A Tribute to Maggie

This is a day that I have been dreading. Today we made the hard decision to let go of Maggie, our 12 year old Terrier mix.

Vic and I found Maggie at the Wichita Animal Shelter back in January 1998. Out of the two dozen dogs barking their heads off in various pens, one stood out. A little 1 year old black and white Terrier with markings like a Springer Spaniel was quietly laying in her cage looking at us as if to say, take me away from this place…please. We were both drawn to her and after getting acquainted in the front lawn, decided to adopt her. She was unlike any other dog. She was long and low with short legs and a bobbed tail. She had a Terrier face with B&W Spaniel markings and long hair coat. She had a signature black “cow spot” on her left side.

We named her Maggie but she had numerous nicknames like Mags and Magzilla (when she played viciously with her toys during tug of war). She quickly became the focus of our lives and we were soon concerned with all of her spare time when she was home alone. After deciding on a companion for Maggie, we were advised to bring her along to select a friend. Well, it worked and Maggie actually picked out Marvin, our miniature Poodle, from the Humane Society Shelter. He was on his hind legs dancing for her and she went right to him. They became instant pals, rarely separated from that point on.

Now it should be noted that I would say Maggie was the alpha, very smart and quick to correct Marvin. Marvin has always been a little neurotic and skittish. He’s an oddball at times but a loving little guy. He won’t let me out of his sight but he always gave right of way to Maggie. They were such opposites in some respects. Maggie loved her toys, especially her AKC squirrel. Marvin couldn’t give a flip about toys. He is into snacks! Maggie’s favorite past time was excavating the back yard. She had several spots so deep that all I could see was dirt flying out of a hole. Suddenly, you would see here dirty little mug pop up. She knew she was in trouble. Maggie loved car rides on my lap. She wanted up to see the world. Marvin could care less. The back seat was all his for a nap. Maggie loved going to Coffeyville to see Mom & Dad and their Rottweiler mix, Bear. They were great buddies. All I had to do was mention the word Coffeyville and both Maggie and Marvin instantly would go into a frenzy.

Above all Maggie loved people. She was the most social dog I ever knew. One day, I let both Mags and Marvin out to get into the car just as a female mail carrier walked into the yard. Maggie instantly ran to her to greet her as the carrier panicked and drew her pepper spray. Maggie just wanted to say hi. She would jump in anyone’s lap and give them a smooch.

I will mostly remember Maggie’s excitement when I got home from work. Her little bobbed tail wagging. We had a ritual where I would change clothes and rough house with her, followed by a quick tug of war game with the toy of her choice followed by a 20 minute nap. We would get up and fix dinner before playing in the back yard.

Maggie recently lost her vision and her heart began to weaken. She battled with congestion from heart failure and lost that spark she always had. We could tell she was just existing and miserable. After looking at our options, we decided this morning that we could no longer ask Maggie to continue on. Her vet euthanized her this morning at 9:15. Vic and I were both with her as she passed. It was extremely peaceful and she just went away.

We returned home and tried to watch a sitcom to help cope when we heard some banging coming from the kitchen. This was like nothing we had heard before. We figured it was Maggie letting us know she was OK. We looked at each other and smiled, knowing she will always be with us and hopefully, one day, we will be reunited. Thank you Maggie for being my friend, for watching over me when I was sick, for comforting me when I was heartbroken, for giving me such joy. You were a gift from God and an angel in many ways. Thank you Mags. We will always love you.

Tom & Vic from KS