As many of you know, my dog, Maisy, was put to sleep this past Friday. She was 16 1/2 years old and lived a good life. I had adopted her when she was 10 years old (her owner had died and the relatives took her to the shelter to be put to sleep), and I only expected her to live for maybe only a couple of years. Well, did she prove me wrong.
I have been super emotional about it. It was really hard for me to not be able to be there for her...to hold her, love her, kiss her, sing to her, rub her belly...even for one last time. However, I am beyond grateful that one of my best friends, N'tash, was there for her. N'tash is like her second mommy, and she loved Maisy almost as much as I did. The last couple of weeks have been pretty difficult on N'tash since Maisy had gone blind and was pottying all over the house. So it was clearly time. And she went peacefully. She is now up in heaven, with underwear on her head, having a great time with Angel and my mom. For some reason, she LOVED to wear my underwear on her head. She would walk all over the house with it like it was no big deal. The funniest thing was when the underwear would somehow worm itself down her body to rest where underwear would normally be. It cracked me up. I would share pictures of that (yes, I have pictures), but that would be a little embarrassing.
I wrote a letter to Maisy's former owners. It was very cathartic for me and brought on a lot of tears.
Dear Maisy's former family,
I want to thank you. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of loving her for 6 1/2 years. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to be her mom. Thank you for 6 1/2 years of unconditional love and joy.
You missed out.
6 1/2 years ago, your family member died. I know you were upset. I am assuming they were pretty sick and took care of Maisy the best that they could by leaving out food for her. (She was 44 pounds the day I got her. Being a beagle, she should have weighed only 25 pounds.) Instead of honoring your family member and taking Maisy in as your own, you dumped her at a shelter and told them to euthanize her. She was overweight and 10 years old. Most shelters would have immediately put her to sleep. For some reason, this shelter saw something in her and put out a plea to rescue groups.
I just happened to be on Craig's List that day and saw the post about Maisy. I read it at 4:30pm. It said that a 10 year old beagle was scheduled to be put to sleep and had until 3:30pm that day, and they were asking if anyone could foster her. I was one hour too late, but I decided to call anyway. I had a love for beagles, especially since I had a 3-legged beagle, Angel, at the time.
The lady answered, and she said that yes, she had Maisy in her car. I offered to foster her, and she brought her over that night. She walked in, and I think she knew she was home. She did great with Angel, and my other dog, Missy, from the get go. I remember taking 2 pictures of her, including one of her butt because it was so big on her little body. She had a great smile on her face, and I liked her instantly. The shelter said her name was Jenny, but she never answered to it. I named her Maisy instead. It seemed to fit her.
I had only prepared to foster her. Well...that didn't last long. A couple of weeks after she came, I was supposed to take her to an adoption event. I just couldn't do it. So I told Gail, the rescue lady, that she wasn't going anywhere, that I wanted to adopt her. She was thrilled beyond measure. No more than me though.
Maisy had such a funny personality. She made me laugh more than any other dog.
- She LOVED her treats. When I came home from work, she would hear me and bark and howl from her crate. I would let her out, and Maisy would run so fast to the treats that she often slipped on the hardwood floor and ran into things.
- When I rubbed her belly and then stop, she would bark like a seal until I started again. She literally sounded like a seal. She would only do that for certain people. If she did that for you, you knew she liked you.
- She was also one sneaky dog. She loved to wear my underwear on her head and walk around the house like it was no big deal. One time, she did it when I had friends over. Talk about embarrassing.
- She also loved to sneak things out through the doggie door. Several years ago, the day before Christmas Eve, I saw something on the couch. It was chocolate throw-up. She had somehow gotten up on my tall kitchen island, grabbed the bag of chocolate chips, dragged them through the doggie door, and eaten the entire bag of chocolate chips outside in the backyard. After the vet visit where she proceeded to vomit and have diarrhea all over the place, I missed Christmas with my family that year because I had to stay home and take care of her, giving her 1/8 cup of water every hour until she was fine. She was worth it though.
- She was such a beagle. She loved trash, dumping it over and taking out all the Q-tips and tissues. I swear she even learned how to use her paws to open the linen closet door so she could get to the trash.
- She also loved my friends' purses. One time, my friend, Tanya, came over and left her purse on the floor. She had forgotten that she had a candy bar inside. Well Maisy went to town and dumped everything out of the purse until she found that candy bar. Like I said, you missed out.
Because she was old and overweight when I got her, I only expected her to live a couple of years. Within 6 months, I got her down to a healthy weight at 25 pounds, which her doctor says added years to her life. I am grateful for those 6 1/2 years. I am grateful that she came into my life. Yes, it's hard to say goodbye, but I firmly believe that I will see her again in heaven some day. She will get to meet my mom for the first time and play with Angel. She will be in no more pain, have no more dementia, and no more blindness. She will be free and happy.
I pray for you. I pray that God teaches you compassion and love. I pray that God gives you a love for animals, one that changes your heart forever, one that moves you to make a difference in this world.
After volunteering at my local animal shelter, I see so many dogs that are dumped every single day. I've heard all the excuses. I've been through tough times in my life too.
I understand that you had a loss in your family. I just don't understand how you could drive to the shelter, place her on the counter, and tell the shelter staff to put her to sleep...all while she is staring at your with love in her eyes, scared because she doesn't know or understand what is happening.
However, I am grateful that you abandoned her because then I got the opportunity to love her. So thank you.
You missed out on the amazing opportunity to love and be loved by a wonderful dog.
Angela, Maisy's mom
LOVED that girl. She brought so much love and joy into my life. I will never ever regret adopting her. I honestly don't understand how people can just "throw" away their dogs when life gets rough. My dogs are like my children. I don't have human children, but I do have furry children. And I love that they make my house feel like a home. I look forward to the day when I can love on her again.
This was our last family picture. Love you sweet girl!