one of the first things craig and i did after we moved to nc from nyc was to get a dog. we adopted mattie from a vet that took in homeless animals. mattie was originally named "patty" but since that is my mom's name, we went with mattie. mattie was abandoned during hurricane floyd and she had eight puppies that she pulled to the roof of a shed. she was either superdog or that was one humdinger of a story to tell in order to get her adopted. she was 40 pounds underweight and had only lived outside during her three years of life. she must've thought she was in heaven as she quickly took over the house and was doted on so much that craig's grandmother once remarked "you know, when you finally have children, you'll have to take care of them first!". when we did finally have children, mattie acted as if ella was a bother but never once complained when ella used her as a chair or when ella bopped her on the head with a shoe. mattie quickly realized that ella was an excellent food source and spent the three years of ella's life following her around waiting for the food that would inevitably drop from her hands. her favorite foods being apples, yogurt and peanut butter. or a smoothie of all three.
mattie was recently diagnosed with addison's disease, glamorous only because j.f.k. had it. it's an expensive disease and a difficult disease to manage, especially in a twelve year old dog who had some aging issues to begin with and things just weren't going well for her. and so, last week mattie passed away. i can't remember the last time i've sobbed so hard. even now, almost a week later, i tear up at the littlest things - like tonight i went to ask craig if he had already let mattie out. i sometimes think it's harder to lose a pet than a human! we told ella the best we could - by being truthful. i think she understands at some level but obviously, not totally. i got the book "dog heaven" out of the library which made me cry even harder and ella kept saying "but where IS heaven?". also, the book opened a whole new issue since it mentions "god" and i'm sure ella is all like "who is this god character that mattie is now living with?".
i raise a jar of peanut butter to the mrs. moo. she was a fine old girl and a perfect dog and she is sadly missed. here's a photo taken just two weeks ago before she got really sick. on this day i fed her lots of vanilla yogurt and she spent many hours in the sun. bon voyage, moo moo.