The Bachelor 20 - Ben

A Tribute to Maddie

Maddie1

This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write in my life. Nothing even comes close. There will be no recap today, “Reader Emails,” “Dr. Reality Steve,” or live video chat this week. Excuse me for grammatical errors, run on sentences, or just for rambling, but this is the most therapeutic way for me to deal with what I’m going through. I don’t know any other way than to let all of these feelings out right now. I’ve cried enough in the last 24 hours to last me a lifetime. My sweet Maddie was diagnosed in the last couple days with hemangiosarcoma, which is an aggressive form of cancer that’s spread to her spleen and liver. Maddie started feeling pain over the weekend, and has since gotten a little bit better, but once the doctor explained everything to me, I knew I did not want to see her go through any suffering. It’s not a matter of if, but when. No surgery, no chemotherapy, and nothing I can do can save her now. We are probably not even talking month or weeks. More like days. The picture above I took yesterday with her knowing it was going to be the last. I’ve made the decision to put Maddie down later on this afternoon…

Just writing that sentence, I can’t help but cry uncontrollably. This is the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life and nothing compares. I knew Maddie wouldn’t be with me forever, but I wanted her to. I can’t believe it happened so quickly and my girl is going to be gone. I am utterly devastated. I know a lot of you have followed me for a while and seen Maddie in pictures (even recently on Twitter) and on the live video chats, so I wanted to share her story with you. Maybe I’ll feel better after this, maybe I won’t. All I know is that Maddie is the only dog I’ve ever owned, and at this point, I don’t see myself ever owning again. Sure, I say that now and maybe in a few years I’ll change my mind. But from where I sit right now, just hours away from letting the one thing in my life go who’s meant so much to me, I just want to give her the respect she deserves and say I will never love any pet again as much as I loved her.

I adopted Maddie on March 15th, 2008 when the local Humane Society had their bi monthly visits to PetSmart to have dogs adopted. At the time, I wasn’t in the market for a dog. I never had a dog growing up, or any real pet for that matter, so I don’t think I could’ve ever been labeled as a “dog person.” Just wasn’t me. I wasn’t against them, but having never lived with one, I was pretty indifferent. Over the years, my sister had dogs and once I grew close with them, I knew I probably would get one eventually, but I certainly wasn’t planning on getting one that day. I remember that Saturday like it was yesterday. My friend Todd from California was out visiting me, and we had had lunch in the strip mall that day where PetSmart was. As we were exiting the strip mall, I saw a bunch of people out in front of PetSmart and dog cages so we decided to just go check it out. Little did I know what I was in for…

The first dog that I saw was Maddie. She was curled up in the back of her cage and wasn’t really responding to anyone. Most of those dogs love the attention when you come up to their cages. Maddie was the opposite. She never moved. She seemed very timid around everyone there, including me. When I asked if I could see her, they brought her out of the cage and she was petrified. Her tail tucked under her legs just walking around in the store, I had no idea what I was doing. I was asking myself, “This dog doesn’t even like me. Why would I want her?” But having little experience with dogs, I decided to spend a little more time with her in the play room and she opened up a little. Basically, never walked more than 2 feet away from me and huddled around my chair like she didn’t want me to let her go. I remember thinking at this moment that if there were ever a dog for me, this one was it. Wasn’t barking, wasn’t yapping, timid, and not very outgoing – kinda like me. I told the lady I’d like an application to fill out, and that if anyone else there wanted Maddie, please let me know because I really wanted her and would do whatever I needed to to get her. The next night, they called me up, said my application was accepted, and they’d bring Maddie over immediately. Even though I was the one who ended up choosing Maddie, in reality, she really chose me.

To say Maddie didn’t take to me and my place instantly would be an understatement. I remember when she came over, the foster mom let her off her leash, Maddie smelled around, went into my room, and went under the bed…and never came out until the next morning. The foster mom told me she liked to either sleep under the covers, or under the bed, and I guess she’d found her new “home.” So for my first night with Maddie, I never got to do anything with her other than bargain to try and get her out from under the bed. Didn’t happen. Once I realized this was a common occurrence for her when I was gone, I had to put books and plastic bins under my bed to block her from ever going under there. From that point on, the top of my bed then became Maddie’s new home.

