This is Maggie. She was part of our family until her death earlier this year. We think she was 14 year-old. We had Maggie since she was a puppy when my wife found her near her car at her employer’s parking lot. Maggie had chewed off her leash and had ran away. She was maybe 2 months old and was but a black fur ball. My wife put up signs and an ad in the paper but nobody called so we kept her.
Maggie must have been a full blood black Chow Chow. There wasn’t a kinder, nobler creature, even though these dogs tend to command healthy respect from strangers. She also was very cat-like in her ‘gestures’ and habits, right down to crossing her front paws when she would lay down.
Maggie was there before either of our kids were born but she welcomed them and stoically bore their games (dressing her up, or riding her like a horse….). Never was she aggressive or bite anybody, but you certainly would ‘hear’ from her if you knocked on the door. I’m sure it sounded like a 150 lbs mastiff from the other side of the door.
In a way, our whole family was merely staying in Maggie’s castle. She was our benevolent Queen. Many times, she would sit at the top of our driveway and ‘people’ watch. I always thought she was surveying her domain. I would watch the occasional unsettled neighbor cross the street to avoid passing in front of her. In these occasions she would simply turn her head sideways. I think she was laughing inside.
About two years ago Maggie’s health started to deteriorate. She lost an eye due to a tumor. She had bladder stones. Her hips were bothering her. She couldn’t hear. She would pant all the time. We were lucky to have great vets who looked after her and care for her. One Sunday in April, she had a seizure. A few hours later she had another, and another. We knew it was time to say goodbye to Maggie who loved us unconditionally for so many years. The next day, all four of us laid on a blanket with her at the vet’s office and said our goodbyes. Right before she was gone, her breathing eased up and after many years, she didn’t pant anymore. She was very peaceful and then she was gone.
We always think of Maggie because we have a small frame picture of her with a paw print in our kitchen. We miss her. Wherever she is, I’m sure she’s sitting, looking regal, with her paws crossed, laughing at the folks going by.

— Humberto from Indianapolis, IN