Maggie, Nuerotic but Loyal Dog
I Will Miss You Maggie May!
Yesterday, in San Diego, my daughter's Golden Lab/Retreiver mix, Maggie, made her leap into the afterlife, from the back porch area where she was lying down, watching her owner, my daughter, Shell, through the kitchen window, as she was doing dishes. At first Shell couldn't figure why Maggie was staring at her so hard, with a sort of pleading look in her eye; the same look Shell would receive whenever Maggie was to be left when Shell had to go to work.
Only this time was strange because Shell wasn't going to work that day and yet Maggie acted like Shell was leaving, all the while, it was Maggie knew she was leaving. What was so touching about this story was the intelligence of the dog, to know she was going to die that day, and to try to communicate this to Shell, as if she needed permission to leave; to make her leap.
Maggie had collapsed the day or so before her transition. These particular dogs have been noted for hip problems in older age. She was 8 yrs old which is the predicted time span of their lives for this breed. The medicines Shell had administered might have lengthened her life for the hips. Maggie had also had a seizure when she collapsed. Now she lay on the porch where Shell had carried her and she had not moved for some time.
Still, Shell had made another appointment with the vet for that afternoon to see about prolonging the inevitable transition. As Maggie's pleading eyes made contact now, Shell rushed to her side to rub her back and give her love. Maggie died in shell's arms there and then, but it was like she wouldn't die, not until Shell would sit beside her and help her over.
As a another seizure appeared to be taking place, Shell leaned over and whispered in her ear, the permission to "go." Go Now, said Shell, it's Ok, it's Ok.
It happened so fast. In a matter of moments it seemed. I marvel over and over at the bond between these two, and the telepathy that goes with it.
The reason I call it a leap from her bodily constrains, is because I'd had a vivid dream that Maggie was riding along in the passenger seat of Shell's car. The window was rolled all the way down and a voice was saying "leap out the window, it's very easy, then freedom is yours. In the dream she was timid and uncertain; all of a sudden she gained courage and flew happily out the window, and she didn't even know she was able to do that. I had mentioned the dream to my kids a few months before Maggie's transition, but I'd not known it meant her death for certain, I'd thought it might mean literally that Maggie had leaped out a car window, although, with her hips being weak, I thought that would be impossible for her to do. Now I think the voice that was saying "leap for it!" Leap for courage, so to speak, was that of Shell allowing Maggie to be free of a body which would not function properly anymore, and she so loved going for walks; they were like the high point of the day.
I felt Maggie would transition for months now, but I had no definite time frame and I'm thinking I wished I could have hugged her one last time, for I had bonded with her when she stayed with me in Roswell, NM for a year while Shell was building a career and didn't have much time for her in a big city, in a cramped apt.
Each pet we own over a lifetime we can notice they each have distinct personalities, traits that we come to appreciate, when we share that unconditional love that they have, so different from relating with humans, a pet to care for can make life a whole lot more fun to do, and they can get us out into nature settings, where we might otherwise not go.
Maggie lived her puppyhood out on a farmland of acreage, with her twin brother beside her. When we moved from the farm a broken marriage occurred where Maggie went with Shell, and Wilbur, the other dog, went with her ex. This splitting up of the homefront made a timid dog sort of neurotic. My children moved several times while getting established with jobs in a strange city, and the dogs (the girls also had 2 small dogs) would bark and howl, disturbing the other tenents when they had to leave them locked inside for hours.
Maggie's insecurity caused her to eat socks and she had digestive problems understandably, but I was not pleased one day to discover she had eaten a large segment of my favorite dress, while I was visiting with the girls.
We found clothing items in her feces, whole and intact. Maggie would spend time out at night, just eating grass. A fight broke out when Maggie made a dump on someone's yard and it was not picked up, like immediately. It was a very hostile situation for a timid dog to undergo, when it seems the whole town is telling you to get out of here and you don't have a proper yard for the pet.
It was something I'd never seen before as far as the eating of clothing items. I've never owned a large dog. I prefer the small cuddly, lap dogs. Yet some higher intelligence told me Maggie was going on a journey with me for awhile, and she would consent to be my guardian spirit.
She was not a true guard dog. Just a wannabe sort of bluffer, but she bluffed the ones she was supposed to bluff efficiently and I did feel safer with her than not, when I too had to leave the farm and set out on my book writing journey several states away from my kids. There were some elements in my new town where having a big dog was certainly a plus factor for a woman alone, and she would need to be exercised, which got me away from the long hours spent at a computer. And best of all, I'd found a large fenced in back yard for Maggie. Yet, notice in the picture Maggie just want to come inside and lay at my feet. I had to train her to enjoy the back yard. And, I would end up getting a playmate for her as well which was a chihuahua.
Imagine a small creature enticing a large creature to play chase around a tree at breakneck speed while the clumsy larger dog builds up speed and agility it didn't know it had, and you'll know the pleasure I attained during my writing breaks. Also Imagine a pair of large jaws around the torso of the smaller creature, and so softly and gently would Maggie salivate on it, it was more like a love bite than any serious nipping going on.
Maggie used to do a Roooo! in the morning to greet the day. Usually only Shell was the recipient of this most unusual greeting, although I was treated to it upon occasion. It was a cross between a howling of the wolf yet it was a joyful sound, with a definite R tone there and a U tone. What she meant to say is I've been waiting for you to wake up and now that you're awake I'm sure we're going to have fun together!
I can have dreams about a subject, person or animal, sometimes, when I set the intention. Last night after learning of Maggie's departure, I set an intention to visit with her. I found her laying on a large slab of flat stone, almost like it was her pedestal, in front of Shell's house, she was guarding the house. I assume from negative influences, whatever that contrives to be in a dog's mind.
She was demonstrating her loyalty, her need to remain with Shell. She was showing that the bond will not be broken. She was growling, is how I know she was in guardianship role. I suppose the stone was to denote, her loyalty is set in stone.
I was thrilled to greet her naturally and I reached to touch her long nose and stroke it and she ceased her growling for my attentions. She was being like a sentry, in her own mind, and I thought, whatever you want to be honey, it's fine with me.
I will see you again sometime, I know.