It has taken me a year to be able to say her name or look at a photo of her, this may sound extreme since Maggie was my dog. Saying she was "my dog" sounds so menial, she was so much more then that to me.
We got Maggie after my best friend...my mom, passed away from Ovarian Cancer. It was truly one of the most difficult times in my life. Watching my mom go from a vibrant woman to bed ridden with hospice in a matter of weeks was devastating. Ovarian Cancer is a brutal silent killer and I urge any woman who has an inkling that they may have some symptoms to get checked IMMEDIATELY! Go with your gut on this one girls and if it turns out to be nothing then, at least you know it isn't ovarian cancer.
My kids wanted a puppy and I was happy to have a diversion from the profound grief that hung over me. The second Maggie came into our lives there was something very special about this 11 pound bundle of black fur and happiness. With 2 boys, husband and Vince our kitty, I was thrilled to have another female in the house.
She was my princess! We painted our nails together, went on long walks, told each other secrets and loved each other deeply.
Maggie was my first dog and I really had no idea what being a dog mom really entailed. She quickly trained me and could read me like a book. She knew when I needed a hug, a snack or to play ball. She was my co-pilot and my co-conspirator. We knew which bank teller at the drive thru had treats and which coffee shop had pup-lattes. She was my girl, my new best friend; my mom knew what she was doing when she sent me Maggie!
Maggie inspired me to get my Canine Massage Therapy license, so I could give her long massages and help other dogs in pain. She inspired me to become a dog groomer, so I could help nervous or sick dogs get a compassionate groom. She influenced me in ways I am still understanding today.
I loved how she thought she was a person and greeted everyone with a kiss and how she would always find the sunny spot in whatever room we were in. She comforted me at night as she snuggled next to me. If I was sick, she never left my side, if I cried she licked my tears.
She watched over the boys like a hawk too and when, one by one, they left for college, I would find her laying outside of their bedroom door with the saddest look.
As I went for a walk through my neighborhood the other day, I reminisced how Maggie would lead the way and even though she was tired or achy, she kept walking and as always, wagging her tail.
To say she was "just my dog" is a disservice to her and all pets that unconditionally love and care for us.
It'll be a year on Mother's Day that Maggie crossed the "rainbow bridge" and I am only now able to come to terms with her passing. Maggie loved us deeply for 17 1/2 years and I mourn her passing and the void that she has left in my life. She promised me she would never leave me and she never will, the profound impact she has made on my life has changed me and I am forever indebted to my "Princess Maggie."
I know I'm not alone with my deep connection to Maggie. I would love to hear your story, either the joy of getting your first dog or the impact a special furry member of your family has had on your life.
Please share in the comments, I look forward to reading your stories!