Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Maggie's Story

We found Maggie at the Humane Society when she was just 3 months old. She had been rescued from a culvert, where someone had found her stuck. We fell in love with her and even though she was scheduled to be sent to Boston through another rescue organization, we were able to adopt her. Maggie was the sweetest puppy and a joy to everyone. For some unknown reason, she adopted a stranger anxiety at the visit of our long-time Texas friends and she never got over it.

She loved a belly rub, and was content to just lie at your feet most of the time. If you touched her too much, she would move away. Maggie looked so much like Jack, it was impossible to look at her and not be reminded of Jack and how much we still missed him.

Last week, Roadie (our baby and latest rescue) dug a hole under the fence and he and Maggie ran off. I looked everywhere, and was headed out again mid-afternoon to search the woods behind the house. I called, and heard her; she came running for the treats I had in my hand. An hour later, I had them de-ticked and cleaned up. Maggie was limping, and as the day progressed seemed to be in more pain. We took her for doggie ER the next day and the doc diagnosed a muscle sprain, gave her antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.

Maggie was one of our two dogs who would not run off if out in the front yard off leash with us, so we were surprised that she went on her little escapade.

Monday, they found a new place under the fence and again escaped. Within an hour, Roadie was back without Maggie. Randy was worried, as Roadie is Maggie's shadow and he felt something had happened to her for him to return without her. It had. Maggie was hit by a car at the end of our driveway, most likely minutes after getting out of the yard. We nicknamed her "Sheriff Maggie" as when called, if the other dogs did not come in, Maggie would run back out the door and round them up and chase them in.

I wonder if Roadie (he got his name because the first time I saw him as an abandoned pup, he was in the middle of the road and almost hit by a car) perhaps had gone into the road and Sheriff Maggie went after him. Randy found Maggie last night, and although we had known in our heart that something had happened since she had not come home, it was still hard to accept. It seems ironic that she came into our lives due to being in a culvert, and she left our lives in a culvert.

We have always been so careful about our dogs--I am firmly opposed to letting dogs run loose, for their sake as well as the humans out there. Ours were always in the fenced yard, the house, on leash, or on rare occasions with Maggie and Rex, in the front yard with us briefly, and always responded to recall. I routinely checked the yard for weak spots near the fence; this one was near a bush, with kudzu behind it, and it seemed to be safe enough to me. That error in my judgment resulted in Maggie's loss of life. It seems even harder to think she was hit by a car--that has not happened to my dog since my little SugarBabe back when I was a child.

Randy and Justin buried Maggie next to Killer. I had just buried Killer, our cat, last week. Somehow, Killer being 16 years old and just deciding to stop eating, but being in no pain nor suffering, was much easier to accept. It was actually harder to bury Killer than to let her die. My friend and I made a tomb for her of concrete and marked her spot under the tree where she used to love to lie in wait for the birds. Last night, Randy and Justin made a tomb for Maggie and placed her next to Killer. It was much harder and especially for Randy who was there to attend to her while I am in New Orleans.

It has been a difficult month dealing with pets at the Allen house. This was the most recent in a long spate of difficulties. Back home in Taylor, I have felt stressed and depressed to the max. Here in New Orleans, in the quiet and solitude, I have regrouped, refreshed, and relaxed. Rosie (the poodle) and Jamie (the cat) are easy to attend to, mostly quietly sleeping next to me as I read, write, or nap myself. Being by myself has always been the best way for me to take care of myself, and I have eaten healthy, and taken care of my emotional health this week. In a way, it makes it a little easy to accept the loss of Maggie, but not much. I feel a little like I am cheating that I am here and Randy is still there. Every day, I would go out and see Killer's little spot and feel a sense of sadness, but also a sense of peace in the cycle of things. I only see Maggie's spot in my mind's eye right now, and do not feel the sense of peace at all. I suppose it will come with time. And like all losses, it reminds me of the mortality of all of us, most prominent on my mind, that of my aged parents.

But for now, goodbye to Maggie, my little white magnolia blossom.


olemisskim said...

Susan, I am so sorry. I hurt for you and Randy. Kim

Betty said...

Susan, think of the good life Maggie had with you. She may have lived her life in the culvert always scrapping for food, etc. You gave her and you some happiness! It's so hard to lose a pet I know.

Gigi said...

We're so sorry and wish you peace. Sending much love your way.

Suzassippi said...

Thanks for all your kind thoughts, Kim, Betty, Jane, and Rich. It gets a little easier day by day.

Kathi said...

People who don't love animals often don't understand the difficulty of losing one...our pets are our loved ones, and for me, anyway, it's not much different than losing a human loved one. My condolences to you, Randy, and Justin- it's very obvious Maggie was a part of your heart. I once read that the spirits of our pets stay with us after their physical bodies are gone as sort of guardian angels. I like to believe that it's true.

Suzassippi said...

Thanks, Kathi. Yes, Mag was very much part of the family. As Randy said, it was much harder than burying a parakeet--you can't get too attached to a bird. Being here in NOLA, it is not as real as it will be to get home and her not be there. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and understanding.