Celebration followed by Ugly Crying

Tyler J. Hendry was born on 4/8/16. As a math lover, the perfect progression of numbers makes me smile. In April the family gathering in Cleveland is predictable; deep hugs, lots of laughter, AMAZING food, a little snow, all wrapped up in wonderful memories with the kids and grandkids.

Grandkids Leo, Tyler and Abby 4/8/2022
Tyler is 6!

When our 6-year old grandson realized we were departing – after a 4-day sugar-injected birthday celebration – he sobbed. In the words of his mom, “it was full on ugly crying“. Tragically, the phrase was very meaningful to us. In fact, we knew exactly what unconsolable loss felt like, first hand.

The Admiral

In 2009 Captain Rick decided to give himself a birthday present, in the form of an 8-week old puppy he named Maddie.

and they called it “Puppy Love”

Truthfully, I was not thrilled with the new addition, especially since Rick, a legitimate member of the United Airlines million mile club, was traveling extensively back then. With intermittent abandonment by Rick, Danielle (his youngest daughter) took on the task of potty training as I begrudgingly took on a new routine: feed the dog, walk the dog, clean up the mess, bathe the dog, brush the dog, you get the idea.

Maddie keeps an eye out. Belmont Shore, CA

As it turned out Maddie was an extremely reliable alarm system. She knew the sound of Rick’s vehicle and would bark excitedly, jumping and spinning around at the door; she knew the sound of the amazon delivery truck, and was excited at the sound of the postal woman (she had treats); she did not like the sound of the garbage truck (although it was a helpful reminder to take out the garbage). Anyone else who came too close to the house or the boat would get the angry bark – except for Ray, who DEFINITELY got the happy wagging tail in exchange for treats.

Loyal KC fan

When we moved to Florida, her name gained a southern extension – Maddie Sue, “the craziest dog you ever knew”. She was also a loyal KC fan with Mo and Craig.

Extremely comfortable on the boat, the malti-poo was well known in many marinas. She warmed the hearts of our close friends, including some that professed to “not like dogs”, and was often found in the cockpit of a certain Fleming, where she enjoyed a heartwarming belly rub. She also liked a frosty beer with a friend.

Cold Beers with Admiral Maggie, M/V Subject to Change

When we visited her vet I heard him say, “she has a little heart murmur. Let me know if she develops a cough.” The vet let me listen to the little swishing sound. Little did we know – when the tiny heartbeat stopped just a few weeks later – our hearts would break.

The loss of our Admiral was not expected. We had just spent the perfect day at Pelican Bay, our favorite gunkhole, with Ray, Caryl, Gail and David. On board Exhale and Tonto’s Reward were bottles of champagne to celebrate New Years.

December 29, 2021. Pelican Bay

It all happened so fast. Maddie was having trouble breathing – it felt like a panic attack. When she died in Capt Rick’s arms there was full on ugly crying – the type that is unconsolable.

For weeks the tears continued, followed by numbness. Months later there is still a deep hole in our lives.

Maddie was our constant companion for 12 years. Our followers have watched her adventures on Exhale (she was delightfully photogenic), and, if there was an airline frequent flyer program for pets, she would have been a tier one traveler.

Baltimore Boat Show – Princess Cut.

Tragically, she crossed the rainbow bridge – sadly our grandson keeps asking why we don’t “go get her and bring her home again”. If only we could …

Rainbow Bridge

Traveling without the Admiral

Are you sure we are following the route?

For us it is hard to envision boating without Maddie. It feels incomplete without our SeaRaider alarm, and without the perfect vacuum cleaner. Never mind the piercing eyes that continuously begged for food. I don’t know who penned the phrase “time heals all wounds”, somehow I doubt they were talking about the loss of our beloved Admiral.

Exhale is Going Back to the Bahamas

Our plan is to head south on Saturday, April 23, weather permitting. Once again our Traveling Boat Buddy is Tonto’s Reward, the spectacular Fleming 58 we followed to Maine last summer (2021), and the same friends who previously traveled with us to Key West and the Bahamas (2019).

If we happen to see any feral pigs (rumor has it they are in multiple locations now), we will tell them Maddie said WTF! She hated those pigs.

Author: Exhale49

North Pacific Trawler

15 thoughts on “Celebration followed by Ugly Crying”

  1. Yes I remember that awful, fateful day. When I got the text I cried equally as hard sharing the pain of your loss. Only people who have a pet and bond with it can understand that loss. What a beautiful tribute to the Admiral. She will be with you in spirit on this journey and I look forward to reading your posts. Safe travels and smooth seas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your gentle kindness Knot Dreaming. We remember as we passed you on the water that morning – we could feel your love. Enjoy that seakeeper 😉


  2. Nancy and I have a “morky” (maltese/yorkie), Dickens. Although Dickens has only been on Mimi’s Oasis a couple of times he had the makings of a sea-dog. At this very moment, he is at my feet at my desk in the library. He is rarely anywhere but underfoot. Love him.

    So, we mourn Maddie with you. Dickens is seven and we hope he is with us for seven (or more!) years.

    We are currently boatless. At the same time, our company is coming back very strong. It will take perhaps two years to get our “nest egg” back to where it was. We seem to have made the right decision to spend it at well over a hundred thousand dollars a month so that we could keep our employees, evens when there was very little business. Time will tell.

    Enjoy your time in the Bahamas.

    Grant and Nancy (at least in spirit, she is still asleep. Had surgery and is having difficulty sleeping, but doing better every day)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My heart aches for you. I know the tremendous black hole that seems to consume your heart when you loose such a beloved pet. Maddie will be your guardian watch dog as she follows your travels from her pillow on the rainbow. Maggie sends her love to you both.

    June and Tim
    Subject to Change

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary, you write so beautifully! I love seeing Maddie as a young pup! So darn cute! What a wonderful story, heart-breaking, but realistic as the unconditional love that a pet brings to us is unparalleled! Hugs to you and Captain Rick from Roger and me. Sorry we cannot make the caravan to the Bahamas (this time).

    Liked by 1 person

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