Maddy the Lab Mix

Introducing Maddy the Labrador Mix

A few weeks after Jordan the Golden Retriever died, my family finally came to the conclusion we needed another dog in our house. After much discussion, we decided a puppy wasn’t going to be a good fit in our lives right now, so we settled on trying to find an adult dog that needed a good home. We put out a few feelers and tried to wait for the perfect dog to get dropped in our lap. That lasted a couple of weeks. We got impatient and decided to pay a visit to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley to see what they had for adult dogs in the larger varieties. The second dog we met was a black lab mix named Mary Todd. She looked very much like a purebred lab except for her short stature and her extra long ears. Just a guess — but maybe a Lab/Beagle mix? They estimated she was four years old. She had no health problems that they were aware of other than she was very overweight. It was obvious after a few minutes in the visit room with her that she was very sweet and very calm. After 20 minutes with her, we decided she would fit right in at our house so we went through the adoption process.

The first thing we did was change her name to Maddy. The second thing we did is declare a birthday for her. We decided she turned four on February 15, 2013, so her birthday must have be February 15, 2009. Then we took her home. She quickly settled into the house. The cats were not happy that we introduced a new dog, but they were very curious about her. Maddy was very curious about them too. It didn’t take long for her to form a friendship with Flurry, our older cat. Maddy and Flurry would often hang out together, basking in the morning sun in the kitchen each morning.

Maddy had one interesting flaw. She was a runner and she would not come when she was called. If she got loose without a leash she would take off and disappear into the neighborhood. Several times she had run several blocks before we found her again and got her home. I finally ended up buying a Tagg GPS collar for her so that if she got loose, we had a way to locate her. We ended up using it several times to locate her after she got loose. Despite that flaw, she was a great dog that fit in very well at our house.

In the fall of 2017, our vet pointed out that Maddy always seemed to be holding her head tilted to the left. There can be a number of reasons for that, both serious and benign, but she could find nothing wrong with her at the time. Then, in late September, Maddy suddenly became very ill. It was clear she we in immense pain, but the vets couldn’t find the source of the pain. The assumption was that it was a problem with her neck or back, as it was impacting her ability to walk. We tried several different pain killers but after a week without much improvement, they suggested we try some Prednisone. A day later, the pain subsided and she was back to normal. Everything was going very well until November, when one morning she was clearly in pain again. Then a couple of hours later, Maddy had a massive stroke and was paralyzed on one side of her body. She lost her ability stand and could barely move. The vets believed that what was really going on was that she had a brain tumor. The prednisone we had given her earlier in the fall had caused the tumor to shrink, which temporarily relieved her pain from the tumor, but the tumor had encroached some the blood vessels. The stroke was caused by the rupturing of a blood vessel as the tumor grew. We had her euthanized that afternoon as we all surrounded her.