Last week all of my Maggie’s health issues finally became too much for her and I had to help her exit from this world. This was extremely stressful on myself, my wife, and my staff, for we all loved her so. Of my 3 dogs, they all called her the sweet one. In her latter years she was the perfect little old lady, well mannered and always happy. Even when she barked at neighborhood dogs, she had a soft bark, “woof,woof,” that was almost musical. Everyone in the neighborhood loved seeing her and always asked about her. So, I’d like to share her history.
Maggie pictured top right, Butters top left, Sammy bottom.
Maggie was a Soft-Coated Wheaten terrier. She was small for her breed and, as I discovered as time passed, she was a victim of puppy mill breeding. She came to me as all my pets have, a semi-orphan. She was boarding at the Williamsburg hospital when she was about a year old. I had not seen her before and became infatuated with her. She was unkempt, with dreadlocks hanging from her. I was mesmerized by her because she could stand flat footed and jump up to a height parallel with my eyes. She stood about 2 and ½ feet tall at her shoulders and would spring up over and over in excitement. When her owner picked her up with two kids in tow she announced to the staff that she had no idea what she had gotten into with Maggie. She was a terrier and a handful and the owner had another baby on the way and she was going to turn her over to a shelter. I heard this and after a brief discussion, she was mine. Our groomer stripped her down and made her presentable for her new home. This introduction was tricky considering my wife was perfectly contented with the two dogs already at home. But, once home, her personality and sweet face made her irresistible.
She spent the passing years being the perfect pet with the exception of her quest to torment all cats on this earth. Time passed and middle age health issues started to develop. She developed thyroid and adrenal gland dysfunction and eventually she started having what appeared as back issues. X-Rays revealed hip dysplasia in both hips. This is usually a disease seen in large breed dogs and is rare in a dog of her size. At this point, I concluded that all her health issues could only be explained through the bad genetics of a puppy mill. Eventually, she became so painful that I had to do major orthopedic procedures in each hip to give her relief. She never complained and after weeks of rehab was moving pain free. Unfortunately, gone were the days of jumping and running like a deer. But it didn’t matter because we all loved her anyway and she carried on without any complaint.
The years passed pleasantly for her and us as she entered her geriatric age. Finally, at the age of 15, arthritis was becoming a major burden for her and she developed an autoimmune disease that ravaged her nervous system. She still never complained and continued to try to keep up with her housemates. She was so courageous in handling her problems. Finally she told us in her way, when her time had come. The luster was gone in her eyes, she lost her appetite, and gave me that message, “old friend, we’ve had a great adventure together, but my time has come. Help me move on and I’ll always be here in spirit to help you carry on.”
She was so well loved by family and staff. She will always live in our memories and if we’re lucky we can live our lives as she did, happy and carefree despite the roadblocks of life. We love and miss you Maggie and will always hold you in our lives. You were the perfect dog.