Maddi’s Journey – Part 2 The Long Road Home

We’ve been waiting Maddi! Tell us what happened next after you flew over the fence and got washed away in the swollen river!

happy maddi in truckWell, for starters let’s get one thing straight, I went out to let the coyote know who was boss!

And did you do that?

Sort of, you see  I think once I got to where ever the coyote ran, I ended up in a pack situation and let’s just say I was a little over my head.  I also think that due to the fact that we had been in a 6-year drought and were getting massive amounts of rain that I was most likely headed home on a path that I usually use when the path turned in to a washed out raging river.   They think I was literally washed away and when I got out of the flooding had been taken far enough that I honestly had no idea where I was. 

Wow, sounds terrifying!

It was, Tigs, trust me, it really was.

The good news is I was found.  The bad news is, I was very hurt. 

The people who found me took me to a place called Lawton Animal Welfare (this is amazing as we live over 20 miles from Lawton Animal Welfare.  No one can tell Mommy where I was picked up and who turned me in only that I was very dehydrated, very hungry, very beat up and needed hip replacement surgery.

The good folks at Lawton Animal Welfare decided I needed a vet and called Dr Black to ask her to open her clinic and take me in.   It was a weekend and she was attending a bowling event.  Despite this, she put aside her plans and came to see me.  I am so happy she did, I feel like this was a pivotal moment in my rescue, and I credit her with saving my life.

Three cheers for Dr. Black!

But what about your Mom and Dad?  Did they know you were there? 

Mommy and Daddy had been checking Animal Welfare at least 2 times a week but since it was a weekend and I was so badly injured, I don’t think I even made it into the welfare building, instead I was taken away by the wonderful Dr. Black.

Dr. Black did my surgery.  I needed a total hip replacement.  She decided that she was not sending me back to the pound because was worried that I may have had a hard time being adopted.   Instead Dr. Black took me home to recover and decided if no one claimed me she would keep me.  She had 2 beautiful little girls and a nice Mr. Dr. Black and they decided to call me Red Black :)

  Maddi hip

Then what happened?

Well I was supposed to stay put and recover and settle into my new home.  Dr. Black had no idea that my parents were checking the pounds of multiple cities for me even though they are all 15 miles plus away from where I went missing.

Weren’t you afraid and missing your family?

Of course Tigs.  I missed them all, Mommy, Daddy, Fletcher, Poppy, and Winston (who I later found had to go to the Bridge while I was gone).  I missed EVERYTHING so bad that the first time I was allowed outside by my self, I did something bad.

Uh oh, what did you do Maddi?

Well, with only three working legs and on heavy meds that made me want to sleep a lot, I dug under Dr Black’s fence and I was gone again.

This time it wasn’t the country side that I knew, it was a city with big busy roads full of cars and oh so many strange and different frightening things. I was so scared, but I was still determined to get home.  This time I had no intentions of being caught by anyone that did NOT KNOW who I was and where I BELONGED again.  I didn’t want to be taken to another shelter, I had to find my way home!

Everything in the city is strange,  the smells, the people, the sights.  This is NO place for a country dog!  I was so lost and not sure what to do or where to go.

Besides the hip injury, was anything else wrong with you?

Sadly yes.  I had multiple wounds consistent with “dog” or coyote fights.  I was very thin, having lost 28 pounds. 

Lost in the big city, sore from surgery, recovering from wounds, and not knowing where to go.  What happened next Maddi?

As I read the posts on my FaceBook timeline so many of you told me to find a nice person and go to them. It was very confusing for me to be in the city. There was so much going on around me and so many people I was unsure of.

Mommy told me at nightime she would lay there and beg me to please just find someone I trusted and go to them, that they would help me get back to her.  She also told me to go back to Dr Black if I could cause she would help me too.

We did that too Maddi, we visualized you alone in the dark and we tried to will you to come out from where you were and find your way home.

Well all that hoping and praying and wishing seemed to work. I finally realized that Miss Michelle was that person I could trust and so even though at first I wanted to run something told me to trust her and go to her.

This is how she tells it:

