RIP Madison Marie

Madison Marie (Maddie) 1998-2013

Madison Marie (Maddie) 1998-2013

Here are just a few highlights and pictures from her long and full life:

Maddie hanging at the Cribworks on the Penobscot River, ME

Maddie hanging at the Cribworks on the Penobscot River, ME

She rafted and swam the rapids on the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers and swam across Lake Parlin in Maine. She swam in most every pond, creek and beach in Connecticut. She swam in the Gulf of Mexico off Palm Island, Florida. She swam in the Atlantic Ocean off of eastern Long Island, New York. A few weeks ago, she swam for the last time in Wildhorse Creek in Missouri.

Parlin and Maddie

Parlin and Maddie

She had one great true love.

Parlin and Maddie, her first and only love

Parlin and Maddie, her first and only love

She never complained and rarely barked.

P1010590 (500x375)She drank white Russians on occasion in her younger years. She attended Wesleyan University with me and taught me more about love and faithfulness than any of my professors.

P1050136 (500x375)She dutifully followed the kids everywhere. Even to preschool. She had lots of experience having accompanied me to every college babysitting job I ever had.

P1040873 (500x402)She loved romping through the woods. The ultimate retriever, you could show her a rock then cover her eyes and throw it as hard as you could out into the woods and she would come back with the same rock.

P1030403 (500x375)She was at our side when we got married. She was always right at our side. She’s been to bars, summer camp, church, classrooms, frozen lakes and sandy beaches. She was with me at the office on my last day of my first real job.

On our wedding day

On our wedding day

Maddie was the greatest dog.

P1010600 (500x375)My husband writes:

Maddie was one of only two puppies born to Molly, a fine breed of Golden Retriever in a small town in the northeast kingdom of Vermont.  I worked for a time for the owners on the farm where she was born and was graciously offered one of these dogs for free when they came of age. When 8 weeks came to pass I waited for them to release the pups to make my pick. When they let the pair out of the pen I was sitting off in the distance, and she came to me in a full sprint. Fell into my lap and never left my side. She had picked me. I was asked to consider the other pup as it was stouter and had the qualities of a superior Golden; I never gave it a second thought. I was right. She was the best dog I’ve ever known.  She was a tough, hardy dog that never backed down when threatened by another dog, but never picked a fight. I never once worried about her with my kids. She would patiently endure their harassment and then follow them with concern when they would go outside. I was blessed to have her in my life for all these 15 years and I will never forget her. Rest in peace Maddie.

maddie (333x500)We would really appreciate your thoughts and comments (your email address will remain private). To leave a comment click on the “reply” just below the “RIP Madison Marie” heading of this post.

35 thoughts on “RIP Madison Marie

  1. narf77

    I just saw this as a post underneath today’s post and just wanted to comment. You really don’t know true love till you share your life with a dog. There is something so honest about that love, it never goes and even if you have a bad day, they are always there to remind you that you aren’t alone. Dogs are Gods way of saying sorry for the crappy things that life holds and that we have to endure but nothing replaces them and even though memory fades, Maddie will always be part of your soul. A lovely post, by lovely people about a lovely dog.

  2. puppiesinparadise

    I am truly sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you in your time of mourning. Dogs are such wonderful creatures because they develope their own special relationship to each family member and even our extended family and friends. I am so impressed that she had such a amazing long life of 15 years. You and your family were truly blessed to be given so much time with her. She was a beautiful dog. It was a fitting tribute for such devotion and love that she obviously gave you and your family. May she RIP.

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks. It’s been since August but we still mention her often. She was a great dog! We like our new puppy (Dexie) but she is nowhere near as smart as Maddie was..Maybe she’ll get a little wiser with age, but it is amazing how dogs can have such different personalities!

      1. puppiesinparadise

        I agree that every dog has it’s own individual personality and it’s own abilities. It takes time and patience to discover what their abilities are and to promote them. Your new puppy is gorgeous. She is a different breed as well with it’s own inate traits. Our puppy is also a different mixture of 3 breeds that I haven’ t had before. I am trying to learn what abilities she has as well. As I am sure you know it’s fun figure it out.

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  4. Eliza Waters

    I followed your pingback to this moving tribute written about a month before I came on board. Maddie sounds like a truly solid dog. So hard to lose that piece of your heart. I’m sure it is tempting to compare Maddie and Dexie, especially when you’re training a new pup, but those are pretty big footprints to fill!
    We had a lab mix, Chelsea, who passed in 2008. I referred to her as our ‘Mary Poppins’ (“practically perfect in every way”). Ruby was five when C. died, and it was like she lost her rudder. A nervous dog, I think R. depended on C. to keep things ‘under control.’ Ruby is not alpha material! I have to remind myself that she is a good dog in her own way, even if she can’t hold a candle to Chelsea, who also incidentally, lived 15 years. A good long life for a dog. We’re blessed to have them share our lives.

