Wow, It's been over a year since I have written anything here! Where did that year go? As some of you who are my friends on Facebook know I had to say goodbye to my precious little dog, Maples, yesterday. This blog is dedicated to my furry friend of 15 years!
Those of you that knew Maples know all too well that she was not the sharpest tool in the shed. She was not smart, at all:) She did make up for this in her sweetness and loving nature and the fact that everyone knew she wasn't too bright made you love her even more. A comment was even made by her groomer that, "Bless her little heart, she is just the sweetest thing, just not very smart." She didn't say it to be mean, I find it hard to believe this woman has a mean bone in her body!
Maples was born on March 7, 1997. She became a part of my family in May 1997. I had been wanting a little dog to love and saw an ad in the newspaper for some poodle puppies in Chapman, KS. My sister and I went over to look at the puppies and the place was appalling. It was a single wide trailer that housed 6 adult dogs and I believe at that time they had 3 or 4 litters of puppies. The owner opened up her door far enough to squeeze out with this flea infested, emaciated, very dirty and smelly long tailed poodle puppy. I wasn't 100% percent of her actual color due to all the dried feces on her body. She was not my ideal puppy choice and the fact that they had the nerve to want money for this animal was shocking. However, there was no way in hell I was leaving that precious little girl in that environment. So, home she went with me and after a very intense bath I could tell she was not Apricot colored as I had guessed but more white/cream colored. After going to the vet and getting healthy she quickly became my sweet little dog. I named her Maples Ann ( her color reminded me of a maple stick) and over the years she was referred to as: Mapes, The Mapes, Mapers, Mapies, Mapie Bo Bapies and I believe that's all:)
My parents had a poodle, Inky, who was extremely smart as poodles are known to be. Inky had been taught many tricks and had learned them very very quickly. However, when I began the agonizing task of trying to teach my little girl, I was greeted with a blank slate stare. It was the most frustrating and hilarious thing I had ever witnessed. I mean this dog would not engage with me at all! After several several months, maybe even a year or 2 I just gave up. She was house trained and a cuddler, what else could I ask of this little dog? She had devoted herself to me and was always right beside me in our chair. She listened to me, made me feel better when I was sad, was happy when I was happy, checked on me when I was sick loved to "play" with her collection of toys. Who cares if she couldn't learn to shake? I loved her the way she was and she was devoted to me. She was 100% my dog. My son loved her too but she was my dog.
Over the past 15 years she has just been a part of the family. She wore Halloween costumes, wore sweaters when it was cold, cheered for KState basketball and football all the while wearing her KState jersey! Always, always happy to see me whether I had been gone for 2 minutes to take out the trash or been at school or work all day. She went to birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas and most all family celebrations. Over the past few years I could see her age creeping up on her. She became a little hard of hearing, didn't play as much and arthritis began attacking her already compromised joints. Another note about Maples, she had horrible conformation. You really had to see her to understand but those of you that knew her know EXACTLY what I'm speaking of! Then this past year things began getting pretty bad for her and me. She lost almost all her sight. After laying for a while she had a hard time getting her legs to "work" again. She would get "lost" in the yard when she was turned out to potty. One day she wondered off and it took my husband about an hour and a half to find her. If he wouldn't have found her she would have froze to death that day. She also no longer really knew where she was relieving herself which was very hard on my carpet. This past Thanksgiving I told everyone to say goodbye to Maples then Christmas rolled around and she was still here! I was holding on to my little friend which was in no way fair to her.
Last week I had her outside with me and she got disoriented and kept walking into the side of the house. Then the other day in the house she woke up and was attempting to get her legs to work to go get a drink. She finally made it to the water dish and then her legs gave out on her. That was it, this was no longer about me not wanting to lose her it was about me being a responsible loving owner and letting her go. It was agonizing for me and I put it off for about 3 days. Yesterday, I met my husband at the vet's and they helped me relieve the pain and confusion Maples had been suffering through. The doctor was so caring and compassionate which made me feel better that she cared about my little dog too. Thank you Dr. B! I of course was a total mess. I held my little girl while she slipped peacefully away and I then put her in her bed. She was buried by my husband in her bed with her collar and sweater. We buried her by some blooming tulips. Around 7:45 last night there was a full rainbow after the rain had stopped. My husband called me out on to the front porch to look at it. It was a very clear full rainbow over our house. I knew as soon as I looked at it that it was Maples letting me know she was okay and no longer hurting or confused. It made me smile and cry at the same time. I made a very hard decision for me but the absolute best decision for my dog.
Goodbye Maples. You were and always will be my precious little Mapies. There will NEVER be another one like you.