Thursday, July 14, 2011

Madeline & Oliver


It has been a long time since I have given an update on our pups or our "little zoo" as I call it sometimes. The reason being is because 4 months ago they went on a little puppy vacation to Freeland's moms house while we prepared to make the transition to 2 kids. It was an incredibly hard decision to make since we knew we would miss them.. but we really felt like it was the best thing for them. The plan was for her to temporarily watch them for us since we knew Freeland would be traveling and they would get more attention at her house than they would here. Then, once we were adjusted & Freeland was done doing away rotations they would come back with us. Rhonda (Freelands mom) was so sweet to be willing to take them for us. You know, they are large after all and do take a lot of work. But she loves them like her own so we knew they were in good hands.

For those who dont know, Madeline has been sick for a while with cancer. And we knew this and were doing what we could to make her life comfortable. She was happy and you never would have known she was sick just seeing her.

Her symptoms rarely showed up making it easy to forget she was even sick at times.

So we were shocked & devastated 2 weeks ago when we got a phone call from Freelands mom letting us know that Madeline had passed away. (Im sure it was incredibly hard for her to make that phone call) Even though we knew it was possible it never really felt like it would happen.

Unfortunately, Oliver had the hardest time with it though. He has never spent an entire day of his life apart from Madeline. And it seems he didnt know what to do without her. He grieved - like a lot of dogs in their situation would do. We were in the middle of trying to figure out how to get him back up here since we thought it would be better for him. But in the end he couldnt fight it and last Thursday passed away also.

Obviously, we loved Maddie & Ollie. Freeland has had them since before we were dating and they were a part of our family.. like most dogs become. Thankfully they were both wonderful dogs and while we could sit and make ourselves sick about how they arent around & how River would love to have them here there just isnt a point to doing that. Instead we are thankful for the blessings we have in our lives and for what amazing dogs they were.

So please excuse me while I share an embarrassing amount of pictures of them. I couldnt just choose a few as we have a million wonderful memories with them.

Here's a sweet little tribute to the pups:

maddie as a puppy

oliver as a puppy




























fall with the puppies

our backyard








the dogs at the peninsula (taken with my phone)









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maddie & oliver




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Please know that my intention with this post is just to share about our dogs.. not to be overly dramatic or debbie downer. So many of you were always so sweet to always ask about them and keep up with how they were doing. It seemed silly not to share since I post about all the other things happening in our life.


  1. I loved this tribute to the sweet doggies. They will be missed!

  2. LOVED every pic---I have shed MANY a tear for my sweet dogs. Thinking about you all as you miss your beloved pets! Love You!

  3. I don't think those dogs could have had a better life than what they had with you and Freeland! They had a wonderful, loving, fun, full and exciting life!

  4. Rhett and Hudson and I just looked at every single picture of Maddie and Oliver. What wonderful dogs they were! And I agree with another commenter -- what a great life they had with you and Freeland!

  5. What wonderful memories you have with these two precious dogs! They definitely enjoyed life! : )

  6. Brooke,
    I love these pictures. Takes me back to days at 1908 and totally forgot about Maddie's birthday party a few years ago complete with the cake we served to her and her friends. One of the things that really settled my nerves before my wedding is when Free and Matthew were telling stories about Maddie and Dixie from college. I laughed harder than I have all year.

    Maddie was also a great dog to travel with. Free and I took her from Texas to Michigan with no problems whatsoever. She was great. We love y'all, and we're praying for y'all as #4 Ackley arrives!


  7. Aww Brooke (& Freeland), I just lost my 22 year old childhood kitty, so I know exactly what you are going through. :( Animals really do become part of your family! Thinking about and praying for you guys!

  8. I am so sorry about the loss of your dogs. I was wondering where they had been. Thinking about you.

  9. Oh so sad! I remember when Freeland got both of those puppies!! Sweet dogs...good memories. :)

  10. Brooke, I am literally sitting here crying looking through your pictures. Our pets absolutely become a part of our families and I am so, so sorry for your loss. I've always loved how your dogs are so much a part of everything. And they have always seemed like such "gentle giants" in all of the pictures of them with River, Henry and other animals. It's amazing how much they love. Dogs are so forgiving, selfless and evident by their inability to live without each other. I'm sure it sounds silly to some, but I'll certainly say a prayer for y'all as you deal with the loss of your sweet Maddie and Oliver.

  11. My heart hurts for your family. Losing furbabies is terrible...but I can tell they had an amazing life with you and Freeland...and of course their baby brother! Personally, I don't think it was enough pictures.....:) Maybe a post about all your furbabies!!! Again, sorry you lost 2 beautiful lovies.

  12. Oh Brooke, I am so sorry. They were like a sweet little old couple :( At least they're together again.

  13. Brooke,
    Thank you for giving an update on your sweet dogs. I am so sorry for your loss. I don't have kids yet but we do have a small zoo like you did and I know how hard the loss of a dog is. I know they lived long happy lives.

    Many blessings to you and your family!

    Shannon Gillespie

  14. Thanks for sharing Brooke! They definitely will be missed.

  15. I am so, so sorry for your loss. It certainly looks like they had a wonderful life with you, and every dog should be so lucky.

  16. As another person owned by dogs, my heart just breaks for you guys. I am so sorry for your losses :(

  17. Brooke,
    I started following your blog when you were pregnant with River...and one of the reasons was b/c of your dogs! I fell in love with them. I'm so sorry for your loss. I loved your tribute to them. It breaks my heart that Oliver died due to his grief.
    Hang in there...I can't wait to see your newest addition.

  18. This breaks my heart and I'm not even a dog person. I'm so sorry! Also, because I'm not a dog person I know nothing about breeds. What kind were they?

  19. Brooke, I didnt realize Ollie was gone too. I am soooooo sorry. Sorry you weren't able to see them or be with them but you have some incredible memories and great pictures! Thanks for sharing them all with us.

  20. what a special tribute!! sorry for the loss:(

  21. Oh that makes me cry. I'm so sorry! Loved seeing all of the pictures of them. They were beautiful and loved for sure!

  22. Those pictures are amazing and yes pups are just as much a part of the family. I'm so sorry for the loss. I dread the day that will come for our boys- as they are the closest we've got to kiddos and the best company. Hang in there with away rotations- I'm feeling you right about now, as Colby is off, but know that God has a wonderful place for y'all when it's all said and done! Can't wait to send you a celebratory message on Match Day- congrats on 4th year and your new addition! :)