Friends, family and blog readers will know that for the past ten years, my home and life have been graced by the presence of a sweet and beautiful Samoyed named Maggie.
Now Maggie is gone.
It all happened so fast. Less than two weeks ago, we went to our Monday agility class. She ran and climbed and jumped and was bouncy and excited – she loved agility class. Three days later, I took her to the vet to try to find out why Maggie wasn’t eating. There followed a lot of tests and various treatments, but nothing brought her appetite back. Blood work was fine. The vet did xrays, and thought he might be seeing something. By now she hadn’t voluntarily eaten anything in a few days and was on an IV.
This Friday, eight days after her first trip to the vet, we went to a specialist for an ultrasound of that thing the vet thought he saw. The ultrasound also showed something, but it would take exploratory surgery to find out what it was. I left her there and came home. A few hours later, I got a call. The surgery found cancer, which had spread to the point where the condition was inoperable.
The surgeon closed her up with no further treatment, and I had the option of bringing her home or authorizing The Shot. At first I thought about bringing her home, letting her be in familiar surroundings for a few days before the end. But then I realized how selfish that would be. Not eating, she wouldn’t live long enough to recuperate from the surgery and have some good days before the end, but would have spent the rest of her life in pain. So I went back in to see her.
She was awake from the surgery but still on pain meds. They brought her into a room with me, and placed her on blankets on the floor. She got up and walked around a little, and then settled down beside me. I sat with her for an hour, petting her and telling her what a good dog she was and how proud of her I was. I managed not to cry until after the shot, so I hope I didn’t transfer my upset to her – she had a nice peaceful hour with Mommy before she went to sleep.
Then the vet came in and gave her the shot and she was gone.
I’m devastated. I’m a wreck. I miss her SO much!
But sad as I am that she’s gone, I’m more glad that she was here in the first place, so right now I want to talk about that.
This was the first time I saw Maggie:
The breeder e-mailed me pictures of puppies from the litter, marked with colored ribbon to tell them apart. From the bunch, I chose ‘Yellow Girl’. I liked that ‘Mona Lisa smile’, which she kept all her life. Later, we met at a dog show, where I met the puppies and verified that Yellow Girl was the one for me. So she became Maggie.
I picked her up at ten weeks, and took her home in a cat carrier.
She was the sweetest little thing!
She had a squeaky toy shaped like a Samoyed:
And she grew up. She liked to get under the table in the library.
But soon that became impossible.
She always enjoyed the view from the living room window.
And some days, you just need to shred something.
She was always an only dog, lived with cats her whole life. And that was fine with her. She loved her little buddy Sam.
And her other little buddy Liam.
Sometimes she wondered if maybe she was a cat. She liked to pretend that this was so.
We went to obedience class. Over and over again. Maggie was a smart girl, but being there with all those wonderful other dogs and people, she found it difficult to concentrate. She wanted to visit.
Then we discovered agility.
She loved that! It was so active! Running and jumping and weaving and dashing through tunnels. We went to agility classes for years, just for fun, and I got her some jumps and weave poles for the yard. We never showed in agility – she was certainly good enough, but I wasn’t. But it was an exciting activity that she loved to do, and she did it and enjoyed it for the rest of her life.
Maggie loved the snow.
Even when it got really deep.
Maggie loved everyone in the world. Her motto was “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.” (I borrowed that motto for a fictional dog in my last book, but I said it about Maggie for years.)
But most of all, she loved me.
And I loved her back, more than words can say. Her ‘official’ AKC name was Winterfrost Magic Spirit, and the name described her perfectly. She was a Magic Spirit. She was pure love. I will miss her forever.