numerous car rides and walks. Unfortunately the cancer was making her legs hurt and her breathing difficult so the walks were slow and fairly short.  But, just like always, Madison was a determined and independent dog and she seemed to still enjoy checking things out despite her failing body.  In the end she passed on at home surrounded by those who loved her most, her family.

Fair winds and following seas my dear, sweet, crazy little girl.

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