Ever since then, Maddie has slept in the bed with me every night she’s been here. Most of the time on top of the covers by my feet, but during the night at some point would make her way up to my head, I’d lift up the covers, and she’d go right under crawling back to where my feet were. Or, sometimes just curl herself up in the V-formation of my legs when I sleep. It’s what I’ve been used to for almost the last 8 years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You know, before Maddie came along I remember having a conversation with a girl I was interested in and she had told me that in her past relationship, she basically ended it with her ex-boyfriend because he didn’t understand why her dogs had to sleep in the bed with her at night. At the time, I’m listening to this story, having a strong interest in this girl, but all the while thinking, “Well yeah. What guy would want that?” I thought she was the crazy one. Fast forward to about two years ago, and I saw something about her on Facebook that had popped up, so I decided to reach out to her. I sent her an email just saying basically I remember when she told me that story about dumping her ex because he couldn’t stand dogs in the bed and thinking she was crazy – but now I understand. Any girl that I’ve been with since 2008 knows full well about Maddie and that she was going to sleep on the bed every night. Those that could handle it were great. Those that didn’t, well, you guessed it. They didn’t last long.

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137 Comments

137 Comments

  1. wavecatchingmom

    January 27, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    You did a very unselfish thing in saving her the suffering Grief is different for everyone, take as much time as you need away from writing, we will be here when you get back.

  2. liveinoregon

    January 27, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Sorry for your loss, Steve. Grieve as long as you need. Grief and love and devotion is deep and grief shows our love for our beloved. After I had to put to sleep my yellow Lab and couldn’t stop sobbing someone told me dogs don’t live long enough. What joy you both had for 8 years. So glad you both had each other. Best wishes.

  3. jaynemc

    January 27, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    I am so very sorry you have to go through this. A few years ago I had to put down my 8 month old bloodhound. As unheard of as it was that poor puppy had leukemia. Knowing I was making the right decision did not in any way make it easier. I loved that dog so much. I needed to direct that love somewhere so a couple months later I got another bloodhound. I’m not saying that’s what you should do. It was just the right thing for me. Keep an open mind. Maybe someday you’ll be ready to give another little dog some very much needed love……Again, I’m sorry for your loss…..

  4. janetdp

    January 27, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Steve, darlin’, I totally get it … I wrote such the same column ten years ago.
    Hope it helped you like it helped me and lotsa love from me and the furballs to you — so glad you shared.

    janet

  5. frodolives

    January 27, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and I will make sure to give my pup a big hug and kiss and tell him how much I love him. And I like to think that Maddie is in doggy heaven with my old dogs Finder and Keeper, and they are all illness-free and getting along great :)

  6. jmstoronto

    January 27, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Steve- my deepest condolences for your loss. I am an avid, long-time Canadian reader of your column and look forward to reading all things Bachelor-related each week.Love your site!
    I have never written or posted a comment here. Your tribute to Maddie was so beautiful and moving and I was in tears reading about your wonderful companion.
    I am totally heart-broken for you. Pet loss is as devastating as losing a family member. I’ve been through it and know exactly how you feel now. Please keep an open mind about future pet adoptions. You are an amazing pet owner and gave Maddie such love and care. She’ll always be with you in your heart and loved you.
    Take care, Steve, and thank you for everything you do.

  7. ashflygirl

    January 27, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    Had to post. Thank you for sharing. Such an incredibly sweet tribute. So sorry for your loss, I am heartbroken for you! Such a sweet girl, sending positive hearts & vibes your way!

  8. deborahsilver

    January 27, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=1094

    ‘There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

    When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.’

    Reality Steve: Sometimes I dream about my wonderful dog, Effie, waiting for me, missing me as much as I miss him, hoping against hope that we will be together again one day. Meanwhile, I thank God for giving me a wonderful dog to love like him, my life will never be the same, always the richer for having a faithful fun friend like him to share 11 glorious years with. Your tribute to your dog Maggie moved me so very much, thanks for sharing it all. I hope this poem helps you the way it did me.

  9. deborahsilver

    January 27, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    ‘There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

    When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.’

    Reality Steve: Sometimes I dream about my wonderful dog, Effie, waiting for me, missing me as much as I miss him, hoping against hope that we will be together again one day. Meanwhile, I thank God for giving me a wonderful dog to love like him, my life will never be the same, always the richer for having a faithful fun friend like him to share 11 glorious years with. Your tribute to your dog MADDY moved me so very much, thanks for sharing it all. I hope this poem helps you the way it did me.

  10. deborahsilver

    January 27, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Reality Steve: Sometimes I dream about my wonderful dog, Effie, waiting for me, missing me as much as I miss him, hoping against hope that we will be together again one day. Meanwhile, I thank God for giving me a wonderful dog to love like him, my life will never be the same, always the richer for having a faithful fun friend like him to share 11 glorious years with. Your tribute to your dog Maggie moved me so very much, thanks for sharing it all. I hope this poem helps you the way it did me.

