Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Maggie the Best Dog Ever

We rescued Maggie in 2005.  Actually that is not totally correct, because in a lot of ways Maggie rescued us.  We had just lost Penny our last dog to cancer and were dealing with that loss.  We had not planned it at the time, but the rescue we volunteered with brought in a 9 month old, female, buff Cocker Spaniel the weekend after Penny passed away.  We decided to "meet her" just to see, and were not really ready to take a new dog.  But it was all over after that meeting.   She was meant to be ours. From the start, there's only one word to describe Maggie (whose name was Olivia when we first met her), SWEET...

God had made this one dog to be a lover and to be loved.  And I truly believe he crossed our paths to be ours.  Her disposition was always wanting to please.  A lot of people may say this about their dogs, but enough outside people have met and interacted with Maggie and given me the input that she was truly sweet.  She did not know how to do anything when we adopted her.  She wasn't house broken, had no idea how to play, she did not know what treats, kibble, or toys were.

So first came the house breaking.  Her previous owner kept her on a concrete patio all day, because she was having too many accidents in the house.  We crate trained Maggie and would go out with her in the back yard after she ate and/or drank and then walked around until she went potty and then said the word "potty" and would give her a treat and bring her back in.  She quickly was house broken.  One of the things she injected herself was to tell us when she needed to go out.  One night Sharkey and I were sitting at home and Maggie just sat on the fireplace hearth and just stared at us.  We were wondering what she wanted, but once we said "potty" she stood up.  That became her trigger to us that she needed to go out and she came up with it all by herself.

Along with training her we also needed to change her name.  She was given "Olivia" but she was destined to be "Maggie" or as I liked to call her "The Mags."  When we would call her or talk to her on walks we would say, "Olivia-Maggie" repeatedly for a few weeks.  After that we dropped "Olivia" and just called her "Maggie."  And after about a month "Maggie" took.

I had a lot of fun showing Maggie new things.  Everything was brand new to her.  Running water was fascinating, going for car rides was a joy (something our previous dog Penny hated). Teaching Maggie to tug of war and fetch was fantastic.   I taught Maggie to shake, roll over, lie down, sit up, sing, and hold a Greenie on her nose until given the "Release" command.  She was also smart enough to know the word "Release."  You could say similar words to her, "Repent, Re-piece, Reject, Resent, Re-leak, Recent..." but she knew the difference and would not budge until she heard "Release."  Giving Maggie toys to chew up, Booda keys to romp around with, and teaching her how to play like a dog with small hand bites and her mouthing back were some of the best memories I have playing with my sweet girl.  We would go for mile long walks around the neighborhood and she pulled me around every time, although I did try to work on her "walking like a lady."  She loved being at the local dog park, interacting with other families and their dogs and running free and by the water.

Maggie was my shadow.  When I woke up she would wait for me to come out of the bathroom, go to the closet and always wanted to be petted when I reached for my shoes and I would always oblige her.  She was so very happy in the morning and would sing several times before going downstairs to be let out and have her breakfast.  And she would also wait for me to go down the stairs, sit down to put on my shoes and then come down and stick her head under my arm for some more loving.  It was my morning routine for 9 years and while I did not think too much about it, it was our morning together.

Sharkey also had a special bond with the Mags.  Like I said before, the Mags was a lover and she had a nightly routine of cuddling up with Sharkey:

Sharkey would close the lid on her laptop and that was her queue to lean into Sharkey for some belly rubbing.  Sharkey works from home and also had her daily routines with Maggie as well like giving her bites of cereal and having her sit outside of the office often finding a sunbeam to lay in.

Maggie was a great traveler, loved road trips, and made several trips to Minnesota to visit Sharkey's family.  One of our winter crossings we had to buy her a coat because it was so frigid (holding a paw up to go potty at a rest stop) and she really liked wearing it:

Maggie could be found laying on our front stairs to keep watch over the house and our cul de sac.

She also loved watching things go by through the glass windows on both sides of our front door:

If I were to sum it up, I can say honestly Maggie was our baby and was always close by to the pack:

I had thought that she would be part of my life for another 5-6 years, but God had other plans.  Maggie became very ill over the weekend of June 27th.  We took her to the ER Vet and placed her in 24 hour care, expecting she'd be home shortly thereafter.  After three days, the ER Vets let us know she was not getting better, her liver was shutting down and she was unable to maintain her blood sugar.  So instead of watching her suffer and continue to decline, we decided to let her go.  She went to be with God on June 30th at the young age of 9.  We stood by her until the end giving her hugs, kisses, and whispering to her how much we loved her and how we wish she could stay with us.  Both Sharkey and I were such a mess after our baby was gone.  We will miss her very, very much, because she was our family, our sweet girl, and there really will not be another like her.  Someday, maybe in a short time or maybe in a while we'll look at getting another girl to be part of our family, and while she may not be the same as the Moo, we look forward to the journey we will have with her.



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