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks. Yes, we’ve realized Maddie wasn’t much of a “dog” at all. She had insight and wisdom and was capable of being sarcastic, subtle or silly. Definitely practically perfect in every way. Now we have a true dog. “Lovable stupidity” pretty much sums up Dexie at this point. But yes, she is still a puppy. It is a very different experience and we stopped comparing her to Maddie about a day after we got her hahahah. No contest. But it is fun to have a “dog” for the “first” time and yes, she is a “good dog” in her own way ;) Thanks for your comments.

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  9. onepawfectday

    Whay a beautiful companion . Thankyou for sharing your furry friends story with all.
    To loose ones dog is to loose a member of your family. The grieving process is the same.
    All the best.

  10. Kathleen Brueggemann

    What a fabulous tribute to Maddie. I’m so glad that I got to meet her recently. She definitely lived a long and fruitful life. What a blessing to have had her for so long. May all if your happy memories help mend the wound of her passing.


  11. Lizzy

    When we lose a beloved pet, we lose part of our family. Pets don’t just live with us, they laugh with us, they share with us, and they love with us.May the love you shared for Maddie live in your hearts forever.. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  12. Tanya

    So very sorry to hear about Maddies passing, she was a truly wonderful dog to so many people. My thoughts are with your family at this trying time. Take comfort in the wonderful memories of Maddie.

  13. shelly

    What a wonderful attestment to how great our God is to give us such love in our lives in the form of animals, especially dogs, as demonstrated in His gift of Maddie to you. Your words were so touching. Doug used to always say, there were animals in Paradise and He is surely to give us them in the new world. I am sure we will see not only our loved ones who have died in the Lord but also those beloved pets who have gone before us. My prayers for comfort will go up for you all.

  14. Erica

    I am sorry to hear of this loss. I remember Maddie and her beauty was breathtaking. She actually inspired us to get our Golden (Pumpkin) many years after we met you. May you find peace in your memories. All the best to your family. :)

  15. Jay Schurman

    Sorry to hear the bad news. She was a great companion and I am thankful for the time I got to spend with her.

  16. Niki, Coby, Ashley and Madilyn

    What an awesomely touching tribute. Made me tear up. Maddie was a good dog..always happy. Hang in there guys..its tough. We had a hard time after our Dax died. He was our first “kid” your Maddie. Many hugs to u all.

  17. Bill Hannon Jr & family

    To the Bunce family our deepest condolences. To lose a family member is never easy. Please take comfort in the memories that will never be forgotten.

  18. Sara Hammill

    I remember going to see her before she was ready for Greg to take her home! Such a sweet and loving dog and so loyal to Greg (and later the rest of her family). To hear that she was a Mama Dog to the Bunce kiddos does not surprise me at all. My thoughts are with The Bunce Family – may your memories serve to comfort you. RIP Maddie.

  19. acuriousgal

    What a wonderful memorial you have written for Maddie!! A loving companion that gave you many years of joy!! So hard to say goodbye, but what wonderful memories you have!!

  20. Sam

    I’m in tears from your touching tribute to your beautiful and faithful companion. It sounds like she had a wonderful life and will be missed. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  21. Adam Allen

    She really was the best. Stayed up several late nights with Greg and me to be sure he got home. Sorry for your loss

    1. Talie Shove

      Oh, friend. I’m so sorry. That’s such a tough loss, and one that no one is ever ready to deal with. They’re true family members and often understand our thoughts and needs better than people. Despite the sad news, it made me smile to read about all of her adventures and sweet personality. What a good friend she was to everyone! I wish there was something more comforting to say than “sorry,” but know that I really am truly sorry and that I’m hugging Oscar and Olive a little closer tonight in honor. :)

  22. ...a Beehive here Inside My Heart

    What a sweet & beautiful soul you were blessed to share your lives & hearts with. I’m so sorry for your loss. Saying goodbye is always too soon.

    I said goodbye to my much-beloved & heart-bonded kitty 3 years ago. My sweetheart made a beautiful box for her which I covered in photographs of the two of us (mom & kitty), & we buried her in our garden, covered with rose petals & herbs – like an Indian wedding. I planted Motherwort above her. Motherwort is a strong medicinal herb, especially for women, whose name means lion-hearted.. which she was.

    The vacancy in my heart is always there, yet ever-filled with her loving presence. She is physically no longer with me, yet she has never left my side. I hope that however you choose to honor the bond you shared, that you always feel her with you. That’s the way it is when they choose us. As much as we don’t want to lose them, they don’t want to leave us either. And they don’t.


  23. Sandy Greenberg

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful and loving companion you had in Maddie! Sounds like she shared so many major events in your lives. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful friend. Know she is still watching over the four of you!

    1. Mom

      Your dad and I are so sad for your loss and she will be so missed she always was excited to see us visit you. The tribute you wrote to her was beautiful.


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