HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGGIE! One year ago today Lynn and I had a day that was similar to today. I had just finished a show the night before, just like last night, and had another one that Friday... so we went for a hike/walk at the Reddies River Trail in North Wilkesboro... something we do a lot. That day turned out to be a special day. About half way down the trail we were startled by something running out of the woods. That something turned out to be Maggie. She didn't look like she does today. She was dirty with mangled, matted hair and missing fur. She had ticks literally all over her, with one actually inside her eyelid. To our surprise she started walking with us... actually happily, tail wagging between us. When we turned around she turned around too and kept walking with us.
By the end of the trail we had decided that she must be lost and belong to someone and that if she'd ride in the car we'd take her to our vet to see if they could determine her owner and get some of the ticks removed. Lynn drove and I sat in the passenger seat and Maggie, who didn't have that name then, jumped right up into my lap. The vet took her as a walk-in and while we waited the ladies at the desk gave us some dog treats to give her. She devoured them. So, they went in the back and got some water and dog food in a bowl. She tore into that too and then jumped up and sat between us on the bench as we waited. Lynn went on to get groceries while I waited, her heart nor mine was not even close to healed from the loss of Jake just a few months earlier, so I thought putting some distance in while we learned about Maggie's fate was a good thing for her.
Well, she was not listed on any lost and found and she did not have a chip. (she does now). The vet and her assistant worked for more than 30 minutes removing ticks. Maggie had over 200 on her that they could guestimate. She even had one that was attached to the inside of her eyelid. She sat there calmly looking at me while they removed even that one. From her condition the vet said she felt like Maggie was more than likely about one year old and that she had sadly probably spent that entire one year fending for herself in the wild. That broke our hearts just to hear that and with those words Maggie was adopted into our family... a family that was still very much mourning the loss of our 17-year old 4-legged son, Jake.
May 8th also became Maggie's adopted birthday so at midnight last night Lynn and I sang happy birthday to her and lay there laughing as she looked around trying to see which one of her girls (Carrie or Abby) was here for us to sing to. Many believe that we adopted Maggie when the truth is, Maggie adopted us. She is so "famous" with all of you guys, with many of you asking to "be her". Granted she does have a good life now but she gives more love and attention than any living being we have ever known. A trip inside Walmart or a restaurant with her waiting in the car that has the A/C running is always, always, always greeted with the happiest welcome you could ever expect. She runs from seat to seat kissing, wagging and smiling. Every time! I once left her in here at home while I walked around the house picking up limbs while getting ready to mow. 5 minutes later I came back through the front door and you would have thought I had been gone for a week. Maybe it's because she was alone for so long and has now found us, but she does not let us get out of her sight if she can help it. And I guess the joy when we return when we do have to leave her is happiness from being glad we did actually return. She wakes up every morning between us just waiting for one of us to open just one of our eyes, then she pounces with kisses. It's almost like she wakes up every morning thinking I wasn't dreaming. She goes everywhere with us, as most of you know. She is a constant companion, protector and friend. She seems to know she hit the lottery on May 8, 2014 but we feel like we're the lucky ones. I still every now and then call her Jake and I miss my buddy more than words can ever say, but even though she had big shoes to fill, Maggie is the best pup in every way and is loved so much, not only by us but by our family as well as our family and friends in Florida. It's almost been a month, but I can still hear Rick yelling out Maggie as she'd run full speed every time to get loving and a treat. Sharon came by every morning to give her a treat too and love on her. John, her husband at first was distant with her, seemingly not wanting a dog... but Maggie won his heart too and he would make excuses to just come by rub Maggie's belly. They have learned what we learned last year... if you spend any time with her she steals your heart... but that's OK.
In just one year she has touched so many lives. Especially ours. We can't imagine life without her in it. I guess things happen for a reason. When you're not looking for a gift like her the gift just comes running out of the woods into your life.
Happy Second Birthday Sweet Maggie!