I live over in the area where Maddi was seen last, I only knew this because I saw on FB about Maddi. I shared it on my wall. This is going to sound really strange but I had a feeling I would find her, I don’t know, just a gut feeling. I didn’t think much of it though because out of all the people in Lawton what were the chances? I met a lady at Wal-Mart on 67th to sell her a toddler bed and afterwards my five-year old son asked if we could look around at some yard sales. So we visited a few before grabbing a drink at McDonald’s. My two year old spilled his drink so we were headed home. I noticed he was asleep as I turned south onto 67th, for some reason I drove past my turn to home and figured we would head further south and look for some sales in those neighborhoods. Coming up to the stripes on 67th and Gore I glanced over and saw a dog. At first I didn’t think much until I noticed the bald hip and how she wasn’t using her leg at all. I felt bad for her because she seemed lost, that’s when I realized it was Maddi. I pulled into stripes but once I got out of my van she went into the traffic.  I turned onto Gore and called Warren to verify it was her.  I got back onto 67th going south and pulled into that turning lane that doesn’t really go anywhere and got out. At first she was scared and tried to go back towards the west. I called Warren again because I was just going to follow her until someone could get her.  For some reason she came back, I opened the door and she jumped in.  Our dog Putty immediately laid next to her where he stayed until she was reunited with her mom and dad.  It’s funny because once she was in my van it started pouring rain, it stopped during the reunion and started up again on my way home. I can’t even imagine what she had been through but she trusted me enough to get into my van and get her to safety.  I’m glad I got to help bring her home and the search is over. I pray she recovers quickly and never gets out again.

Wow Maddi! Thank goodness you decided to trust her!

I was so happy to loaded into her van with her beautiful children and cute Mr Putty!

I can never thank Dr Black and Miss Michelle enough. I am so glad that even though I did not have my FaceBook I could still feel the love and prayers.  I felt so many guardian angels watching over me and pushing me to find Miss Michelle, my rescuer.

I LOVE you all so much!

Happy Maddi in the grass with FletcherLoving my life again (with Fletcher)

What was it like to see your family?  What did you do when you got home?
I went inside and told Mommy all about EVERYTHING that had happened to me!

Then ate a BIG meal and tried to take Fletcher’s dinner too.  I have been doing both since I have been home.  I also try to keep Mommy’s hand on me at all times and follow her about.  I sleep on the side of her bed and she has to hang her hand off it so I can touch her.  I also keep trying to steal Fletcher’s dinner hehehe.  Oh and I am eating treats like I have not had any for over a month BOL!!  Oh and did I mention that I LOVE to talk!!

And, Miss Maddi, how are you feeling?
I am feeling very good now.  Dr Black said it will be at least 6 months for me to heal.  I was missing total of  43 days it was hard and sometimes I felt like giving up  but I was lucky and I am now home.  I am now HAPPY at home where I can push Fletcher around, eat all the food I want make Mommy sit with her hand on me and did I mention JILL cookies?! I am so very happy to be back.  I am also healing physically and Dr Black thinks I will make a full recovery!

maddi hip injuryOn the mend after a swim

What does the future hold for you?
Everything!  I feel like I have been given a second life.  I know I was close to being lost forever and I plan on taking this second chance and making the most of it.  I am so thankful for everyone that cared, prayed, loved, hoped, shared my story on FaceBook and wished me well.  I am also thankful for all my guardian angels that I know are at the bridge watching over me.  I LOVE everyone so much and THANK YOU ALL!

And they lived happily ever after?

Yes, Tigs, they did.

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Maddi’s Journey – Part One

Welcome back readers!  We thank Maddi for our return; her story captivated us, worried us, and renewed our faith in miracles and inspired us to want to tell her story.

YesIn Part One we’ll get to know Maddi, and then in Part Two she’ll tell us about her adventure.  Does that work for you Miss Maddi?

Sure Tigs, let’s tell my story!

But where to begin?  Let’s start at the beginning, or Maddi’s beginning and let’s hear it directly from her.  Sure that ruins the ending but I knew you were going to scroll down to that bit first anyways.

Tell us how you came to be with your family Maddi

It all began, one day  almost 8 years ago when my my Auntie Gayle and Cousin Sammy Jo….

Really? Sammy Jo?  I’ve always wanted a cousin named Sammy Jo.  Sorry, where were you….

Anyways, so they were driving the long lonely drive to Gramma’s house on the empty barren country roads. They turned on the road that is almost to the town Gramma lives in when they spotted something by the side of the road.  That something was me.  I was red, very little, very cold, very tired, very hungry and yes, very scared.

The truck screeched to a stop and they both jumped out and called for me but I turned and ran.  And well, I was no match for Speedy Sammy Jo.  She scooped me up and into the truck and snuggled me for the rest of the journey to Gramma’s house.

Did I mention it was wintertime? 

No, was it?

Yes, and that’s why I was so cold.  It was December, and it was getting close to someone’s birthday.  Not my birthday but my future human Daddy’s birthday.  Daddy was hoping to get a Labrador Retriever dog for his birthday and his wife was looking for one for him.  She was looking at rescues and the pound.  They already had a name picked out for their future dog, she was going to be called 9Cedars Madeline.  Anyways, so my future Auntie called my future Mom to tell her that she’d found a dog (me!) on her way to check on Gramma’s house.  Auntie said, “She is SO cute, she’s just little and doesn’t even have her teeth yet,  and I think she might be part Labrador Retriever!”  So Mom, glanced at Dad, and knowing he wanted a Labrador Retriever she said to Auntie, “Bring Madeline Home!”  And well, the rest is history.