    Reality Steve: Sometimes I dream about my wonderful dog, Effie, waiting for me, missing me as much as I miss him, hoping against hope that we will be together again one day. Meanwhile, I thank God for giving me a wonderful dog to love like him, my life will never be the same, always the richer for having a faithful fun friend like him to share 11 glorious years with. Your tribute to your dog MADDIE moved me so very much, thanks for sharing it all. I hope this poem helps you the way it did me.

  11. deborahsilver

    January 27, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    So sorry for spelling your sweet dog’s name wrong, didn’t know how to edit my comment, so I relisted it.

  12. koobee

    January 27, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Hi Steve
    I don’t know where you live but Dr. Gooing in Costa Mesa has holistic methods to help your dog. Call him. Also, get Dr. Hulda Clarks book. I hope this helps Maddie.

  13. couturebaby

    January 27, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Beautiful tribute to Maddie. Please forgive me if this sounds insensitive, but I truly believe pet cloning will become available in the near future. I saved a toenail of my beloved dog. I hope to take advantage of cloning to be reunited with him again in this lifetime.

  14. cjscjs711

    January 27, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Can so relate, Steve. Take your time. My second Doberman has something very similar. You did what you had to do that was kindest. Is still devastating. My mother, who was still living at the time, said something made me feel better. I must have said I didn’t know what to do to make the pain I feel go away. And she said, “You could say a little prayer for her.” Rest you in peace, Maddie

  15. pomegranategirl

    January 27, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    Steve, as a longtime reader, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved Maddie–it sounds like you brought each other so much love and happiness.

    I imagine there are no words that can possibly comfort you, but I hope it helps to know that so many of us are here with you in spirit and understand the terrible grief of losing a pet companion. Do take as much time off as you need for yourself to mourn this loss. Your tribute moved me to tears, and you are in my thoughts this week.

  16. emilym

    January 27, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    I’m a long time reader of your site, but have never commented before. I’m so sorry for your loss. We all know how much you love Maddie, and she knew it too. It was so clear in your columns and videos what a special bond you had with her. You were such a good parent to her and gave her such a happy life. I lost my pet two years ago, and it’s the hardest thing. One thing I found helpful afterwards was to make a list of all of my favorite memories of her and all of the cute things she did so I wouldn’t forget any of them. It’s such a nice thing to have whenever I’m really missing her. If you don’t already have one, you might want to think about making a photo book of Maddie so you have all of your favorite pictures of her in one place.

    This column is a beautiful tribute to Maddie. She was truly fortunate to have you in her life, as you were to have her in yours. I’m sure she was so comforted to have you with her to the end. The love between you will never end, and even though you can’t see her anymore, she’s still with you forever in your heart. Both of you are in all our thoughts and prayers.

  17. dlgnmp1116

    January 28, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    Steve, I have followed your blog/column since almost the beginning. I just loved Maddie and the way you loved her. I have lost several dogs over the years due to either old age or sickness and every single time it takes a piece of my heart. After my Golden Retriever died at 13 I didn’t think I would get another… But I NEEDED a dog and I got a black lab puppy. When I got my lab I knew he was lonely when we were gone during the day and I thought having two dogs would be so much harder…when in reality it was so much easier having them have each other for company ( yea a little more expensive but well worth it) so I got a Wheaton Terrier. They loved each other and were two very different personalities but had fun playing together all day.

    Well my lab got very very ill when he was 10 and figuring I would have a few good years left with him I spent a ton of $$ ( that I really didn’t have to save him) – so glad that I did – even though I only had two more years with him. After he died ( on my birthday at the end of June) I was distraught. He was MY dog in every sense – the kids loved him of course but he was def a mama’s boy. My Wheaton was a mess. He would walk around the house looking for him. He was depressed. He didn’t want to go outside, didn’t want to go for walks, hid under the desk in my office. It was so strange to see him grieving too as I was. I swore I would never get another dog because I loved that boy more than any other dog I had ever had – he was a neurotic mess – but he was my boy. Well one week after he died my boss told me to come for a ride with him. He took me to the shelter and there was a Goldendoodle puppy there that was the same way you described Maddie. Very shy, didn’t come over, seemed very sad.. I picked him up and I knew that I needed him and he needed me. BEST decision I ever made. Yes it took my wheaton a bit to get used to this thing yapping at him… But he is now 3 and a 70 lb handful and the most obnoxious, snuggliest, character of a dog. He is a giant mush and thinks he is a lap dog. I said ” I am done getting dogs, I can’t handle the heartache, I can never replace my lab”… But I DIDN’T replace him.. I saved another dog who saved me right back. I know how heartbroken you are… Just keep your heart open to saving another dog who might be able to save you.

