This year my wife and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. Just after we started dating, her beloved Yorkshire Terrier named Vicki got away from her house. My wife’s father found her the next day on the side of the road. Apparently she had been hit by a car. A few months went by and she decided to replace Vicki with another Yorkie. She heard about a new litter of Yorkie pups that had recently been born and we went together to see them. There was one particular pup that immediately took to my wife and she knew that was the one for her. She took her home and named her Magnolia or Maggie for short. Eventually my wife’s parents adopted Maggie’s brother and sister.
By the time we were married, Maggie had grown up and was a great little dog. She literally became an integral part of our new family. A few years later, she developed lumps on her chest. She was diagnosed with mammary cancer and had surgery to remove the lumps. Fortunately she made a full recovery and continued to live a normal life.

About six years ago my wife and I decided it was time to bring a child into lives. After months of trying to get pregnant and being unsuccessful, we consulted with doctors to try to determine if there was a medical problem with one or both of us. Once the test results were back, we were told that we would probably not be able to conceive a child naturally, but would most likely be able to with medical assistance. We continued to try various methods without success. Finally, after several attempts, my wife became pregnant in April 2005.
During this time, Maggie’s health began to deteriorate. She would sleep most of the time and did not have much energy to run around like she always did. When I would come home from work all she could do is curl up next to me and rest. One morning early that summer, she was so lethargic that she could barely move. We took her to the veterinarian and he did his best to prepare us for the decision that we knew would soon come. Amazingly, the next several days saw her energy level increased and she was acting more normal (or at least as normal as a 16 year old dog can be). Some time passed and we continued to enjoy Maggie’s companionship as we prepared for the arrival of our first child. Then in July, she became very lethargic again. After talking with the veterinarian, we knew that the time had come to put her to sleep. We took her to the vet’s office and filled out the necessary paperwork. The office staff was very sympathetic and kind to us and we left knowing that we had made the right decision.
After grieving for a while, my wife and I sat down to talk about what we had just been through. Even though we treated Maggie as our child in many ways, this just seemed like God was telling us that we needed to close that chapter in our life as we opened up a new chapter with a new baby. Things would not go as smoothly as we had planned though. After almost exactly 7 months of a normal pregnancy, my wife’s water broke and we rushed to the hospital. Annabelle was born less than 12 hours later weighing in at just over 4 lbs. She spent about 3 weeks in the NICU but thankfully did not have any serious complications from arriving so early. She will turn 2 in a couple of weeks and is doing very well and my wife and I have started down the road to try to bring another child into the world.
I think of Maggie often and of the times that she, my wife and I spent together. We’ll get another dog sometime in the future, I’m sure of that and I look forward to making new memories with my children as they grow up.