My beautiful friend, Maggie Mae, died on Thursday. She was a thirty pound, liver and white Brittany spaniel. I called her my “fur baby”; and she would have celebrated her thirteenth birthday on January 1st, 2017.
This little soul arrived in my life not long after I was first married: full of dreams, playing house, and feathering my nest. When that soft little puppy bounded into our home, I had my first taste of sleepless nights, random peeing and general loss of personal freedom. I also experienced a new kind of endless devotion, love and joy: all wrapped in one wiggling package. All of this genuinely helped to prepare me for the arrival of my “human baby” seven years later.
Maggie loved to go on adventure walks with me, until this August, when her little body could no longer carry her up the mountain. Her nose was amazing and she experienced the world through her incredible sense of smell. She was fascinated with birds and she loved to swim: especially in the lake and ocean. I often thought she was going to drown, as she relentlessly chased after a duck or a seagull. She considered herself to be an adept fisher-woman, spending hours pacing the water’s edge, certain she was about to catch the big one.
She welcomed me every day with a happy squeak, a smile and a vibrating tail. Smile! Who knew a dog could smile? I didn’t – until Maggie. Her right lip would lift up, exposing a lopsided toothy grin. It was an expression of pure joy and it was beautiful.
Maggie followed close beside me throughout the house as I folded laundry, tidied toys, and loaded the dishwasher. She stuck close to my heels, tags jingling, always ready to help clean up fallen crusts or crumbs. And when we finished our evening chores, she would happily put herself to bed: curling up into a warm ball close against my legs.
Maggie comforted me when I cried. She never let me down and she was the most loyal friend that I have ever had. She loved me unconditionally, as I did her. I will deeply miss her and she will always live on in my heart.