Nicknames: Madge; Madgelista (rhymes with Fashionista); Aspro-pothia (Greek for "White Feet"); Pretty Girl; Felt-Bellied, Squirrel-Chasing, Worm-Eating, Cat-Sniffing, Rabbit-Watching Hamburgler; The Flying Nun (her ears protrude to make a nice habit)
Birthday: September 2nd 1995
Likes: Sleeping on the couch . . . and extended belly rubs with all four legs dangling in the air.
Pet-Peeves: Refuses to do tricks for treats. Would rather leave the room fearfully in response to "Sit" than stay and eat a liver treat.
Favorite Toy: Not a material girl. Would rather roll on her back on the carpet, using the fibers to scratch her back. Or smell a worm in the grass and rub the back of her neck on it until she falls over and, once again, rolls on her back in ecstacy.
Favorite Food: Dead worms friend on a hot sidewalk. Also cheese, pasta with tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese, peanut butter, raspberry jam, and Honey Nut Cheerios. Oh, and her Nutro Ultra Max "Senior" dog food.
Favorite Walk: Through the "wildlife sanctuary" behind our subdivision, where there's always a wild rabbit, neighborhood cat, squirrel, guinea pig, or coyote skulking around. She's very territorial and hates the neighbors' two cats walking on her lawn.
Best Tricks: She can remove a McDonald's hamburger from its foil wrapper, leave the burger intact on the front seat, and bring the foil to the backseat to play with. I caught her in the act and ate the hamburger in front of her as punishment. I saw no lickmarks.
Arrival Story: I adopted Madeline from a local breeder in January 2004. Three weeks later, a friend was babysitting her and lost her. She ran three miles down the road and disappeared into the woods, 30 miles from my home. I spent 8-10 hours the next 7 days posting fliers, faxing fliers to vet offices, and responding to calls. I ultimately trapped her with a crate, where she had been camping out in a cat carrier on someone's terrace. Quite a surreal experience, never knowing if I'd ever see her again. In sum, a double rescue within a one-month timeframe (first from the breeder and then from the wild woods of metropolitan Atlanta, GA).
I have since domesticated Madeline and turned her from a wild dog living in a kennel, outside 6-8 hours a day, sleeping and eating in a crate, and barking at strangers, into a princess. (She still sleeps in the crate, for both our sake.) I've since taught her to walk up and down stairs, eat outside a crate, chase and retrieve a tennis ball, socialize with other dogs (at Barking Hound Village, Wag-A-Lot, and PetsHotel (her three doggie daycare centers), and be a true Klingon. Initially, she never left the family room or kitchen, but now, four months later, she is prone to following me around the house, preferring to sleep on the floor in the study with Daddy rather than be alone watching TV on the couch. And, thankfully, although she was "scared of her own shadow" and a "special needs" dog (the breeders' quotes), she's really come out of her shell and is a fantastic, loyal, loving dog.
Bio: She was a show dog for the first two years of her life but disliked the traveling. Her original name was Elysian Friday Night Gala. She (and all other Whippets) are genetically programmed to hunt rabbits, so she loves spotting wild brown ones in my yard. But the big white Easter Bunny at the PetsMart photo shoot was a little scary. In a true role-reversal, it caught her.
We said goodbye to Madeline on her 17th birthday, September 2, 2012.