One baby, then a puppy, then our second child.  My house was full. 
Later on a kitten?  Yep, chaos was my normal.  Chaos was my love.  For more than 14 years this house has been full of noise, of barking, of squealing and laughter. 
Now..it is too quiet.  Painfully, achingly quiet. 
My Husband at work, my girls are at school, that cat sleeps all day long and my dog.  My dog is gone. 
Today, this week, I do not feel witty, clever or smart.  Today all I feel is an ache deep down and I can’t stop the tears.  Mine or theirs.  Today I must acknowledge a loss in our family.  The loss of our sweet Maddy girl, our almost 13 year old black lab. 
Maybe only a pet lover would get this; dogs bring so much to our lives, and then leave a huge gapping hole when they are taken from us so suddenly. Our sweet dog was a best friend, a playmate, a confident, a protector.  A quiet companion late into many lonely nights, often sitting with me while I nursed and cared for sick babies, then toddlers now teens.  The quietist of souls and the best listener in the house.   A lover of popcorn, bananas, and the occasional unguarded piece of cheese. The last to say goodbye to us when we left our home, the first to celebrate our arrival back to the house. 
My dearest Madison, I am so sorry I wasn’t here for you when you left this earth.  Thank you for helping me take care of my babies, for being a friend to me in this sometimes big and empty house, for protecting us from unseen bad guys and for always offering a friendly nudge when I was down.  You were loved, you will be missed.  Always.


  1. Oh Stephanie!

    I have tears in my eyes reading your post. The loss of a pet is so raw and the emptiness is so painful. I am so sorry to hear that Madison is gone from your home, but I know she will live in your heart forever.

    I firmly believe that pets go to heaven and I am counting on it.


  2. Oh, Stephanie! I immediately got tears in my eyes when I saw the photo and read the title of your post.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Maddie! I know how difficult it is to lose a pet, as they become a member of your family. As a pet lover, I GET your pain..

    I wish I had some comforting words for you, but I do know nothing will help ease the loss, but time.


  3. Brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing like a dog. And nothing like their loss. So very sorry.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss, Steph. My heart is achy for you. Much love… xoxo

  5. We are a dog family and love our wrinkly friend dearly. A few years ago I lost my first dog and it still makes me sad anytime I think of him. They want nothing more than food, water and the occasional toy but give so much. ‘Best friends live forever in the memories we keep’

  6. 🙁 You know how sad this makes me…xo love to your family!

  7. I am so sorry. Pets truly are members of the family. Thinking of you and sending hugs!

  8. i am so sorry…we lost our 12 year old cat the week of christmas…its hard…they are such a part of our family….

  9. I’m so sorry 🙁

  10. I have tears streaming down my face. I totally get your pain.

    We lost our sweet Golden Retriever, Nala, last year at age 13. I miss her still.

    I am so sorry for the loss of sweet Madison. You are in our thoughts!

  11. It’s so hard to lose a pet. They truly are part of the family. My heart goes out to all of you. XO

  12. I’m so sorry Stephanie.

    She was a lucky dog to have you as her human family 😉

  13. Oh Stephanie I am so sorry. Maddy girl was a beautiful dog.Hug B

  14. Oh, Stephanie, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sending big hugs to you and your children, who must be devastated, as well.

    I’ve been bracing myself for this sad situation in my house, as my “puppy” is about to turn 16. I’ve been in denial about what that means, but I know it’s coming. 🙁

  15. Oh, I’m so sorry! Dogs are such a part of the family and I know you have a big void right now. Sending you a big hug!

  16. Oh darling you poor thing, I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost your faithful friend.

  17. I’m crying for you all. The love of a pet is something special…they are so giving and forgiving. Just remember she had the time of her life for 13 years.

  18. Oh gosh, just read your post, I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. Keeping you in my prayers.

  19. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the incredible love and energy they bring to our lives, it wouldn’t be worth the pain and heartache we suffer when they leave.
    So sorry for the loss of your cherished family member; thinking of you. xo

  20. I am so sorry! When Sam, our big yellow lab, died it was so awful and we all mourned. Yes, I know just how this feels. There is no love like a lab’s love!

  21. My heart breaks for you, and I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Our pets are more than just an animal, they truly are part of our families and our best friends. We lost our 14 year old dog a few months ago, and I still feel it. I’m thinking of you all, and wishing you peace and moments soon of happy memories of your sweet little girl.

  22. Huge hugs to you! Maddy was very special and will be missed by all. xo

  23. Oh Steph!!! I’m so sorry 🙁
    Sending you big squishy ((hugs))

  24. My heart aches with you. I know your loss and it hurt deeply. They are family and love us like nothing else. ((HUGS))

  25. I’m so very sorry, Stephanie. I hope through the sorrow you will all find the comfort of many happy memories.

  26. Stephanie I am so sorry. Pets are not just animals, they are members of our families. Losing them is like losing any friend. Hang in there!

  27. So sorry for your loss. Your puppy was beautiful.

  28. Aw, I’m so sorry for your loss! Losing an animal is just … horrific.

    And she knows you were with her and that you loved her – she knew every moment. Even her last one.

  29. Oh Stephanie, I am so sorry – pets are so much a part of our lives and they are such an important member of the family. {Hugs] to you and your family. xoxo

  30. When I became “Mom” to a dog, that’s when I understood the love that is possible.

    You are blessed to have had her.

  31. oh that is so sad. we have a chocolate lab who is 10 years this summer and I can already see some serious signs of her aging. so sorry for your families loss

  32. so sad,we miss him

  33. I have a big lump in my throat. So sad.

  34. So sorry for the loss. A pet is just as much family as everyone else. Remember when we had to put my old yorkie down. Very sad day.

  35. So sorry for your loss. I totally get this…several years back our beloved dog died and I was heartbroken… still am heartbroken. I miss our Shadow. Last year we finally got another dog. She is great but can never replace our beloved Shadow.

  36. Darlene Schuller says:

    Interesting I come across this.. my very own fur baby is 12.. he’s a teacup chihuahua…we’ve had him since he was 6 weeks old.

    I see the changes, his sight seems off.. he’s spending more of his days sleeping, at times he can be very active but that lasts very briefly…

    I know it’s been over a year now for you.. but I’m so sorry for your loss…

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