Waltzing Matilda Mae

This might be Mattie’s last day. She has been ill for some time (first with pyometra and then with a bad tooth.) She has not been able to keep much down since her dental work last week and although she is hungry she will not take food.

Waltzing Matilda Mae has been part of our family for almost as long as Better Half and I have been married. She is Red Dog (eternal bitch, protector of her food and guardian of the property.) She faithfully patrols each day, keeping us safe from the Vandals, Visigoths and Vikings. When the snow lays thick she conducts her winter warfare training; when the weather is good she is the ultimate porch dog. Her love of having her backside scratched is only secondary to her love of birds and liking the salt of people’s skin (both tie at first place in her world.)

Mattie (or Maddy, depending on who you ask) came to us when she was six weeks old, a rescue from a neighbor’s yard. She had food aggression issues (the Animal Planet “Heroes” would have failed her out and most likely put her down.) She is dominant. We swore that she sold her soul to the devil in Colorado, as she never appeared to grow old. Despite her flaws, she is an embodiment of love.

There was many a night when she would crawl under the covers and lick my feet and calves when my legs were in pain from cramping. She happily “cockroaches” on Better Half’s side of the bed, never demanding a pillow to lay on. The bathtub is her secret cool spot to nap when the heat gets too extreme. She has the uncanny ability to find objects that match her fur in color and she will use them to camouflage herself. She blends into the wood paneling at the vet’s office and she thrives in our red dining room with its high baseboards.

Parks with lakes are her favorite place to visit. She was an avid lake swimmer in puppyhood (until she caught a staph infection which managed to scar both her eyelids.) It was on a cold May afternoon in Colorado that Mads took her final lake swim. Ducks glided upon the cool water and the sight was much to tempting for her. She slipped through her collar and plunged into the icy water in pursuit of the birds. She realized as she reached the half way mark that she was not as spry as she remembered. We thought surely Better Half would need to dive in to rescue her; never doubt the persistence of Red Dog! She returned to shore under her own steam, exhausted but delighted with herself.

I think I will take my shower and have her join me on the porch for a while. We have an appointment at 2 PM. My heart aches in the knowledge that this might be our final day together. I am depressed beyond words that I might soon have to part with my Flabrador.
Some photos over the past two years:

This last picture and the one above it is from yesterday. My baby has gotten so old.

3 responded with...:

Lemmy Caution said...

Very sad indeed. That is one beutiful dog. Sorry all is not well. Smile knowing you gave her a very happy life and then some.

Roadchick said...


You're in my thoughts & prayers.

Annie Jeffries said...

My heart is aching for you Toni. Please give Maddy/Mattie a gentle pet for me.