Mum: Let’s just see how she gets on with our other dog before we decide if we’re keeping her or not.
(5 minutes after dog arrives and small, inflated, ball of fluff is scrambling to climb up patio step into garden)
Dad (looking at my mum’s face): There’s no way that dog is going home.
We sat around the dinner table that night trying to pick a name for the new addition to the family. Going through all the names of the Simpsons characters for some reason, we decided on Maggie.
Maggie was a rescue dog who had been given away at just a couple of months old because her new and ignorant owners no longer required a puppy that chewed and pooped all the time. I have no clue why they didn’t understand this before they got a dog but I shall not rant. Their loss was our gain!
Sadly, Maggie was suffering from malnutrition when we got her due to again, the moronic previous owners. She was whisked to the vets and after a lot of time and TLC from my mum, she was a healthy pup again.
Dogs can we super weird and Maggie was no different! All kinds of crazy behaviour was observed throughout her life.
She loved snow. She would catch snowballs, she would eat snow but most strangely she would lie in it. For hours! In the dark sometimes! Dog was meant to live in a Nordic country I tell thee.
She had a bizarre habit of licking random inanimate objects. Casually strolling past, no table leg, pillow, cupboard door, fridge or anything else weird was left un-licked.
One of her favourite habits was trying to climb into tiny spaces or sitting on things that didn’t fit her body size. Spaces that not even a house mouse could fit into it. One time she tried to get into the space behind a small printer that was placed on the lower shelf of an office desk. Channelling her inner cat I suppose?
Maggie, like most dogges, was not a fan of the B.A.T.H. Yep, like MI5 trained spies, we would hatch different plans to get her into the tub. Distract, grab and dash was always a winner to deceive her.
Step 1. Lure dog into false sense of security with favourite dog biscuit.
Step 2. Ambush dog while distracted and scoop up into ball.
Step 3. Dash to bathroom and lock door behind you. Well, I say dash but have you ever tried to ‘dash’ with a fully sized golden retriever/german-shepherd cross in arms? It’s more of a stagger around and crawl upstairs in a sweating, red-faced manner.
This is the face that side-eyed us from the bath when we managed to get her in there.
Maggie was my running buddy for years. However, my buddy seemed incapable of running in a straight line. I would almost always get caught up in her lead as I tried to run forwards while she ran to the side. Grabbing scraps of gross leftover pizza and any other old food from the path as she went.
During one such run, we found ourselves in a comedy of errors. She wasn’t a fan of cars and one day we were running past one parked vehicle when the driver turned on the engine as Maggie trotted by. Freaking out at the loud noise, the trot turned into a marathon sprint.
A few yards in front of us a small boy suddenly turned and saw a wide-eyed, alsatian-resembling beast barrelling towards him, which in turn freaked him out and he began running too.
So there we were. Me, panting and trying to shout at the boy to tell him she wasn’t going to maul him to death while being dragged along by panicking dog. And then in front of us a terrified young kid running like his life depended on it.
Once I had managed to regain control of the dog and the poor boy had disappeared into the horizon, I swear I laughed until I nearly threw up.
Dog of a Thousand Names Dog
You know what it’s like. Even the family pet ends up with pet names as the years go by. Maggie was no exception. Here is a small selection:
Margaret (her Sunday name)
Eeyore (same demeanour)
Chops (when she was little)
Best Friend Dog
I have lost count of the number of times Maggie was my mental health hero. She would flop down near me and hang out in good times and bad. She bought me endless joy.
Just having her in the same room would instantly make me feel better about everything. She was my antidepressant and my best friend.
When I moved out of my parents’ house, I would go to see her frequently. I went to see the dog more than my family. Sorry folks! She never forgot me and it would be like picking up where we left off.
We were so lucky to have her for such a long time. Although none of us wanted to, we had to let her go after 15 years and her third struggle with cancer.
I remember our last day together. We sat in the garden together underneath the apple tree with a warm early summer breeze on our faces. Just as we did the day we met. I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier, more fitting goodbye for la floof.
I am heartbroken, even months later, and miss her terribly but know how blessed we were to have her for such a long time. For that I will always be grateful.