The things I love about My Madeline



Her Zen temperament. No matter what her age- she was always so deep, thoughtful, serene

Except when she would fence fight. Oh how she loved to fence fight. In her elder years- I let her do it with full gusto. She had certain dogs she would love to get riled up for. She found supreme power and hit of adrenenline in fence fighting. I loved to see her strut her stuff in her old lady days.

Squirrels! Oh how she loved them, she would see one, bark at the tree and run back and forth, seemingly losing sight of the squirrel. I think she just loved that hit of adrenaline. It was like if she had to be a spiritual master in a dog’s body- she was going to enjoy the things dogs loved the most.

The way she would plop down anywhere, head in between her paws and just rest. People commented all the time. I saw this as her Zen innateness to rest and just Be at a moment’s notice. People thought she was tired, and in her later years- she often was but I tend to think she just wanted to meditate whenever possible.

Her depth of beingness. I knew she was a master . Looking into her eyes- you could see her soul.

She was not a typical Pit bull who loved everyone. She was selective ( not aggressive at all, just aloof). I loved her aloofness. It was dignified. But if you were one of the choosen few in the Madeline club- you felt so so privileged to have her attention. She would come over and sit right in front of you and look at you- right into your eyes. And you knew she knew the mysteries of the Cosmos.

The depth in her eyes. Human like. You could not keep secrets from her. She was always watching everything and everyone in her quiet deep profound way. Not intervening or ever obtrusive.

Her total disinterest in balls or toys. She had no use for them.

They way she would do the crazy Pit bull zoomies every once in a blue moon and when she did- it was soooooooo wonderful to see. Even as an old lady, for no reason that I could see- she would suddenly break out in her prance and zoomies. With gusto, howeve short it lasted.

Her bark. Deep alive full

They way she would paw me and curl herself when I was massaging her. She was quietly asking for more in her non pushy way. I loved seeing her like this- she was in bliss when I massged her.

Her moans of pleasure when I massaged her.   Especially when I cleaned or massaged her ears.

The color of her coat the first several years. Such a unique hue. Like a subtle shade of pink and apricot

How she endured so so so much illness and trauma and rarely complained about all the medical probing.

How she liked to lay on the cold hard floor instead of the big beds. And how she would moan and stretch as soon as she hit the cold floor

How she acquiesced to Lucille, to Benjamin. She never tried to claim status. She only asked to be accepted wherever there was space . but the truth was she was a spiritual giant and she did this with full knowing that it was the best thing to do , not because she was truly submissive

How Lucille, in her later years, would flock to Madeline , in all our training sessions together, the hundreds we did as a pack- wherever Madeline layed, Lucille would go to her and lay right next to her. The dominant intense Lucille felt the most secure when she was close to the calm serene Madeline.

How Madeline never overtly begged for anything but she had this deep gaze- where she would look at me , standing up usually, and I would need to get real quiet and ask her- what do you want? And very soon, she would tell me.

Her very pink nose

Her stature- strong yet soft

How she loved loved loved the dirt. She always preferred laying in the dirt. She would make a bed in it- I would come out back or in your favorite spot by the Buddha statue up front- and see her curled up in the dirt, with a very dirty nose.

How she preferred the ground in her later years. She would eventually leave the cozy warm bed for the cold floor- and moan and stretch out on it.

How Abbey always loved her and she loved Abbey. They had a sweet relationship- giving each other kisses, smelling each other often, sitting by each other.   Or in quirky moments at the vet- Madeline would try to hump her. Very funny and weird. They never got in one fight ever.

How she really loved my mom. She would be happy to see her at her yearly visits. She would come over to her, still way more quiet than the other dogs, but she would sit right in front of my mom ,give her her paw and look right into her eyes.

We went to Kari’s cabin in Twain Harte and spent just 20 minutes in the cabin, we had never been there before. I wanted to give the girls a big walk before it got dark. I did not know really where to go. We walked the neighborhood road looking for trail, when suddenly Madeline took off running up this steep hill, off the side of the road. I knew she must have sensed deer.   I called to her , expecting her to return very soon. 15 minutes turned into an hour and it was getting very dark and I began to freak out. I put Abbey and Lucille back in the truck and got a flashlight. I took off into the big hills, crossing over a deep creek. My sneakers and pants got soaked. It was dark, cold, and eerily quiet. I could not hear her anywhere. After 2 hours, I was so so worried. I went back to my truck and someone pulled up asking if I was okay. I told them my dog was missing.   The driver let me know there were mountain lions in these hills and that Madeline was in danger. I was in total tears at this time. I got in my truck to race back to the cabin- I was so starving that I felt like I was going to faint . I grabbed some nuts and soda. I decided to leave the front door wide open, not because I really thought she could find her way back to a house she had never been to- but I was going to pray that a miracle could happen. I was out looking for her for another hour and went back to the cabin to grab some water. And there was my Madeline- laying right inside the door, on the nice big rug- just waiting for me to come back. I couldn’t believe she had found her way back to a place she had been to for only 15 minutes! I was so so angry at her yet so completely relieved.

Her stubbornness. She was so so so stubborn. The most stubborn dog I ever met. But I secretly loved her independence. I found her incredibly confident and secure in herself and I so so admired her strength.

How she would absolutely not go for a walk with anyone but me. No way was anyone going to make her go when she did not know where I was. She was independent but she showed her total devotion and allegiance to me whenever any would try to walk her without me around.

How she tolerated and accepted so so much from so many dogs in all their pushy rude obnoxious ways over the years. She just stood there in all her stoic deep presence and allowed these behaviors because ultimately she was so strong to be unaffected by them. Such grace. Such amazing presence.

How she did these crazy pit bull zoomies at very random times. I never knew when they were going to happen . she did them up to her final month. Seeing her run like a pup in these crazy circles when she was 14 years old brought the most profound feelings of joy in me, especially because she was a stoic girl. So when she let loose- it was a glimpse into her playful spirit

She would see the deer statues on Mountain road and go bonkers barking at them, for years . I loved seeing her realize she was approaching them and then start to get all tense and territorial and let out her beautiful deep menacing bark at them.

How out of the blue she would decide she wanted to play with a dog and she would do her funny lopsided pounce at them., so unexpected.

How she just loved laying on the floor right by my computer. She was a fixture there.

The white of her chest and on her paws. So so beautiful

The depth of of her surviving. How much she persevered through so much illness. Such life force .

How she would stretch her old lady body, on the ground, and she seemed so in bliss for those few moments

How she choose all the best lawns to roll on in the hood. One moment she would be walking on the sidewalk and the next, she would be rolling and twising on someone’s lawn, in total free abandonment.

How I could sense every morning that she was awake. She would very quietly just come in the kitchen and stare into my bedroom. So sweetly and respectfully asking to be let out

how she gravitated to every body of water-  lakes, ponds, streams, the bay, and any puddle!  she had to lay in them and meditate. she attracted so many people to comment because she would look so so peaceful- laying in the water, eyes closed and not moving.

how you felt important when she asked for attention because she did not do it as often as most dogs

Madeline, Madeline, Madeline- that became her name, because she never ever came on one call.

How she loved me so deeply, respectfully and with such elegance