    We are here when you are ready to come back. Hugs. <3

  18. diana

    January 28, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Steve: Your “Tribute to Maddie” was beautiful, loving, heartfelt and emotional. I cried reading your words because I so get it! When I had to put down my Noah I felt like the world would never be the same again. One of my friends tried to console me by saying “the only way to escape the pain of losing him was if you never had him at all”. Your life was enriched by having and loving Maddie. Nothing can take her out of your heart. You will never regret being with her on her last difficult journey…….

  19. ljanet

    January 28, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    THE POWER OF THE DOG

    Rudyard Kipling

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie–
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years that nature permits
    Are closing in asthma or tumors or fits
    And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers, or loaded guns.
    Then you will find–its your own affair
    But–you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will
    When the whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!)
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
    You still discover how much you care
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we’ve kept ’em the more do we grieve;
    For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short time loan is as bad as a long–
    So why in Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

  20. loophole

    January 28, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    Steve, I have been a regular reader of your website for many years and know how much Maddie has meant to you. Dogs leaves deep paw prints on our hearts. We recently lost Toby, our Newfoundland. This poem provided some comfort.

    I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
    I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
    “It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
    You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
    I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
    I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

    I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
    I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.
    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
    I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
    I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
    It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
    To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”
    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…
    In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

    The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning
    and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”
    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
    I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.
    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

    Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me….

  21. nurturing1

    January 29, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    I frequent your site often but have never felt the need to comment until now. Tears are streaming down my face as I read and process your tribute to Maddie. My heart aches for you! I am SO SORRY for your loss. There are no words to adequately describe how sad I feel for you both. My empathy stems from my own fear of losing my pups and inability to fathom living without them. Marley is my ‘snuggler’ and crawls under the covers at night while Maggie sleeps near my feet. I have two daughters with disabilities including sensory integration issues which limits their capacity to enjoy closeness including a hug. Suffice it to say, my pups provide my need to give and receive unconditional love. They too are my children and a beautiful gift from God. I believe Maddie has shared many lives with you. I once read a book by Medium,James Van Praagh in which he shares a reading from a dog to his owner suggesting a dog’s soul will often stay with his owner after he/she passes to the next dimension. Reading that was extremely comforting to me and I hope you are open to the possibility. I know she is right there with you. I pray you can and will continue to feel her unconditional love. I’m so happy you had the privilege of sharing such a special bond with a beautiful soul named Maddie! Sending you both love, light and healing energy. God bless your heart, Steve!!!

  22. princessbiscu

    January 29, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t stop crying. My heart breaks for you. I promise to hug my 3 cats and my beautiful giant slobbery dog for you, and play with them a little longer everyday.
    You gave her a wonderful, incredible life full of love, and I’m sure she wouldn’t change a thing. Please remember how much she loved you, and how much your endless love meant to her. She will always be with you.
    I never had childhood pets either, so as I have acquired my furry family over the past decade, I have learnt life all over again, and they have changed my life and my character. Their names are all tattooed on my collarbone (it was a stupid decision on my part I’m sure, but I love these animals and I don’t care).
    Take care of yourself during this time .. she loved you more than you will ever know, my dear. Goodbye :3

  23. gabby2dutchie

    January 29, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    Steve,I hope you were there with Maddie for her last peaceful moment, perhaps holding her paw, feeling the love between you. I know just how empty your house will feel without her. I want you to remember that she loved you every bit as much as you loved her. It was her lucky day when you walked over to her cage and you found each other. You have so much love to give and it isn’t disloyal to bring a new buddy into your house when you are ready. I can’t imagine my life without my two dogs. They gave me a reason to get up each day after my husband died. Take care of yourself!

  24. bhaisma

    January 30, 2016 at 1:48 AM

    I have never posted anything either but I just want you to know I totally understand how you feel about Maddie. Never apologize for it. Dogs can be loved as much as humans. She was family and a part of your everyday life. She was so lucky to have you. I do animal rescue and she was one of the lucky ones to have found you and had your care and love. I just found out my Harry has nasal cancer and I am devastated. I am doing radiation to keep him around as long as possible and it helps to give him a good quality of life. I dread the day when I have to say goodbye. Your tribute to Maddie was so wonderful. I can totally relate. She will continue watching over you and your love and memories will never die. I suggest writing down memories about her now that you can look back on. I have done that with all my pets I have lost and it really helps when you are missing them. Also I hope you can open your heart to rescue another dog someday. It is not replacing Maddie. You are just helping another dog that needs your love. So many die in shelters every day. I hope when you start to heal you can do that as you are an excellent doggy dad and any dog would be lukyy to have you in their life.

