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What would we do without our four legged friends?
Poor ole "Maggie"
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.
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