We brought Maggie home from the animal shelter almost 8 years ago. She was the first addition to the family started by my wife and me. She was an old soul even from the first day. The shelter didn’t have enough room for each animal to have its own private cage, so the dogs were put together in big community cages, which resulted in pandemonium whenever someone walked by. The dogs literally fell over each other in an attempt to get attention from anyone they could.
Not Maggie. She found a little corner of the cage away from the viewing angle, where the other dogs wouldn’t bother her, and rested her head on her paws as if trying to block out the noise and chaos. My wife was the one who chose her. I didn’t even notice her at first, because I was looking at the rowdy, playful things falling all over themselves for my attention.
The animal shelter worker went into the cage and reached for Maggie. She looked up, confused, as if to say “Me? Are you sure?” They brought Maggie to a private room where we could play with her for a bit to see her personality. She wasn’t sure of us at first, but my wife insisted that this was our dog.
That was a long time ago. Today, in the early morning almost 8 years later, we found her lifeless body in the back yard. She always had a funny sleeping position, with her hind legs spread like a frog and her head in her paws. She looked peaceful in that position, and her eyes were closed.
We will remember Maggie as the playful, energetic dog that liked to “box” standing on her hind legs and waving her front paws in the air. When she was younger, she liked to play air-fetch, leaping straight up in the air to touch her face against your hip or arm. When she was nervous, or trying to relax before falling asleep, she had a habit of licking whatever was close by. Sometimes that was the carpet, a pillow, the rug, or your arm. She would pin the object between her front paws and hold it down while she licked, sometimes for up to an hour. It was the strangest habit I’ve ever seen in a dog, but it was one the personality quirks that made her unique.
Rest in peace Maggie. Your family misses you.