When Maddie met Katie

Maddie--The Early Days, You can't even see her body behind her oversized ears!

Okay, first off, it’s not often I refer to myself as “Katie”, but it had a better ring to it than “When Maddie met Kaitlin.”


Four years ago today, my dog Maddie came into my life. I would love to say she walked in, bounded in, or scampered in, but that was not her style on Day 1.

So, would you like to hear the story of how Maddie met Katie?

Here we go!

Maddie’s place in the Freienmuth family is a result of my 21st birthday hangover.

Have I captivated your interest? Let me explain.

I had been volunteering for Homeward Bound Dog Rescue for a little over a year when my 21st birthday rolled around. Homeward Bound holds adoption days at local Petcos in the Twin Cities area every Saturday. I had been showing up to these events come hell, high water, or hideous hangover every weekend and that wasn’t about to change on the morning after my 21st birthday bash.

At the time, I had been fostering a rat terrier named Vegas. I had had her for a couple weeks and she was finally starting to come into her own. Early on in the morning, a family took her for a walk, fell in love, passed the rescue’s screening (and mine) and then took her home. I couldn’t have been happier for her. She found her forever home! It was always a great feeling when one of my foster dogs got adopted and went home with a great family. (That’s one of the best parts of rescue.)

Well, the other volunteers knew me well this far down the line and knew that, given my hungover state, I would say yes to pretty much anything if it meant I could be left in peace and quiet. So, one of the girls walked up to me, asked me to hold on to this scared, scrawny, little brown dog who didn’t yet have space in a kennel. “Uh-huh.” I said, and attempted to walk outside where the echoes of barking dogs and whining children would be less excruciating. Except, this stupid dog would. not. move. It wouldn’t walk anywhere. It wouldn’t let me pick it up. It wouldn’t take treats to lure it anywhere. It cowered at the sight of anything taller than it… which was everything. Somehow I managed to get this poor little dog outside and have a good, albeit hungover, sit-down evaluation of this dog.

First things first, it’s a girl! Yay! She has a gender. After that, I could see that she was extremely emaciated–I could see almost every bone in her body. I could see her ribs, her hips, her skull bones, everything. Her skin was dry, but thankfully, not flea-ridden. She was terrified to approach anything. I basically had to slowly sneak up on her if I didn’t want to scare her when I adjusted her collar. She had no interest in walking anywhere unless there was no one around. So, we found a quiet patch of grass and I sat/keeled over while she wandered in circles tethered to my lifeless arm.

Eventually, she gained enough confidence to start walking closer to other people, although she still wasn’t thrilled about people approaching her. Eventually, my hangover subsided enough to walk back inside. So, I went looking for more info on this scrawny little brown dog.

She had been dropped off with Homeward Bound that morning by a boxer rescue who picked her up as part of a larger boxer pick up. She was clearly not a boxer, so that lead to a great deal of guesses as to her true heritage. Sheltie? German Shepherd? All around mutt? We could tell by her teeth that she was around three months old so her true breed probably would not be apparent for a little while. So we just went forward with our previous guesses. I hadn’t heard if she had a name when she came in so I started brainstorming with some other volunteers. However, one volunteer came over and informed me that she had been given the name Maddie by the boxer rescue if I wanted to use it. That was probably a good decision considering the last two dogs I named had been Sorbet and Spanky.

So, Maddie and I wandered around Petco some more. As the day winded down, one of the organization leaders asked me if I would take Maddie home to foster. “Uh-huh” was still my standard response, so there Maddie and I stood. We were both starving, both weary and both ready for a nap.

And that is how Maddie met Katie.

Maddie fits in well with our family, completely taking advantage of afternoon nap time.


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