Mattie… Sorta Like a Boy Named Sue

My daddy left home when I was three, he didn’t leave much to ma & me.
Just this old guitar & an empty bottle of boose.
Now I don’t blame him cause he run & hid.
But the meanest thing he ever did

was before he left, he went & named me “Sue.”

My name is Mattie and yes, I’m a boy dog. This is the story of how I met my momma and dadz. In short, momma and dadz found me at a local animal shelter and the staff there gave me the name “Mattie” because my fur was long and all tangled in mats…..

Momma and dadz had grown tired of going to various shelters looking for a friendly little dog to share their life with. They had been spending nearly every weekend for a year stopping at animal shelters looking for a little dog. After every shelter visit, when they left empty handed, they were sad and emotionally tired. Momma said, “no more.”

But one rainy Sunday in January, 2001 dadz said, “come on, lets stop to see if there are any dogs.” They sat outside the shelter deciding if they should go in, finally they opened the door. For momma it was hard, the smells were the same, the yipping and meowing, the animal voicing their desires to be loved. Beautiful, pleading eyes. Paws reaching out through the shelter gates, seeking human touch.

But I was happy in my little area, titled cell #4, of the shelter. I was a little, dirty, matted mess sharing cell #4 with a fine female Chihuahua roommate; and both of us were chewing and swapping nasty, stinky bones. Momma made her way up to my cell, stuck her finger through the fence and beckoned me to come to her to say hello. I trotted over, gave her a quick lick and went back to my Chihuahua chattel and smelly bones. Momma could not take her eyes off me and asked dadz to get the shelter staff to see if I was up for adoption. Her exact words were, “you go get the staff, I’ll squat by this cell, make myself look big with my coat and block anyone from seeing him!”

Steve, the shelter staff person, said that I was already claimed. Mommas heart was broken, and just as she was getting up off the floor Steve said, “you know what, the first adopter’s 24 hours are up, so he can be yours if you’d like.” Steve suggested that momma and dadz take me for a walk to see how I behaved.

Steve put a leash on me and momma and dadz took me out for a little walk about. By then the sun broke through the rain, and off we went. I spotted a beautiful female Rottweiler out with what turned out to be her forever parents. I walked up to the Rottie, kicked my back paws in the grass and then put my nose down to the ground and my rump up in the air in an effort to get her to play with me. Momma and dadz were a little worried that the Rottie might be a little too big too play with so they came over to get me and when they touched me I rolled on my back, wiggling to and fro, seeking out tummy rubs from them.

That was it, momma and dadz knew that I had all of the qualities of a good dog, so they decided to take me home. They paid the shelter fee, got a little leash from Steve and off we went. They put me in their car, and with the windows rolled up they just about fainted from my smell, “eeeewhheeeee” said momma. When they got me home they tried to brush me, but my fur mats were too thick. So they cut all my fur off and gave me a bath but I was still dirty dark brown… so I had another bath… and another bath and so on… finally, after 5 baths my creme colored hair shone bright and my stink came off. “A Shih Tzu” my momma exclaimed! When they called the shelter to verify breed, the staff said they really didn’t know what I was because I was so covered with mats; and that I had been found about 5 miles away and I was probably on my own for two weeks or so. If I wasn’t all matted and stinky you would have never known I was wandering around the city by myself for that long, I was completely socialized, with perfect markings and a happy-go-lucky personality!

Momma and dadz thought and thought about what to name me… but after a bottle of wine, they decided to stay with “Mattie” because it reminded them of how we became a family. You never know what the world has in store for you, so don’t waste so much time planning for perfection. Perfection may just happen all on its own….. like me, momma and dadz!

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It's me MattieDog, one of da coolest dogs on da planet! You've heard of me, I'm a fuzzy little Shih Tzu dat helps spread da word about animal adoption!I use my celebrity to do good for animals. I write numerous articles and columns for animal-related magazines, and I'm the star of my own book series!

14 Comments

  1. Mattie, what a wonderful story. We are so glad you found your Momma and Dadz. It was meant to be. I love you. Siddy

    Reply
  2. AWWWW, what a sweet story

    Reply
  3. Everyting is meant to be… It’s your destiny, Luke Skywalker…err… Walter, wait, Mattie. Yup, Mattie, this is a great story, but whatever happened to the stinky bone?
    Luvs, TPDs xoxo

    Reply
  4. Dat stinky bone smell stuck on my fur for a week or two! It’s was a slobbery, gooey mess dat left me all sticky brown!

    I lub’d dat bone and dat Chihuahua!

    Reply
  5. 5 baths, you must really have been DIRTY! I love your story!

    Reply
  6. Isn’t you lucky to has a furever fambly now? You woz all at the rite place at the rite time!

    Reply
  7. What a beautiful story… Always thought Mattie was short for Matthew – MadLabM

    Reply
  8. M had leaky eyes when reading your story cuz it’s so touching. I’m so happy for your happy ending. Love ya.

    Reply
  9. Aw Mattie! I’m so happy you found YOUR family! Sounds like you’d been looking for each other for a long time!

    Reply
  10. What a great story Mattie! They looked and looked until you found them!

    Reply
  11. Sounds like you fell on your feet with that family you found. I was in the shelter too, and had to do a lot of work to get my true mum to come and get me.
    Woofs!
    Ruby

    Reply
  12. Mattie, what a great story of your journey =) You are a cutie!

    Reply
  13. Mattiedog, that’s just a wonderful story! Tears are rolling down my face.

    Eliza Wynn (@LastChanceMI)

    Reply

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