A Senior Story: Maddie   5 comments

Maddie is an old friend of mine.  When Susan (her mother) sent me a picture of her recently she said “I’m coming back as Maddie in my next life: snoozing in a heated orthopedic dog bed (on top of other orthopedic dog bed) with microwaved heat wrap over old, arthritic hips and bad legs.”

I loved the picture and I loved what she said, so I asked her if I could post it on the blog and then I begged her to write a little more. Here’s what she sent:

An Old Dog is the Best Dog

I never really understood the expression, “an old dog is the best dog.” Probably because I didn’t have a dog who was young or old.  But now that I’ve had one for quite a few years, and now that she’s gotten really old, and now that it’s getting hard for her to walk due to a really crummy neurological disease, and now that it seems that perhaps we really may lose her before too long, I’ve been thinking about it.  So I made a short list of just a few reasons.  Though perhaps you don’t need anyone to tell you.  You already know.

-An old dog is the best dog…because they snore quite a lot, and sometimes rather loudly, which can be surprisingly comforting in the middle of the night (but just when it’s your dog; not your spouse).

-An old dog is the best dog…because people are a whole lot less mad when you walk down the street and your dog isn’t leashed (I think because it’s pretty obvious your dog isn’t going to get up to much when it takes them five minutes to walk one block).

-An old dog is the best dog…because you no longer feel annoyed, and in fact might even think it’s a bit amusing, when they do something they shouldn’t, like bust open a bag of dog treats and eat twenty biscuits in two minutes flat, or throw up on the back seat of your car (which isn’t very amusing actually).

-An old dog is the best dog…because you no longer have to walk your dog five miles a day, every day.  In the rain (if you happen to live in Seattle).  Which is a relief really, unless you enjoy that sort of thing.

-An old dog is the best dog…because really have you ever met an old dog whose eyes weren’t soulful?

-An old dog is the best dog…because you’ve got their every move down, or they’ve got yours down, or both.

-An old dog is the best dog…[and here is a sad but important bit]…because watching them stumble and fall down, and then get back up on their feet and stand wagging their tail at you, is a lesson in humility.

-An old dog is the best dog…[and this is the biggest truth of all]…because they’ve stolen your heart a thousand times over, and you are grateful, and only wish there was enough time left that they could do it all over again.

Susan Roxborough


Posted October 23, 2010 by julieklam in Senior Stories

5 responses to “A Senior Story: Maddie

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  1. We lost our Maddie at 15.5 years old this past Mother’s Day. This post is so true. Thank you for sharing.

  2. So touching… my old Lucy was just like Maddie! Even though she was quite rickety at the end, she always came to greet me and bring it to my attention that her food bowl was empty!

  3. Oh Karen, I always look at that picture of Lucy with her duck!

  4. Hi Julie,

    I’ve been reading your book and am loving it! Like this post, you pass on little pearls of wisdom that I can so relate to. My little beagle, Reggie, passed away in June of this year. She was 14-years-young and was my heart dog.

    About a month ago, I started to get pangs for a new pup and was doing research on rescue puppies when I found your book. Now I have to bookmark your blog! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. she’s so right.
    This made me teary.
    love this pic too!

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