It has been almost a whole year since we lost Maddie. In fact, it was a year ago this coming Friday.
I still miss her more than I ever would have thought possible.
Today I was using a picture of Dean to illustrate what it means to be in the Image and Likeness of God. I pointed out that the picture looks like him - it has identical eyes, coat pattern, tail, airplane ears, etc. Yet the picture is not Dean and it is not like him in every way. Just so, we are like God, but not like Him in every way.
I happened to notice today, after using that very picture for several weeks now, that just a tiny bit of Maddie's leg and chest are at the edge of the picture. My students couldn't believe I knew which dog it was just by that tiny bit of leg. But, of course, I knew. I likely would have recognized her by a single toe.
Life has gone on, of course, and in many ways it was a very good year. Much of it has been a tribute to her. Although I wasn't able to do a video of the routine that Maddie and I were working on for the Dogs Can Dance Challenge, I did have a video of a live performance that I had done with her and Dean in February of 2011. It was a wonderful performance - she was so full of life and having a great time in the ring with Dean Dog and me. Her tail was going the whole time!
We earned 76 points in the Opening Act level of the Entertainment Division with that, in spite of the fact that the video was taken a bit far back and I didn't exactly follow the food rules since the performance wasn't actually video'ed for the Challenge.
When we eventually get the Entertainment Division title, it is going to mean a lot that Maddie got to be a part of that, even if we never did get to do a formal filming. That performance will always remain a tribute to her.
Maddie is still the Q Queen and she always will be! Even if Tessa is bringing home the CPE Q's these days. Every time I go to that table to check labels and help myself to ribbons, I have to think of Miss Maddie Lynn and smile.
On Friday I would like to take Tessa and Speedy to the little park where I took Maddie for her last walk, just a week or so before we lost her. It will be a nice way to remember her, but also to remember to cherish the time that I have with the ones who are still with me.