“I think she won the lottery,” her foster family said when Madison was driving away in the loving arms of her new adoptive family. “But we’re sure going to miss her.”
Madison with her new brother, Kenny
For Madison, it was part of a string of very good luck that began five months before. After living her first four years as a commercial breeding dog, her owner brought her to auction. The most likely outcome was that she’d be purchased by another commercial breeder and face years of additional misery. But to help preempt this fate, Friends of Flicka intervened and provided Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM) with the requisite funding for her rescue.
Volunteers from Minnesota traveled all the way down to Missouri to successfully bid on Madison at the auction. They drove her back to Minnesota, where a loving foster family was waiting to provide transitional care for her. When she was ready, they would choose a special family for her forever home.
From the moment she was rescued, Madison absolutely craved human attention. Nothing made her happier than a gentle touch upon her head, or snuggling with her foster family. She seemed to understand that from now on, her job was not to produce litter after litter of puppies, but instead to soak up love and give it back unconditionally.
Sadly, Madison arrived with tapeworms, an ear infection, and a hematoma at the base of her ear that needed to be surgically removed. While the car ride and veterinary appointment were scary for her, her beautiful eyes soon expressed enormous relief as she began to recuperate and feel better.
It’s good to be loved – Madison snuggles with her foster mom
Madison’s foster family included five other dogs. They taught Madison the skills she needed to live indoors – the simple routines and pleasures previously absent from her life. She learned how to walk through doorways and adjust to new sounds. Sudden movements were especially scary to her, causing her to cower or flee. But each day, she improved, slowly learning that despite her previous bad experiences, no one would ever harm her again.
Madison’s confidence grew, as did her curiosity, as she discovered that anything new that was introduced to her was usually a good thing. She loved being able to run freely through the yard. She found that furniture was remarkably comfortable. She even got to enjoy a Starbucks “Puppuccino.”
Trying new things – Madison enjoys a “Puppuccino”
“She just radiates love,” her foster family said. But as much as they loved her, they knew Madison had gained the skills she needed, and was ready for a permanent family.
A family came to meet her that was committed to provide a loving home to a dog in need. They were a perfect match: four caring humans – a mom, a dad, a teenage boy, an adult son who regularly visits – and a very special Golden girl named Hazel.
All are crazy-in-love with their family’s new addition, and her special way of showing affection. She jumps up and places her front legs around her chosen family member’s waist – giving them the Madison version of a great big hug.
Snuggle buddies – Madison and new sister Hazel cuddle together
“We love so much about her,” mom Durae says. “She is so sweet, playful, and fun.”
Another “first” – playing with toys!
Although Madison continues to work through some latent puppy mill fears, she is thriving, and eager to learn and try new things.
“Friends of Flicka made it possible for Madison to have a chance at a normal life, to make up for lost time and a lot of lost love. I will forever be grateful, and I know Madison will be too,” Madison’s foster mom said as she looked back at Madison’s rescue.
Her commercial breeding days are behind her. In her new life, Madison loves to go outside for walks and hikes and is learning to swim in the nearby lake. She figured out what toys are all about, and is especially fond of the squeaky ones. She savors the comfort, safety and joy of her wonderful new home and family.
Most of all, she loves being loved. She’s blessed to be one of the lucky ones.