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The Amazing Maggie Mae


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I never thought that I'd be saying goodbye to my special girl today, but I did.

 

Maggie is the dog that taught me oh so much about dogs, myself, life, and change. She nurtured an interest in dog behavior that led me away from my original plan of becoming a vet and into the field of animal behavior. She joined the family at 10 mo - I was only 15 myself - and went from a crazy adolescent with socialization issues to a calm, mature therapy dog. She and I played in agility and dabbled in herding and competition obedience.

 

She was with me through my transition to college from high school and my transition from college to career, four interstate moves, meeting and marrying my husband, the addition of two other dogs and a cat, tons of fosters, lots of travels, and she never wavered. She was a true confidant and teacher. She helped me see the importance of sunbeams, the chase, and long naps.

 

Because of her I learned about different training methods, holistic medicine, dog sports, and the joy in hiking a trail with your best friend. It's been an amazing journey. Even today she taught me a few new lessons: the importance of taking time to tell loved ones how much you care for them, how much an hour can mean, and even though losing a friend is tough it can be the most precious gift to give.

 

This morning Maggie refused her breakfast and appeared shakey. When I took her into the vet's they immediately thought she might have a splenic mass that had ruptured and xrays and bloodwork seemed to confirm that so we headed to the specialty clinic. An ultrasound revealed multiple masses on her spleen and liver - nothing could be done. The vet suspects hemangiosarcoma - she's probably had it for several months. The staff was amazed that she walked in on her own given how low her blood pressure was on admission and how advanced the cancer was at that point. That's my Maggie - a trooper through and through.

 

We were told we didn't have the time to take her home and have our housecall vet meet us there, so my husband and I spent the next hour sitting and snuggling with her. I called my parents and they said goodbye over the phone, we gave her special dog treats at will, and even after she stopped taking them, she still gave me one last high five (her favorite trick). She started to fade away, so we called the vet in and she passed smoothly around 3:30pm.

 

When I got in the car to head home without my girl there was an apropos song on the radio and I got the distinct image of Maggie running full tilt in a grassy, sunny field - I think that was her way of saying "thanks mom, I found the Rainbow Bridge ok, and am happy here".

 

Run free Meegs, run free!

 

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I am another who has lost a dog to hemangiosarcoma, our old MacLeod. Like Maggie Mae, he soldiered on until he couldn't go any longer.

 

That'll do, Maggie Mae!

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I'm so sorry to hear this. Working in a clinic, we see if fairly often and it always scares me how fast it comes on. Its one of the things I'm most scared of happening to Hannah because it gives so little warning. The one thing I always tell myself is at least its usually something that is sudden and quick, which for the pet is probably better than having a long drawn out disease.

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I'm so sorry, Erin. Maggie was a special girl - you've shared so many stories about her, she's one of the dogs here I feel like I "know". My heart just about stopped when I saw the subject line and now I'm writing with a lump in my throat, so I can't even begin to imagine how you're feeling. Take care of yourself.

 

Z and Kes: be extra nice to your humans; they need lots of love right now.

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I, too, felt sick when I saw the subject line of this post. She's one of the dogs on this board whose adventures I really enjoyed reading about. Erin, my heart breaks for you, but I'm glad that you were blessed with such a companion who had such a profound impact on your life, and that you were able to help her leave this world with love and dignity. Maggie was truly amazing.

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I feel your loss as well. Jazz also died of hemangiosarcoma. Maggie was a beautiful dog and she will have many good friends at the Bridge to run with....

'They will not go easily from us, these dogs who have our hearts'. Maggie lives on, held closely in your heart.

Run, Maggie...run......

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I am so sorry to hear of your loss of Maggie. I feel your pain. I, too, lost my Jag just a year ago to hemangiosarcoma too. It is a quick way to go.

 

Kathy

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You're in my prayers tonight. Please take some solace from knowing that your girl passed enveloped in the love and comforting arms of the people she loved most.

 

You'll meet her again at the Bridge.

 

Hugs,

Ceredwyn

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Erin, I was rendered speechless when I read this on the other board. Now, less than 6 hours after having read it, I find myself still sitting here with tears in my eyes.

 

What a beautiful tribute to Maggie, and what an absolutely wonderful picture to remember her with. Loss at any time is difficult, but to have lost her so suddenly is incomprehensible. Hopefully all the wonderful memories the two of you shared over your the years will ease the pain and bring solace. Maggie was truly a beautiful creature in every respect.

 

My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family, two and four legged alike.

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