The 100 000 mile dog took the final big step. Miss Maggy was born a little over 12 years ago at the South Eastern Guide dog school in Florida and came to us as a white pompom of fur with a heart of gold tucked on the inside. Sponsored for Margaret, the headmistress of Carmel Country Day, she got right into the middle of things with her training as a new guide dog puppy. It soon became evident that she would have to change careers early on due to some major hip issues which gave her a distinctive hop in her step. Undeterred, and swinging that little leg around to keep up with the others, she became the leader of the pack. Hers was a quiet and calm approach to leadership – mostly from ground level without even lifting her head – with an attention getting growl and a short bark if things needed more clarity. For the most part, one yip resolved the problem and she enjoyed her status no matter who came through the door.
Known as Miss M or Magpie, she travelled around the world with me reveling in the sights, growling at the sounds and delighting in all the new smells. I think India was her favorite – with her own car and driver during the day, she made full use of the opportunity to be completely spoilt. Swimming lessons, private walks and home cooked meals became the norm. Best of all, she loved sitting in the passenger seat chatting to the cows in the road.
And then coming back to Huntley Drive brought a smile to her wide face that was still there today as she closed her eyes. We strolled the acres every day as she checked fences, chatted to the geese and taste tested the grass. There was always a nose and paws under the bathroom door checking to see I was ok! This was a dog who never wasted a single opportunity to roll in the grass. Her eyes would light up, the legs would giddy up and over she would go, wriggling and stretching her back on the lawn as she shared grunts of delight with me. Teaching me that stopping to enjoy the small pleasures didn’t cost anything.
Though she won’t get to see the final house, her footprints and her magical fibers are everywhere here and her spirit surrounds us. I am no longer surprised by how deep this bond is nor by how much love there is between us. To love so deeply though, is to hurt with a pain that feels like it will shred you.
She is free now, no more pain and I’m damn sure she is racing around with Max, Jemma and Chance without a limp! Miss M – you are loved always and forever. Thank you my darling Magpie!