  25. aplaceandtime

    January 30, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    What a moving tribute to a beloved member of your family. Your heartfelt words had me in tears and i could feel your heartache. As lucky as you were to have her, she was just as lucky to have you.
    I wish you peace in this difficult time.

  26. lindsay

    February 1, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    Steve,
    Since I’ve been reading your website/blog for longer than I can remember, I feel like I know you, and as I read this loving tribute to Maddie, I had tears running down my face.

    I hope all of the love & support of your fans will bring you the much needed strenght that this loss will require. She was a part of your family. My heart really hurts for you, and I hope you know how much she loved you!!

  27. dwwatchesreality

    February 1, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear all of this, and to send you love and support. It was a horrible, difficult decision you had to make; and the loss is a horrible, difficult thing to live through. It has long been evident in this blog how important Maddie has been to you, and how deeply you cared for her. There really aren’t words that can make your pain go away, so I won’t try. Take what time you need; take care of yourself. Allow yourself to feel and do what you need to.

  28. trgiles3

    February 1, 2016 at 5:09 PM

    Steve, I’m so sorry you lost Maddie. It’s a terrible thing to lose a pet that is so close to your heart. I’m glad to hear that she didn’t have to suffer. I think everyone could easily see how much Maddie meant to you. I cried when I read your post. We’re heartbroken for you. Sending all our love and comfort to you at this time.

  29. marcel3512

    February 1, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    I deeply felt every painful word that you wrote. The pain’s excruciating, isn’t it? She lucked out the day you stopped and looked at her. You brought her home and gave her a great life. You both gave each other so much. You felt something many people never will. Not sure if you’re into tattoos, but it might help to have a small one of just her name put on the inside of your arm? Hang in there. All the best

  30. turningover

    February 1, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Oh Steve, I am so so sorry to hear about Maddie.

  31. lisajtr

    February 2, 2016 at 5:47 AM

    Steve,
    I can certainly feel your pain. In fact, my husband and I just had to put our 11 1/2 year old English Setter, Junior, down this past Friday. It’s like losing your child. He had cancer also, and we really had no choice. We couldn’t let him suffer. You absolutely did the right thing, even though it’s one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make. And I’m one of those people who think dogs DO have emotions. Max, Junior’s son, has moped around and looked for his daddy ever since Friday. He knows he’s gone, and is grieving also. Best wishes to you.
    Lisa

  32. challen

    February 2, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Steve- I have been through this same situation more than once. Most recently with my Humane Society hound of 8 years. All I can tell you is that it does get better. Better with as each day passes. Time heals, yet, when I read a blog post, or story such as this, my heart does get heavy and my girl “tess” automatically is on my mind. I was like you, wasn’t sure about getting a dog, and Tess chose me…..Being a responsible dog owner isn’t always the easiest, and we do lose our share of remote controls, socks, etc. However, “The juice is truly worth the squeeze” :-) Godspeed Maddie.

  33. sarahjigs

    February 2, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Steve, I’m so sorry to hear about Maddie. I had a similar experience with my first dog, Harry. He passed away 3 years, 4 months and 20 days ago. Even while typing this, I can’t believe he’s gone. It does get better, and you will get to the point where you can remember her and not be so sad. Hang in there! You and Maddie will be in my thoughts and prayers. <3

  34. canon

    February 2, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Hadn’t checked for your recap last week as I was busy so I had a sec today and thought I’d catch up. Wow, I was so sad to hear your beloved Maddie had cancer and you had to go through all that. I started tearing up and just wanted to hug you. Nothing I can say will fix or ease anything, but just know people care that you are hurting and if you focus on the blessing of the memories and great times, and that you gave a sweet dog an amazing life worth living, then somehow, the joy in all that will help the sadness a bit. Many hugs.

  35. bachelorfan10

    February 2, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    So sorry for your loss.

  36. rosie110

    February 4, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    I’m late on this, but I was shocked and saddened to read this. I’ve been reading your posts on and off for about 8 years(even emailed you once) and always loved to hear the latest news about Maddie and see her in videos! You are so sarcastic and raw when talking about this show but so sweet and loving when talking about her. Sorry for your loss and I hope you stay focused on the good times you had with her :)

  37. justforfun

    February 4, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    I am just catching up reading your columns and wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I hope in time you are able to rescue another dog. There will never be another Maddie, but there are so many others that need a loving home. (((hugs)))

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