Goodbye Maggie May
This past Saturday morning, we lost our Maggie May. She fought a year-long battle with osteosarcoma and lived life on her own terms right till the end. That morning, she was happily awaiting her breakfast when she collapsed and died within moments.
When you have a dog that is terminally ill as Maggie was, you measure each day into ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’. Friday had been a good day with no indication of what was to come so suddenly the next morning. She’d gone for a walk in the morning, and she only does that on days she feels good. She visited the vet in the afternoon for some blood-work to check that her new chemotherapy meds weren’t affecting her (she passed with flying colors) and in the evening, she played her nightly game of ‘find the food’ and even had an extra bully stick treat all before turning in for a normal nights sleep.
We don’t know exactly what happened. She was fine one moment and gone the next. Her vet suspected maybe a heart issue or air leaking from her lungs into her chest, but she went quickly and painlessly. I’m sure her last thought was “Yeah, it’s breakfast time”. If you have to go, that’s the way to do it.
Maggie was only with us for four years and for the last year we were fighting osteosarcoma of her shoulder. She taught me the meaning of bravery. She never flinched at any of the tests or poking or prodding done to her. She handled all of her chemotherapy treatments like a pro only showing 2 mild reactions that quickly resolved. She had an iron like fortitude.
Maggie was not an affectionate dog. Her years as a neglected breeding mom gave her many scars, both external and internal. We worked hard to win her love and settled for her friendship. She liked being around people – she loved going to the vet and just mingling, but she rarely sought out attention or a pet unlike her attention-hog brother Jack. She would let us pet her, but usually only for short stints. Evenings were her most social times, mostly because she was trying to manipulate us into getting her ‘find the food’ game set up.
She had a mind of her own and was the most independent dog I’ve ever had. If she didn’t want to go left out the driveway on her walk, she was an immovable force. If we put her food down in a different place than normal, she may choose not to eat. She would often leave the room when we entered. Even after four years, she kept one-eye on Steve all the time even though he doted on her. She still held onto those early scars of mistreatment.
We miss her like crazy and talk and reminisce about her incessantly. It’s been four years since we lost Becca and I’d forgotten how difficult it is to lose one of your pets. It will take some time for the hollowness to fade.
In the meantime, Jack’s getting an overdose of attention and loving, but he’s just drinking it in. Goodbye sweet Maggie May, we love you.