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Things I Love Thursday: best doggie ever

Today's post might be a bit soppy. A eulogy of sorts. In a couple of days time it will be the ten year passing of my childhood dog, Maggie Boo Lee.

Yes, I am writing a eulogy about a dog. Who died when I was twelve. And yes, she had a middle name.

Maggie was already four years old by the time I was brought home in late 1990, and was already part of the family. Growing up I was never aware of a time without her though apparently her behaviour did show she could remember a time before me. After I came home she never went upstairs much again and if she did need 'to go' whilst in the house herself it was always my bedroom she went in. Apparently when she met me she came over for a sniff, turned her nose up and went over to my mum who was now sans-bump.

But I honestly loved her with everything I had (and yes, I have tears in my eyes right now).

 Maybe one of the first pictures of me and Maggie together.

The decision to put Maggie to sleep was my first dealing with grief, and my teenage (well almost teenage) self did feel a bit embarrassed that I was weeping over a dog. I have now experienced grief for several other deaths and whilst the death of a human (espcially a young human of which I have dealt with several times) is much harder, I am now not embarrassed to say how much grief I felt the day she was gone and how much of a hole can be left when a pet is taken from us.

I can still remember how the weekend panned out. I had been on a school trip to Barcelona and on the way back in the car my mum said "Maggie's been getting worse and we may have to put her down" in such a blase way that made me think, you heartless bitch. Though I now realise they were dealing with their own grief but had to remain strong for their pre-teen daughter. I remember her walking towards me through the patio doors when I got home and me putting my hand down to pat her to find that her bones were a lot more predominant than before. My mind did wonder off the topic for a few days but then I remember the phone call.

I remember the phone ringing whilst I was in my room, but I didn't exactly think much of it. As soon as my dad came in 10 minutes later with a certain look on his face, I just knew what conversation was going to follow. He sat on my bed and I remember not even being to look him the eye as I tears dropped from my own eyes. I also remember my new Beyoncé album was playing, which makes me cringe as I wouldn't be caught dead listening to her now.

And then the Monday came. My friend came round to support me and stay with me as I decided it was for the best I didn't go to the vets (though my parents allowed me full choice, and I've never regretted my decision to not be there until the final moment). I can't remember them leaving the house but I can remember my parents coming back into the living room with my dad saying that was her gone, whilst holding her collar and lead.

She also really hated vets in general.

 Summer 2003 - possibly one of the last photos of me and her.

Whilst it is really painful when the decision to put a pet down comes, it is always the right one. She could have had an operation but it would have meant a diet of pureed food, which would have just been selfish on our parts. I even remember the re-curring dreams of her coming to visit us in the months after. I knew in the dream she was gone and it was just a visit by I love being able to cuddle her again, even if it was just my subconscious. (Light years away from my recurring dream as a child when she would come into my room and bite my hand off - ireallyhavenoidea).

I remember an ex-boyfriend of mine asking "is it worth having pets with the pain that comes with losing them?" and I would 100%, every time, say that pets are always worth it despite knowing that you'll probably outlive them. Losing Maggie was painful but the joy she brought to my childhood was indescribable and I am so grateful my parents gave me that opportunity.

 Maggie and her 'cousins' Jock and Lassie - two other important dogs of my upbringing (also in doggie heaven).

It's no secret that I love animals. And whilst I would love to believe that my animal-friendly lifestyle would still exist today even without my memory of Maggie, part of me believes it probably wouldn't. A lot of my morals to do with animals stem from having felt so much love for one during the first decade of my life. I would love to own a pet, as in right now, but I know it would be selfish as I am not in the position financially or time-wise and it drives mental when I see people not understand the responsibility pets take. I also firmly believe in adoption and giving a rescue pet a home, as Maggie was just £10 from an animal shelter (I know you can't buy dogs for that price now) and I would definitely consider getting an older dog who just wants someone to love them after the past they've had. 

Maggie was truthfully a bit of a lousy dog. Rather introverted and would rather cuddle up in the garage herself than entertain any house guests. She only barked about twice a year and I'm to this day still a bit timid of loud dogs who just jump on me. Whatever my decision to eventually get a doggie companion in the future, Maggie will always be my first dog and hold a special place in my heart.  ♥

RIP 1986 - 2003.

morag | mo adore
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