I have never been much of a dog person. We always had pets growing up. Mom and Dad had a white German Shepherd, Casper, that they got befo...

A Precious Girl's Best Friend

I have never been much of a dog person. We always had pets growing up. Mom and Dad had a white German Shepherd, Casper, that they got before Amy and I were born. On top of Casper, we had 3 cats, multiple gold fish, a dog we inherited, chickens, and too many rabbits to count. Needless to say, I was perfectly content with never getting another pet for the rest of my life. Until Madison asked for a dog.

She was about 4 years old and started asking me for a puppy dog. I have no idea what brought all this about, though Shane would argue that I put the idea in her head but honest to goodness, I did not. Shane was adamant that we were not getting a dog, so I started researching breeds and breeders.

I decided on the toy poodle breed. I wanted a dog that would not shed dog hair all over the house and one that would always be smaller than Madison. I never wanted her to feel scared of a dog in her own home.

I called several different breeders and explained the disabilities Madison had. None of them seemed to really care/understand, until I called a breeder in Augusta, Georgia. She immediately wanted to see pictures and a video of Madison so that she could fully understand what we needed. I knew then we had found the right person. I had my mind set on an apricot toy poodle. She called when the liter was born and said that the liter had 3 puppies. Two apricot, one black, and that the black puppy she thought would be perfect for Madison. He was the runt of the liter so he would always be small and not get over 4 pounds.

Shane finally agreed with one stipulation, that the dog was absolutely not allowed to sleep in the bed with us.

The weeks leading up to us bringing Bo home were very exciting. Every day, multiple times a day, Madison would ask about this "puppy dog" and wonder where he was. I am pretty sure she thought we were lying to her because this dog that we had been talking about was not around.

We first named Bo, Bentley, but Madison would only call him "puppy dog." Bentley was too hard for her to say, so we named him Bo. The two of them bonded instantly. Bo learned very quickly to duck under the walker. Madison only ran over him one time and he learned then how fast he needed to run when she would spin that walker around. He was always by her side. Bo never tried to nibble at Madison's fingers or toes and has never chewed up any of her toys. Only two pappies (pacifiers). 

I miss hearing Madison saying "Bo! Kennel!" whenever we were leaving to go somewhere. The last year of Madison's life, I truly realized how smart dogs are and what they can sense. The day Madison's oxygen tubing got tied up in her walker wheel and was pulled from her concentrator, I knew that something was wrong first because of how Bo was acting. It was only a few seconds later that Madison became distressed because she wasn't getting any oxygen. 

I truly believe the day we left to go by ambulance to Birmingham, Madison knew that she wouldn't see Bo again. We were loading up and Madison kept saying, "Able! Bo! Hug!" I knew we needed to get on the road but I rushed Madison back inside and Bo came running to her. I picked him up and she gave him the biggest hug and said "Bye Bo! Love you!" and kissed his cold nose.

Some good friends of ours came and got Bo while we were in Birmingham and we asked them to bring him home before we got back. I knew that it would be difficult to see Bo and not have Madison with us. As soon as we walked in, he was frantically looking for her. I pulled the shirt out that she wearing when she passed away in and gave it to him to smell. He carried it to our bedroom and just layed on top of it for awhile.

That night, when we were getting ready to go to bed, all of our normal sounds were gone. The humming of the oxygen concentrator, the we had listened to every night for almost 4 years, was gone. Bo was in his kennel, whining, which he never did. Shane went and got him and put him in the bed with us. Shane and I were both crying with it being our first night at home without Madison. From that day on, Bo never spent another night in his kennel. He sleeps with us every night and every night, he sleeps right where Madison slept each night. 

I always knew there was a strong bond between Bo and Madison but I now have a much greater appreciation for it. It was about a week after Madison passed away, I pulled out my ipad and watched some old videos of her. I was in the kitchen and as soon as Bo heard her voice, I could hear him running down the hallway. He ran through the kitchen, into the den, down the other hallway. I knew then that he was looking for Madison. It broke my heart when he realized that her sweet voice was coming from the ipad in my hands.   

Today is Bo's fourth birthday and I am so happy to have him as a part of our family. He has mourned Madison right along with us. He very rarely leaves my side and I have become "that" person that takes their dog with them everywhere. He comes to work with me everyday and it always perched on his own chair right beside my desk. Everybody thinks that their dog is the best dog but Bo truly is the BEST dog. 

Bo's first day with us.  He was very scared of Madison's walker so he stayed camped under the dinning room table for the first week. 

Bo and Madison getting to know each other. 

Bo and Madison's morning ritual. 

Bo supervising Madison and Aubrey in the pool.
The one thing Bo did chew.  Madison's pappies. 

Bo posing in the back yard.

Bo and Madison just hanging out before bed time.

Bo always thought he needed to ride with Madison in her car seat and she always agreed.

Bo giving Madison kisses during her breathing treatment.  He made her breathing treatments every 3 hours so much better. 

Sleeping right beside Madison as she feel asleep during her breathing treatment.

This picture was taken right after Madison's tubing got disconnected.  As soon as she was
getting oxygen again, Madison ran over to her machine and gave it a big hug and a kiss, with Bo right behind her. 

Bo getting settled into our bed.

Bo working hard at work.  Notice he is laying on one of Madison's blankets too.