*sniffs and wipes leaky eyes*  That’s a great gotcha story Maddi!

So, what type of Labrador Retriever are you?

Welllll (looks around for Daddy)…I’m actually a mixed breed.

Mixed?  You mean multi-breed don’t you?

Yes, sure Tigs.  I’m a multi-breed.

Dr. Bob thinks I am part Heeler and part Golden Retriever.  Mommie thinks that Dr Bob picks breeds he knows people like and tries to get them into whatever dog they have (Aunti Gayle has a heeler) and they added the golden part after Fletcher moved in :).  I am usually a very friendly dog and am well-behaved.  I get along very well with most animals and humans too.  I do have the coyote thing going on though.

Uh coyote thing?

Part two Tigs, part two.

So tell us more, for instance, who do you live with?

I live out in the country with Mommie, Daddy, my dog brother Fletcher and my Kitty sister Poppy.  We have 10 horses, 2 cows and about a zillion poultry.  I LOVE my big family and I get along very well with most animals but I will chase some like rats. mice and coyotes.

Me and the FletcherMe and Fletcher

I HATE coyotes.  Mommie is not sure why except that I think I am a livestock protection dog and coyotes try to kill my charges.  I take losing a poultry very seriously and when that happens I am a coyote chasing fool.

Poultry WatchGetting acquainted with the poultry

What part of the world do you live in Maddi?

I live way out in the country in Oklahoma.  There are only 5 houses on the mile square we live on.  Two of the miles in the square have no houses at all so it is kind of way out there if you know what I mean.  I don’t really see a lot of people out here just Sheila the mailman, and Auntie Gayle and Mommie and Daddy, my hoosis Audra and Brother in law Warren and CHAD!!!!  Chad is my little Hoonephew and he is so cute and sweet and I LOVE him so much.  Even isolated like we are I am a very good friendly girl.

FarmingFarm Dog

Well it sounds like you live a very happy busy life on the farm taking care of the chickens and such.  So, is this the happily ever after part?

Well, not exactly you see, it began like this….It was very early morning on May 15th (like about 2am)  when Mommie let us out to go potty.  We were having BAD thunderstorms so she never dreamed I would try to chase anything.  Well sure enough she caught sight of me flying over the gate.


Well yes, as many don’t realize I am magic and I can fly.  Well to be more specific, I can fly OUT of the gate but for some reason I can’t fly back IN.  When I want to come back in that requires Mommie coming outside and opening the gate for me.  So that night, Mommie ran out in the rain and lightning and called to me, but for some reason I just kept going when she tried to call me back.  She figures I was after coyotes or I would have minded as I usually mind quite well unlike my brother Fletcher who only minds a little.  I hate coyotes and when I see them I forget to mind.

So, it’s dark, it’s rainy, there are thunderstorms, you’ve flown over the gate, and you aren’t heeding the calls to return, is that about right?

Basically yes, but the reason I went out was to let the coyote know who was boss and tell him to get away from my poultry.  I think that once I got to whereever the coyote ran that I ended up in a pack situation and was in a little over my head.  I also think that due to the fact that we had been in a six-year drought and were getting massive amounts of rain this significantly changed the landscape.  I think I was most likely headed home on a path that I usually use when the path turned in to a wash out raging river.   The humans think I was literally washed away and when I got out of the flooding had been taken far enough away that I honestly had no idea where I was. 

Yes, Tigs it wasn’t a good situation….

And then?

Well, that’s enough storytelling for today.  I told you I’m a working dog and I have work to do.  We’ll get to the rest of the story soon enough.

Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Snuggling with the staffYep, I’m a working dog

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Dogs of the World – East Coast West Coast Rico!

Welcome East Coast Rico!  All the way from the opposite side of our vast country!

This is me

This is me

Tell us, where exactly do you live?

I live in Coxheath, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada!

But I didn’t always live here.  At almost 9 months old I made a long, long trip in an RV (big camper on wheels) with dozens and dozens of other dogs all the way from America.

From America?

Yep, from Palm Springs California.  We traveled all the way to the mainland of Nova Scotia.

Now why did you do that?

Well, we were all living in an overcrowded shelter (300% capacity!) and we had to get out.  Long story short, five rescue organizations in the Canadian Maritimes (that’s what they call the general geographic area where Nova Scotia is) heard about what was happening and agreed to take 100 of us!  In the Maritimes most shelter and rescue dogs are quite large so they were very happy to take us as most of us were quite small.

What was that journey like?

