Mattie’s Story in Brief
It was October 2005, and she obviously had been left behind by her “family” who’d had to move out of an apartment complex which was being evacuated to be converted to condominiums, and they simply left her behind to fend for herself on busy streets, in coyote territory, and with all sorts of people around…all who pretty much ignored her as she hopefully followed them wagging her little tail, looking for new friends to take care of her. My heart was filled with dread on seeing her out there wandering, aimlessly, hopefully, dejectedly. Of course I had to take her in, regardless of the fact I already had two dogs (dear Corky and Heidi) and we were not allowed more than that in my apartment complex. I would simply only walk two dogs at a time and if asked would say one was my brother’s, just visiting. They never asked, thank goodness.
Mattie was already spayed when found, probably as a small Rat Terrier puppy after being bought from a pet store, most likely having been bred in a hellish puppy mill. It was always heartbreaking when, for several months after I took her in, she would always lead me towards one condominium in the complex across the way. It must have been where she’d lived. She was frantic in searching for something always while out on a walk…obviously she was searching for her former “family.” I believe since her “cute puppy” days were long over and she had some scars and problems, they simply thought of her as discardable.
That’s how some people pay back the love and loyalty of dogs, by totally abandoning them, never to be seen again, without a thought or a care.
Well, Mattie made an absolutely wonderful addition to my family. She got on very well with everyone; that is, except for most other dogs, who just rubbed her the wrong way, and except for all cats which she went after maniacally and murderously at every sighting (never caught one, thank goodness). She never met a person she didn’t love and was heartbroken when people ignored or rebuffed her.
She was lively (some would say insanely hyper) and playful despite her numerous health problems, among them a long-ago broken toe that healed twistedly, a bad old scar on that foot from a bloody injury, luxating patellas (bad back knees), and later on a large soft lipoma inside her left back leg. In her later years just recently, she’d gone totally deaf and suffered from pinched nerves, and in the last week she evidently had at least one stroke that left her unable to balance anymore so she would spin and go in circles and fall down as if badly drunk, which terrified her. She was no longer happy, for a few months, but I kept trying new remedies and holding out hope that things would improve. They didn’t, really, only briefly at times.
She had two long-time dog partners in her life: Lily whose story can be found in an earlier blog (search “My Little Lily is Gone”), and Tyler currently (search “Tyler” in that same article). She and her partners would romp and shout and chase and wrestle and jawbone like nobody’s business. It was always a joy to see her so happy. She would chase me around too, playful gleam in her pretty brown eyes, only to be hugged once she caught me. She had countless outdoor adventures over the years, even though she didn’t care for car rides, but once at the fun destinations all that was forgotten.
I’m sure to be leaving out so much that would accurately describe Mattie and the love I have for her, forever, but this is only a blog; it’s not the 13+ years spent with this beautiful, sweet, funny, unique, loving, friendly angel of a dog, so it can never do her justice.
I just hope her dear soul is in absolute bliss and happy to be free of her ailing 18-year-old body that failed her so sadly towards the end. She was euthanized today (June 4) as I held her and she passed on as my heart broke, once again, as it has so many times now, my mind dazed and confused about why life is like this. But my heart also soared for her freedom from all of that suffering she was enduring.
Following are pictures of her in much happier, youthful times in our former apartment. She currently (since 2012) lived in the condo complex where she’d been abandoned, as I was able to purchase a condo when prices were so low, and to the end of her out-for-a-walk days she always showed a spark of recognition for that same condo I suspected she’d lived in before 2005. The love and loyalty of dogs is absolutely amazing, so sorely undeserved by some people.