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What would we do without our four legged friends?

Updated on April 22, 2012

Poor ole "Maggie"

It's not flattering but it feels really good.
It's not flattering but it feels really good.

Maggie has been one of my greatest dogs of all time.

I wanted to introduce Maggie as she is finally aging and I know she won't be around for too much longer. I am pretty sure she is either 15 now or getting really close. I have managed to loose track even though I was there right after she was born.

So the story of my dog is this. I was given the option of having a new puppy for Christmas. A friend referred me to a woman who owned both the mother, grandmother and the father of my dear companion Maggie. I did my due diligence by researching the owner and the dogs to make sure that I wasn't getting a problem down the road. All the dogs were in excellent health, friendly and not overly breed. I had never bought a dog before and all this was new to me.

When the pups were born I was called to come see and it was right after Christmas Day. I was so excited and loved seeing all the little bodies. I think there may have been 12 or 14, my memory is fading to the details now. When they were about 6 weeks old I needed to make my choice as to which one I wanted. I happened to read a book about how to choose the right dog for me. What I took from that advice was find the middle ground. I took the pup that had medium energy, medium coat color and one with a shorter nose as I thought it made her look puppy like. I was right.

Maggie has been the greatest companion ever. Always independent and never needy. She comes and checks in with me for the occassional petting and validation but then she's off hunting, swimming, prowling the farm as it's her job. She has been diligent about finding most moles, removing possums, eating the small bunnies, bringing the stray turtle/frog and lastly finding the remaining deer parts hunters leave in the woods. All to show me her prize and for me to be grossed out by as she munches.

Her health has been excellent to say the least. She has hardly ever been to the vet except the yearly shots. They marvel at how clean her teeth are and how her ears never need to be cleaned. They ask how I manage to keep her so healthy and clean and I have to laugh. She eats anything she wants, almost never gets dog treats and eats all the old food from the refrigerator. I've seen her eat rocks, bones, entire animals from head to toe.

It is only recently that she has asked to come spend the night indoors. Partly cause she is cold, hairless and now just not willing to tolerate being uncomfortable. The winter she spent a few really cold nights in and this summer I know she will ask for relief again and will receive it. I can't say how much I love this dog. She has been truly my companion in all the sense of the word. She is MY dog and mine only. She has liked others but not like me. Everyone who comes to the farm gets her greeting and thens she's off checking in with me (mom).

I know there are tons of animals lovers out there who can understand but I must say I don't treat my animals like people/children. I let her be a dog, be disgusting, swim, hunt, dig and do whatever she likes as long as her life is not in danger. The vet swears nothing wants to die on my farm because of this fact and all live extremely long vital lives.

The next challenge for the two of us will be her exit from my life. I don't got to extreme measures to keep an animal alive. She has had a wonderful life that I have been grateful to be part of. When it's her time I will know and help her leave it gracefully and painless. I have had to do this many times as I lifelong animal owner and now do it gladly to relieve them of suffering. I don't take into count my selfish feelings and just do what she needs me to do, as hard as that is to do.

I will be a pitiful person the day she exits my life but know that I have a long line of stories and experiences that I can dwell on and smile about. She is a wonderful dog and breed in my opinion. Golden Retrievers make great pets and I'm glad I choose to have one. Mutts have always been my dog of choice but I took the risk of doing something different and so glad I did.

Enjoy your pets and if you can let them be natural pets they will truly thrive and love you more so for it. I do and will continue to do so.

Maggie with full winter coat.

Have you owned a Golden Retriever?

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    • profile image

      latina2sweet 

      6 years ago

      I really liked your article and it touched me dearly,you have a beautiful dog!

    • karmicfilly profile imageAUTHOR

      karmicfilly 

      6 years ago from Franklin, TN

      latina I am so sorry for your loss. Amazing how they touch our lives and our hearts. Just a note that it's ok for your daughter to see you cry. If they don't see you grieve and process they can learn to be afraid of emotions. I always modeled behaviors and feelings to my daughter so she always knew she could survive them. I just didn't let it get out of hand and scare her. Thanks for your note and I wish you the best.

    • profile image

      latina2sweet 

      6 years ago

      My bestfriend "Bonita" died last thursday.I feel like a knife is in my heart,I'm so sad all I can do is cry at night when my daughter is sleeping so she doesnt hear because she's cried so much herself,I had her for 14yrs and I feel so sad without her but had to put her to sleep,feel awful but she had a tumor in her stomach.I miss her so much!

    • JessicaSmetz profile image

      Just Ask Jess 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Yeah if only people were that way. No problem!

    • karmicfilly profile imageAUTHOR

      karmicfilly 

      6 years ago from Franklin, TN

      Jessica I know what you mean. I love unconditional love from my pets, wish people could do this too! Thanks for the feedback.

    • JessicaSmetz profile image

      Just Ask Jess 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      She is a beautiful dog. I love animals, and have lost many over the years. Sometimes I feel more attached to animals then humans haha.

    • karmicfilly profile imageAUTHOR

      karmicfilly 

      6 years ago from Franklin, TN

      Thank you Will sorry for your loss. I had 2 lab sisters years ago and they too were wonderful. Watch and wait for the right dog to show up it's fun that way.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We are currently dogless, having lost our two beloved labs. Since we want travel, we have decided to live without dogs for a few years, but I don't think we can do it!

      Beautiful Hub!

    • clairemy profile image

      Claire 

      6 years ago

      You feel about Maggie, as I felt about Missy my Boxer, and obviously have the same wonderful relationship with her. Was a joy to read.

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