During the drive up from Sunny California, we hit a major snowstorm in Massachusetts. The driver stopped and let us play!  It was the first time any of us had seen anything like that.  By the time we got to Nova Scotia, the same system had passed through so there was plenty of it left.  I actually really love the snow, much to Mom’s chagrin. It’s all gone now…I bid a fond farewell to my last little patch earlier this week.

I'm King of the World!

I’m King of the World!

Tell us a little bit about what it is like there in Coxheath, Nova Scotia.  Is it flat, hilly, on the coast, inland, city, rural?

Yes! It’s actually all of those things here.  There are highlands here in the East Coast Island of Cape Breton.  In fact my uncle KC (he’s a jack russell) has hiked the largest mountain peak (Mount Franey) with my Mom years ago, but she says I probably won’t make that hike.  She does promise me walks along the beach come summertime.

Coxheath is a suburb of the small city of Sydney and there is a mountain with a groomed trail right here.  I’m not sure I’ll get to hike that one either because we hear there are coyote who frequent that area.  Speaking of which, there are loads of wildlife here in Coxheath.  Mom says she has had raccoon on her back deck, fox on her front step, ducks in the back yard, eagles overhead, and assorted other small woodland creatures.  I’m looking forward to meeting some of them, um, maybe.

How long have you lived there now?

I arrived in mainland Nova Scotia on Valentine’s Day of this year and was picked up by my new Mom to make another long drive to my home on February 23.

Who do you live with?

It’s just my Mom, but she takes me to her fitness studio with her every day where I have dozens of Aunties and a couple of Uncles.  All of her clients give me cuddles and kisses!

What breed are you?

It is believed I am an Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix.  Mom calls me a Chiggy!



Is your city dog friendly?

No!  Mom says it’s one of the least dog friendly cities ever.  Everywhere you go there are “No Dog Signs”.  For that very reason she and a group of dog-loving strangers got together a few years ago to start the region’s first Flyball and Agility Dogsport group.

No Dogs

Do they have dog parks?

There is one just up the road from here.  It is a paid park run by a veterinary clinic but Mom says she doesn’t want to go because it’s all big dogs and they don’t have small dog time…at least not that she knows of.

Are there any particular places you like to go walking?

It’s been very wintry weather since I arrived so I’ve been walking in the same neighbourhoods since getting here.  Recently we started walking a little further into farm country.

Farm country?

Yep, there are two horses on our walk and the brown one in the foreground of the picture will meet us at one corner of his fence and walk the length of it with us.  Don’t listen to Mom when she says I’m scared.  I am so not scared!  Mom says we will be taking some country and beach walks now that the weather is getting better.

Nope, not me, not scared, no way

Nope, not me, not scared, no way

Can dogs go in restaurants?

Oh heck no!  Although Mom was in Baddeck last year and went to the Bell Buoy restaurant.  Baddeck is a small, beautiful, very tourist friendly village about 78 km out of Sydney.  Cape Breton experienced a particularly warm summer last year,I’m told, and she saw this sign: See attached picture

Bell Buoy for Tiggy

She’s not sure what they were willing to do to help, exactly, but Bell Buoy is her new favourite restaurant. :-)

Can dogs go on public transit?

Only Guide Dogs as far as I know.

Do people there dress their dogs in clothes?

*giggles*  I wear sweaters because I shiver in the cold.  Mom laughs and says she never thought she’d see herself buying dog sweaters!  Other than that we don’t see a whole lot of dressed dogs around these parts.  I think this is probably because most of the dog population here are large breeds and, from what I understand, they just don’t get the clothing thing.

Modeling one of my sweaters

Modeling one of my sweaters

Do most people have dogs there?

EVERYBODY does!  I’m sure of it!  They are everywhere which makes it hard to believe the place is so dog unfriendly. :-(

What is the climate like?

It’s warm, it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dry, it’s sunny, it’s snowy, it’s windy, it’s calm, it’s rainy, it’s…RAINBOWS! :-)

What is your favourite local treat to eat?

Local treat?  I don’t think I’ve had any local treats… :-S

What do dogs do for fun there?

We hike in the woods, run on the shores, and walk on the sidewalks but, sadly, not a whole lot more than that.  We love our families and play with them every chance we get. Sometimes dogs participate in flyball and agility (remember I told you my Mom and a group of dog-loving strangers started the first Flyball and Agility club (Highland Hurricanes) in this area several years ago with my Uncle KC).  Sadly, the majority of the members switched the focus from Flyball to Agility.  KC (my mountain climbing flyballing super cool jack russell uncle is registered with the AAC and, as such, is allowed to compete in Agility…but he doesn’t.)  Mom says she’s thinking of registering me for agility.

Uncle KC!

Uncle KC!

Sounds like you’ve had a pretty full life for a young dog Rico, I hope your adventures continue to get better and better in your new home in Coxheath, Nova Scotia Canada.


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