Summerland dog’s tale has happy ending

Now living with her caring family in Summerland, it wasn’t that long ago Maddie had no life, no future and no love.

Ashley Tiessen

Ashley Tiessen

Unlike many abused animals, Maddie’s tale has a happy ending.

Now living with her caring family in Summerland, it wasn’t that long ago the golden retriever-poodle cross had no life, no future and no love.

When she and the other 15 dogs were seized from a Clearwater breeder, they were in terrible condition, according to branch manager Corinne Ross of the South Okanagan Similkameen SPCA where 10 of the canines were taken initially.

“They were matted and filthy, probably the saddest ones were the golden retrievers (including Maddie) they stuck their noses into the corner and didn’t come out, it was the saddest thing. It was heart breaking, I can cry thinking about them now,” said Ross. “They were mostly terrified of people and we called her Maddie because she had this big matting on her back. She was in rough shape and had lots of health issues but she was probably the most friendly of all of them.”

Enter the Tiessen family, Christy, Ed and their daughters Megan, 10 and Ashley, 7, who had been on the SPCA’s waiting list for a non-shedding breed.

When Maddie was well enough they decided to provide foster care for her at their home and not long afterwards adopted the four-year-old as their own.

“Maddie was so skinny, you could actually see every single rib,” said Christy.  “Just with her laying there which she did most of the time because she didn’t have enough energy, you could see her heart beating from across the room.

“Maddie didn’t wag her tail at alI when we first saw her. Don’t think she had any reason to, she didn’t understand what happiness was but when we took our girls in (to the SPCA) and they got down on their knees and hugged her she wagged her tail, it was very sweet, she knew these are ‘my kids.’”

They got the new family member on Valentine’s Day last year and there was still snow on the ground. Christy still remembers the dog’s reaction when she believes Maddie saw grass for the first time.

“She was afraid of it, she didn’t know how to step on it and when she finally stepped on the grass she just started rolling on it and to this day she rolls in the grass every time she’s out, she runs and rolls on it,” said Christy. “She’s had a lot of challenges and everybody says she is so lucky she has you as a family, but no, no, no, it’s the other way around, she is an amazing dog.

“She still has a sad face sometimes but when you see that dog smile you know she’s smiling.”

Maddie’s health issues, likely due to malnourishment, included sight and digestion problems and she also had to learn about walking on floors and to negotiate stairs.

A good student, the dog soon accomplished those feats and much more.

“We had to change the handles on our doors from levers to round door knobs because she can flip the dead bolt lock and unlock the door, flip the lever and leave anytime she wanted,” said Christy. “It’s like once she got a taste of freedom that was it, she didn’t want to be locked up anymore. She doesn’t like being alone.”

Maddie now travels just about everywhere with her folks, including back to the SPCA for visits and also took part in last year’s Paws for the Cause Walk fundraiser for the shelter.

For the Tiessen’s, they cannot thank SPCA enough for bringing them together.

“If it wasn’t for the SPCA, she wouldn’t be with us today,” said Christy nodding in the direction of the rolling dog on the grass at Orchard Lake Park.

As for Maddie, she just smiles and wags her tail.

Paws for a Cause fundraiser

The Scotiabank and BC SPCA Paws for a Cause is one of the SPCA’s most important fundraising events. This year it takes place on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Gyro Park.

Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the 2.5 kilometre walk commences at 9 a.m. The fee is $25 for adult ($15 early bird), $10 youth ($6 early bird). Join a team, form a team or register as an individual at www.spca.bc.ca. This year’s event features music, a barbecue, coffee, bake sale, competitions, community vendors and more.

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read