In the grand scheme of things, and in the wake of all the division that continues to divide the United States right now, it seems silly to even be writing about her, but we have felt her loss much more than either of us ever thought we would. I have grabbed two treats instead of one when rewarding Maggie's sister Lucy. I have grabbed two bedtime snacks instead of one. I had to put her leash away when it was painful to see both hanging in their cubby.
When our children pleaded and begged over the years for a dog, I held them off over and over, until one day, when all my arguments had been rebutted and God brought a little puppy into our home, and our daughters PROMISED they would take care of her, would feed her, would walk her, would get up with her, would clean up after her.....Maggie picked me to be her person.
Even though I never wanted a dog, Maggie taught me a lot of things, mostly about what it means to be loyal, faithful, and willing to give up all in order to make sure the one she loved most was safe.
I tried not to like her. They tried to get her to like them more. We all tried.
But Maggie wouldn't budge. I was her person. She became my dog.
If I left Maggie's sight, she left whatever she was doing - sleeping, eating, playing, barking - to come and look for me.
If someone besides me took her outside to potty, the instant she came in she would begin her hunt in search of me. She would not relax until she knew I was safe or close by. She passed up her treats until she knew I was ok. She would not eat her food if I left the room. (Which became a problem because her little sister was more than eager to empty her bowl if Maggie stepped away).
I was her girl.
And now she's gone.
But boy, did she teach me about loyalty. Her loyalty humbled me. I was her master and she did not do anything without getting her master's ok.
Many times through Maggie's life, God would show me the kind of loyalty he desired. He'd point to Maggie and say, "It looks like hers."
I'm still trying to learn from Maggie.
It wasn't easy for her to have me for a master. I left the house many times, out of her sight, and all she could do was wait for me to return. She'd look for me, sitting on the back of the love seat in the window, eyeing every car or person that came by, knowing exactly when it was me pulling in the driveway or walking up to the house.
When we said good-bye to her on Monday I couldn't be in the room when she went to sleep. But I couldn't lie to her and tell her I'd be back, like I had hundreds of times in the last ten years. I could only tell her "Thank you. Your job is over now, Maggie. You did a good job." I wanted to tell her I'd be back, but I couldn't lie to her. I couldn't let my last words to her be a lie, even if she was a dog and would never know the difference.
So I just told her to stay, she'd be ok..and then we closed the door.
I hope my Master, Jesus, sees my heart wanting to be like Maggie's was to me. Loyal, faithfully waiting and watching for Him to come back. Not wanting or needing anything without His approval.
I've learned a lot from a fifteen pound ball of white fur. I think that's why she picked me.