Our Sweet Maggie.. gone but never forgotten
This story was originally written in Aug. 2011 a couple of weeks after Maggie passed away.
I've been trying to write this webpage for weeks now. I would try to put it in words, then delete everything & start over. It's so hard to put into words the pain we feel losing our sweet Maggie Kaye.
So I will just put down the basics & try to leave out the pain I feel. I am certain that anyone that takes the time to read this page can certainly read between the lines & feel my pain. I've been told by a couple of very cold hearted people (in my personal opinion) to "lighten up".. well whatever.. Maggie was not "Just a Dog". She was one of our babies.
We are, you see, at fault for losing her, we feel responsible as boxer breeders, what we did ultimately caused her death. We've been told we must expect this from time to time. But this knowledge does not erase our responsibility simply because we should expect this to happen on occasion. Yes, we have always known the risks involved in doing what we do.
What truly "bites" is some breeders (backyard breeders) can throw 2 dogs together willy nilly with never a care in the world and produce puppies without losing the female.
Maggie Kaye was a beautiful healthy , well fed , health tested, healthy heart , strong female only 5 and a half years old. She had previously had 2 very nice litters with not a single problem, pups were healthy & big & strong, and she recovered quickly. But this time in August 2011 was destined to be very different catastrophically different...
We allowed her to breed with Sampson.. All was going well, we took her to the vet for a pregnancy test. Pregnancy test came back negative at day 30 along. So we naturally assumed the mating did not "take".. No worries, everything seemed normal for a "missed" pregnancy.. But day 40 she was acting very odd, she was acting as if she were in light labor, nesting activity etc. So I watched her closely to try to determine what was going on with her. I called the vet told her how Maggie was acting, she said false pregnancy behaviour.. Maggies body was telling her she was pregnant when in fact she isn't, it's a hormone thing the vet said.
Well little did we know but she was indeed pregnant and in very early pre labor stage and losing her premature babies. Late that evening she began labor and gave birth thru the night with me and my husband attending to her, to 5 stillborn premature fetuses, this was on a Sunday evening, so I called our vets emergency cell number, she told us to watch her carefully and do what we normally do for all our females giving birth which is watch her closely and give her pedialyte and calcium to bring her strength back.. We did that and then stayed up with her all night, she seemed fine, depressed but fine physically. The next morning Monday we took her to the vet because Maggie would not eat or even drink any water that morning. She wouldn't even allow me to syringe her a drink she would spit it back out..We left her there with the vet so she could monitor Maggie closely. That afternoon the vet calls us to say Maggie had passed away quite suddenly. The vet feels she passed a blood clot embolism to either her heart or lungs and she died instantly. The vet gave her lasix, and tried resuscitation but all to no avail. Our precious Maggie was gone.
The following was sent to me from Beth. She first contacted me by phone & also emails after losing her precious Schooner. She lost Schooner in June, we lost our miss Maggie in late August. At the beginning of our contact I was consoling her, Beth in turn has ended up consoling me in a time of heartbreaking loss of sweet Maggie. These words brought so much comfort to me during a very dark time I thought it would be nice to share for others what she has written. I know it helped me, maybe it will help someone else that has lost a wonderful boxer, a true member of the family boxer. If you've had the privilege of loving a boxer, but lost that boxer it's my hope that what Beth has written here will give you a bit of comfort in your dark sad time. Please just know, you are not alone in your sorrow & grief, boxer's are not "just a dog". They are family members. They may have 4 legs, but they ARE family members.
Beth's Email to me
Oh Pat, I'm so sorry. I know you are heartbroken. My heart aches for you. I know you feel responsible, but if I may, I'd like to try to help ease your heart. I truly believe that God puts people into our lives at a particular time for specific reasons. You came into my life when I needed someone who understood my heart. I hope I can do the same for you, even just a little.
We will never be able to fully understand God's will and it's only natural for us to ask questions when we don't understand. Unfortunately, in cases like Maggie and Schooner, we may never fully understand. What brings me peace at a time like this is my trust and faith that although I may never fully understand in this lifetime, there will be a day when I reunite with my Schooner. Since I don't always have the capacity to fully understand the Lord's will, I tend to make up stories to help me cope. Perhaps it's the teacher in me, maybe it's the momma, regardless, it's what I do.
God loves dogs. Yes, we know this is true because as we have been taught, God loves every living thing, but you know, I believe he has an extra special place in his heart for dogs. I like to imagine that Heaven is one of those places where dogs constantly frolic and play on every flower painted hillside. For dogs, everyday in Heaven is an incredible spring day after a long hard winter. I have this image of a million little noses lined up along His windows, waiting with the anticipation of a five year old on Christmas morning, to burst into the sunshine, as God opens His "doors" to let the fresh air in and the dogs out. As you might have guessed, God's dogs are ageless.
Now there came a time when God decided He needed another buddy. When making a choice like this, He is sure to carefully consider all of His options, but on this day, this moment in particular He chose our Schooner.
He knew how Schooner was loved, adored really. He knew how we giggled every time we saw his "wiggle butt" dance. He knew the joy this incredible boy brought to our lives because He lived each moment with us and our sweet boy. He understood that this was a dog who was completely cherished by his Earthly family. He also knew that it was time to bring him Home. In June, God brought His sweet boy into His home until we can once again, be a family. Until then God has a new best friend. I can hear His laughter as the wind blows and can only imagine that Schooner is prancing around, proudly displaying his "wiggle butt," or is so excited that he makes the wind howl with his "Yettie" talk.
God brings people together for specific reasons. Although God knew what he was doing, Schooner's mommy struggled greatly when he got sick and even more so when he left. God knew that Schooner's mommy needed a friend, a voice, a heart to help her through the tough times so he brought a very special lady into her life at just the right moment. This special lady was Maggie's mommy. This kind woman comforted Schooner's mommy, a complete stranger, in a way that no one else could. It was over sickness and heartache that these two ladies started to become friends.
Maggie and her mommy were determined to help this family bring a special joy back into their lives by bringing a new little boy into their home. These ladies and their families had so much in common, the connection was undeniable. It was a match made in (by) Heaven. God knew, knew in his heart, that these two ladies had started a special friendship here on Earth, but something was missing in Heaven.
Schooner too, needed a friend.
God thought on this for a while and as He always does, He considered carefully. After much thought He chose a very special girl for His Schooner. Perhaps He knew things those of us on Earth can't possibly comprehend, but His choice was the perfect companion. For His Schooner he chose Maggie. Together Schooner and Maggie play from morning until night, all the while keeping watch over their Earthly families. Together they are happy and their hearts are nearly full. They will hold that empty space open until one day, years from now, we will all meet again.
I hope my interpretation doesn't offend you in any way. I know it's different, but this sort of thinking is what got me through the early stages of loosing Schooner. Not a day goes by that I don't think/ miss him. Please know I'm thinking of you.