Madeline Keely


Many of you have come to know and love our dog Miss Maddie from following our blog all these years.  She is certainly a high pollutant member of our family.  Although we refer to Maddie as our puppy dog, truth is that we have had her for 12-1/2 years.  Even though it feels like just yesterday that Steven and I jumped in the car to go pick her up off the puppy bus in Fort Collins Colorado, it was a long time ago.

Maddie as a fur ball puppy September 2001

Maddie as a fur ball puppy September 2001

She has been through so much with us.  When we first got her, I remember saying to Steven … if we do get married down the road we could have her through the birth of all of our children.  As usual, he felt I was putting the cart WAY before the horse (tee hee).    It was a distant dream at the time, but I always knew she would be with us for a long time.  Who knew, that she would stand by our side through so much more than the birth babies.  We have watch as her sweet face has grayed over the years, and her loyalty and friendship has been just priceless.

photo 4

So why am I writing you about Miss Maddie today.  Because our time is coming near when we say goodbye to the greatest dog I have ever known.  Maddie has stage 4 Lymphoma Cancer.  Besides being very lethargic, she has no pain and no big issues.  So we are giving her extra treats, dowsing her food with eggs and treating her like queen.

Thank you for the thousands of walks.
Thank you for keeping me safe, when we lived alone.
Thank you for ALWAYS greeting me with a wagging tail at the door.
Thank you for being so well mannered.
Thank you for the howling chats and longs “stories”.
Thank you for always sharing my popcorn with me.
Thanks for mopping my floors with your tongue.
Thank you for letting me cry into your fur at times I felt the pain was too great to turn to anyone else.
Thank you for the snuggles.
Thank you for always lending an ear weather it was to whisper a secrete I was not yet ready to share with anyone else, or an angry story about your dad’s attitude that day.
Thank you for the swims.
Thank you for never telling my dreams were too big.
Thank you for showing such loyalty and love for Wylder.

Christmas 2010


College, 4 condos, a home, lots of remodel projects, 2 states, a marriage, 2 pregnancies, an impossible goodbye and everything in between.  Thank you for the memories Maddie.

photo 1

I know that everyone claims that they have the best dog ever, but we really do have the BEST dog ever!!



As we prepare to bring home another little baby VERY  soon, we feel grateful Maddie will meet him and snuggle him … just as she always did with Wylder.  And has her time approaches we remember that all dogs go to Heaven, and Maddie will see her sweet Wylder again.

Maddie and Bruiser Bump

Maddie and Bruiser Bump

So for now we are giving her lots of love and snuggles.  We are not sweating the heavy breathing, drips of water across the freshly moped floors … they don’t matter!  We are cherishing the best dog in the all the World.

photo 2

We love and miss you Wylder James.  Your brother will be here soon, keep him safe.  Oh, and maybe you could help me (momma) get over this horrible cold so Bruiser does not meet a zombie mom.  Gosh we miss you … did I say that already.  We will see you in our dreams little one. xoxo



  1. Sloane Coran says:

    Shannon ,

    I don’t know you but I just read this post in a quiet car with a napping baby and began to sob. We have two golden retrievers and I can’t imagine life and all the milestones that follow without them in it. You are the epitome of strength. Your strength is the kind that only superheroes have. I am an only child so I never had any siblings to look up to but if I had to choose one non family member to idolize it would be you ( sorry if that sounded creepy) . I just so so so admire you as a person and that pup Maddie. I wish you strength and so much love and pray you find comfort in all those special memories you all shared with Maddie. ( sometimes those crying into puppy fur tears are the most cathartic .) and as you approach the home strength of your pregnancy I wish you nothing but all the health and happiness in the entire world. You surely deserve every bit of it. Oh and you really should think about writing a book about your journey and strength. I smell a New York Times best seller. Be well. Xo Sloane

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      This is just the sweetest comment, thank you so much Sloane. I feel so incredibly grateful for the friends I have made through this blog and Wylder, so grateful. You are right that those crys into the deep fur of a golden retriever really are the most cathartic. A book, oh wow! What a compliment. I am SO NOT a writer, so that is such a major compliment. Thank you for your love and support. xoxo

  2. Say it ain’t so :( I’m so so sorry about Maddie, you guys!!! I’m glad to hear she’s not in pain at least. God speed to her in her eventual journey to reconnect with Wylder xoxo

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      I know, I know Eileen. I so wish it wasn’t so! It has been an amazing 12 years and we will take whatever time we get now. Thank you for your sweet words. Always sending you all our love. xoxo

  3. Tears! Our lives are so enriched by these beautiful creatures. I am so sorry for you all, but Maddie will run across rainbow bridge being greeted by the boy she longs to see. From above they will watch and guide you all in your new journey as parents to little Bruiser.

    I know all too well the pain of losing a Golden Retriever. They are what I believe angels on earth. There job is to love and give companionship. They truly care to only be by your side. The loss is huge. Although you all have gone through such a great loss, to minimize losing her doesn’t do her the justice she deserves.

    She has been through it all with you. She will be greatly missed. I hope her last days are spent eating cheeseburgers and chasing butterflies, and awaiting the arrival of your precious boy.

    Our love and prayers go to you and Maddie…my fav memory of Wlder is Steven saying “Maddie” to Wylder and Wylder laughing….that warms my heart every time I watch it!

    Love and hugs to you Angel Dog and tell our Kubiak when you get there, we loved her beyond words.

    Cari & Joe

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      I just knew you would be writing Cari! You understand all to well about the love and companionship of a golden retriever … and you are so right, they are simply “angels on earth”. Thank you for your love and prayers. Love to you and Joe always. xoxo

  4. Cathy Johnson says:

    Crying huge tears as I read your post, Shannon. It is hard to fathom life with the Laffoons without Maddie. She is, indeed, an extraordinary girl. Love that she is being pampered to the hilt – she has earned it. And it is wonderful that she isn’t in pain. We will all cry with you when she is gone. :( Wishing only for peace and comfort for Maddie and you guys until she is romping with Wylder. I am actually picturing them reuniting – pure joy for sure! xoxoxo

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      Thank you Cathy. It truly is hard to fathom our home one day without Maddie too. She IS an extraordinary girl! Thank you for prayers for peace and comfort. She will be spoiled rotten from here on out … until it is her time to run with Wylder James – “pure joy”. xoxo

  5. The sweetest, four-legged warrior ever….Miss Madeline Keely xoxox Thank you for sharing Maddie’s furry footsteps with us…..such a golden bundle of love, with a heart of GOLD, of course!! Ever watching her mommy and daddy, and never, ever leaving Mr. Littles’ side……we love you sweet girl!!

    • She IS a four legged warrior Leslie, you always find the words :). So happy to share her with so many … Such a special furry friend. Thank you for your sweet words. Xoxo

  6. Shannon, I know the pain you are going through. We have a 19 year old german shephard who is getting to her last days but it is so hard to put her down.

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      WOW, 19 year old!! That is incredible Jill. What a life that one has had with you. It is hard to say goodbye to our animals we love so much, so I know we are soaking up everyday … as I am sure you are too. xoxo

  7. wow-I never realized how old Maddie was:( I am sorry, I know that is a lot of emotions to deal with so soon after Wylder’s passing and so soon before new baby. I send you all the love and peace I have-I know her life has been full of love and will be until her last day. xoxo ,Chelsea

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