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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our sweet, sweet Maggie


It's been a long, difficult week. Over the past few days, Maggie's gait had gone from strong and healthy, to a slight limp, to a strong limp.  On Wednesday, I made an appointment for her at the vet for that night.  Thomas and Jonathan took her in.

When they got back, Jonathan handed me her medicine.  It wasn't the medicine I was expecting and I didn't recognize it.  He said simply, "It's for the fast growing tumor on her femur.  It's bending her bone."

The look on his face said all I needed to understand.  She had just turned 10 years old last month, which means she's already outlived her expected lifetime for a giant breed.  Add in her autoimmune issues (with her fur), and she's a fluffy walking doggy miracle.

We were both very quiet as we realized what was happening.  Thomas bounced in, "Mommy!  We go to Maggie doctor!"

I know, kiddo, I know.

Jonathan adopted Mags during law school, as she was living in a city that wasn't what you would call 'giant breed friendly'.  She adores being on the farm - with room to run and play, bunnies to chase, and coyotes to hunt.  They became fast friends as he continued to adjust to life on the farm without his mom...and she watched over him.   She transitioned to life with a tiny dog -- Viper -- after a big 'alpha dog' moment between the two of them while Jonathan was taking the bar exam.  After that, they were inseparable.  When Viper disappeared two years ago, it was Maggie who walked the fields day after day looking for her.  She lost a little of her bounce after Viper died.

And she has been an angel with the Wee Skis.  Akitas are a Japanese breed, bred to be babysitters.  Extremely protective of the house and our family, she has been an exceptional watchdog.  I'm never afraid when I'm at home -- even when there are two strangers at our door, asking to come in.  One quick growl from them and they've backed up 10 feet from the door.  She's beyond patient with Thomas (who favors riding the dog as opposed to petting the dog) and so good with John Paul, watching over him.

Back to right now.  The pain meds are helping.  We've prayed a lot about what to do -- and know that for now, we're making the right decision.  Chemo isn't an option given her age and health, and it would be more for us than for her anyway.  She's had a very good life.

Today, we stayed home from the Seahawks game so Jonathan could hang with her.  They're curled up on the floor, cheering on the Hawks and taking naps.  An ideal afternoon for both of them.  Both Wee Skis are sleeping and the house is quiet.

Wednesday night, as I prepped her first round of pills, Thomas walked into the kitchen. "Can I go cuddle Papa? He's sad."

And so my sweet little son climbed up into bed with Papa, and comforted him the way Maggie comforted Jonathan several years ago. 

Please keep her and Jonathan and our fam in your prayers.  Animals become part of your family, and this sweet doggy is no exception.  She's our polar bear + raccoon protector.  And she is so very loved.

A few of my favorite images from over the years.  No particular order.


Jonathan and Maggie  |  Christmas Eve 2007


Jonathan and Thomas in the mud


Maggie in her element  |  November 2010


Giving Mags a bone  |  Spring 2010


In the fields


With Thomas in the fields  |  Fall 2009


Praying for more snow  |  Spring 2009


Watching over Thomas  |  January 2009


The pups in the snow  |  December 2008


With her beautiful white coat  |  Fall 2008


The pups  |  Summer 2008


Viper is ballsy  |  Summer 2008


Weekend on the coast  |  July 2007 
(one of my favorite photos of the three of them)


Running from me when I'm calling them  |  Summer 2008


Chilling on Puget Sound  |  Summer 2007

And just in time -- my last Halloween card with both of our dogs.  I never could talk Jonathan into dressing Maggie up. She does look pretty beautiful here.  ♥


We love you, sweet dog.

5 comments:

~Roxanne said...

I have tears steaming down my face as I type this. Please know that I will keep you and the family in my prayers and ask that this time be extra special to all of you. Please give Maggie a pat on the head from me and let her know that my Brookster will be looking for her to guide her over the Rainbow Bridge.

KCina said...

Oh guys....we are so sorry about Maggie's diagnosis...all the photos of her and your family over the years are so great to see. You all our in our prayers...K, V & C

AR said...

So sorry to hear about your pup. I will send prayers of comfort your way :)

Kate said...

Oh, the tears. Those pictures of Maggie and Thomas through the years are beautiful and amazing. They were to begin with, and now they are so much more poignant. We are praying for you and for Maggie. I am so sorry you all have to deal with this. Love you. xoxoxo

Sunday said...

Oh, Shelley. This makes me so sad for sweet Maggie and for you as her loving family. I remember when you lost Viper and now with Maggie falling ill I am sure you must be quite sad.
I had a dear doggie named Auggie for 7 years. She developed liver cancer and I had to have her put down once she showed sings of being in pain.
I will pray for you and your sweet family and for Maggie as she prepares to walk over that Rainbow Bridge.

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