Dear Maggie Mae
by Teresa Gooley
Dear Maggie, I saw your face on Pet Finder after months of looking and I fell in love with your beautiful face. After reading your story about how you had been found wandering in the countryside in Eastern Washington, I wanted to rescue you. We filled out the application and I talked to the rescue group. The woman told me you were very scared, but sweet, but probably wouldn't approach us or look at us. She said you had been sleeping with her 14 year-old daughter. When we got there you were so scared, you wanted to hide in the corner, but I wanted to take you home and make you feel safe. We decided to adopt you. You were so pretty, with big brown eyes that looked made up and a short, golden, coat with cute triangle ears that folded in half. You had a black snout and the tip of your tail was black. I held you in my lap on the ride home and you were shaking. When we got to the house to tried to hide under bushes. We took you to the park but you just froze on the leash and then ran for cover under some overgrown weeds after you managed to get out of your collar. That night I got out an air mattress and sleeping bag and laid down next to you. After awhile I pulled you into my sleeping bag and you curled up next to my body. That was it, we were bonded forever. I did that for 3 nights and started to see the silly part of your personality come out. You started to throw your toys around and up into the air. You were afraid of Daddy and Jon and would growl and bark at them. Eventually Jon became your playmate, the one you really got wild with. He would chase you and you would jump over the sofa and when he laid down on the floor you would growl and jump towards him and push your nose into his head. You were never aggressive, just super-playful. You even got so brave that in later years you would come up behind him and push him on the butt when he was leaving. You never did trust anyone the way you did me. When you were anxious or nervous you would look at me as if to ask, "is this okay." As the years went on you were so much better with people. You started to give "kisses" within the first week. You loved to go to the park and loved the beach and our new house there. The first time we took you to the beach we were afraid to let you off-leash, not knowing if you would come back. You did, of course, as if so grateful for the freedom the beach provided. You would run and run and even chased horses on the beach. When you were around 4 you were playing in the backyard with Jon and his friends, who were throwing a Frisbee, and started limping. We thought you had just pulled a muscle. When the limping didn't get better we took you to VCA and they did x-rays and told us you had degenerative joint disease in both elbows because you were bow-legged. We had surgery done as soon as possible so you wouldn't be permanently lame. It helped but as time went on you were getting more arthritis and eventually couldn't run anymore. It was so unfair because you were so young and had, had such a rough start in life. You also had allergies and we went through all kinds of treatment for that and a strange eye problem. In January you became very ill and were vomiting all night. You were diagnosed with IBS after many tests, but that is not what you had. In May you became sick again and ran a fever and were shaking your whole body. You just were so sick. Eventually, after many tests and treatments we found out that you had cancer over you kidneys and spleen. Jon told me the news while we were talking in the backyard. I didn't understand what was going on when he pulled his chair over to me and held my hand and then told me the sad news. I couldn't stop crying and he held me and said he was there for me. It was clear that something was going on, all you wanted to do was go outside and enjoy the sunshine and lay on the deck. You set such a good example for us humans on how to enjoy life, no matter what. We could not let the cancer take over and have you suffer anymore. We had the vet come over that Sunday morning. She walked through the side gate and sat and talked with us for awhile on the patio. You were very friendly and curious about her kit. Eventually she gave you the shot to put you to sleep and I lifted you onto your bed and Daddy and I held you and petted you for awhile until it was time to go. It was one of the saddest days, if not the saddest day in my life. Daddy and I held each other and cried until it was time to take you little body away. I am so sad now, I miss your beautiful little face and holding you and snuggling you. You were always my companion. If I was sick you wouldn't leave my side. You went to work with me and laid by my desk at home when I worked. We were so connected emotionally and physically, I just don't know if I will ever have these feelings again. I lost my sister, my father and my mother and you were always my comfort. If I cried you licked my face. What am I going to do without my Maggie Mae? It's been almost a month and I still don't feel any better. I know we did the right thing but I miss you so much, I feel like my heart is broken. Maybe this will help me say goodbye and start to heal. I have your paw print in a special frame and I have 3 photos of you that were enlarged on canvas so I can see you every day. We will get another dog, but it won't be you my sweet girl. There will never be another Maggie. I loved you so much. If there is a Rainbow Bridge I will meet you there someday. Thank you for all of the love you gave me.

Comments would be appreciated by the author, Teresa Gooley
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