Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Doggie Tales: Maggie

Full Name: Maggie Mae Harris

Breed: Yellow Labrador (but she was really white-colored)

Birth date: Maggie was born on January 24th of 1996 and she passed away on October 28th of 2009. She was 13 years old.

Likes: going anywhere with my dad, her soccer ball, her red rubber toy, swimming, fetching, pretty much playing with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Dislikes: beans, music boxes, raccoons...and there isn't anything else. She was a really easy-going and happy dog.

All about Maggie: We got Maggie when I was nine years old. She was the cutest puppy you ever did see. Really, she was. Look. She was the runt of the litter and she was so small that the tiny purple collar we had bought for her was too big and my dad had to take out his knife and make a new hole in order for it to fit.

Me and my brother with little baby Maggie.

In truth, we came up with the name Maggie from the movie The River Wild. The yellow Labrador in that movie was named Maggie and we thought that dog was badass so we named our Maggie, Maggie. Then we decided her middle name (because in my family, our dogs are family members so they get full names) should be Mae, like The Beatles' song "Maggie Mae."

Maggie when she was still a young doggie.

Maggie didn't bark for a long time. We weren't even sure if she could bark until one day, probably 3 months after we got her, we brought out a soccer ball to play with and Maggie barked at it. She loved playing soccer. She would bite and chew the ball and run around after it, and if you kicked it and it got past her, she would go crazy and bark at it. She learned how to pass the ball to us by hitting it with her nose, so when we would tell her to pass it, she would.

Maggie seriously loved sitting in her chair.
Maggie was really smart. She is the smartest dog I ever had. I had read in an article that you could measure your dog's intelligence by doing this test: you show your dog a treat, you have them watch you put it under a rag or piece of cloth, and then you let them go after it. Depending on how your dog gets the treat shows you how intelligent they are. If they use their paw to move the rag off of the treat, they're really smart. If they try to use their nose to get the rag off the treat, they're average, and if they try to get the treat by picking the treat up with their mouth while the rag is still over it...they're not so smart. I immediately wanted to test Maggie. Right away, she used her paw to move the piece of cloth and she got the treat. So she was super smart, at least, according to that test she was.
Here she is, in her chair again, only older.
But she did other smart stuff, too. One time I was wearing a hat, and she had never seen me in a hat before, so she wanted to see what was on my head. She kept jumping on me to try to get it, until I scolded her and told her not to jump anymore. This was when she grabbed a hold of my sock with her teeth and began yanking on it. I leaned down to swat her away, and when I leaned over, she grabbed the hat right off my head. Clever little dog, huh?
Me and Maggie when I was about 12 or 13.

Maggie also ate everything. I mean everything. We had a really big strawberry patch and we would sometimes find her in the patch eating the strawberries right off the vine. The only food she would not eat was beans. When we tried putting it with her dog food, she would eat all the food around it and leave the beans alone.

She went really white when she got older.
For some inexplicable reason, the only thing that Maggie was scared of was music boxes. Isn't that strange? I remember one time when she was allowed in the house (because she was mostly an outdoor dog) I had wound up and opened one of my music boxes and Maggie completely freaked out and ran away from it and would refuse to come near me until the music stopped. And the only thing that would make her mad (because dogs can get mad) were the raccoons that would come at night and eat her dog food and wash their hands in her water bowl. She would be inside at night during the winter, but when she heard them out on the porch, she would go berserk. One time, she got into a fight with one and the raccoon split her nose wide open. Poor, Maggie. But ooh, she hated those raccoons.

And her black nose turned pink.

The two main things about Maggie's personality are: 1. she was the sweetest dog who didn't have a single violent bone in her body. One time a dog down the street tried to attack her while we were all on a walk, and instead of trying to fight back, Maggie just shied away and moved behind my dad. My dad had to fight the dog off to protect Maggie because she would have just let it bite her. She loved EVERYONE. She was a really friendly dog.

This is a picture of Penny, our other dog who was one of Maggie's puppies, and Maggie.

The second thing was: all she wanted to do all the time was play. She wasn't too big into pets. If you tried to pet her, she would just shove her toy at you, instead. An hour after she had given birth to six puppies, she picked her favorite red toy up and tried to get us to play with her. (That favorite red toy, by the way, was probably the hardest dog toy to find in the world! It got lost one time so we seriously spent months trying to find a replacement toy. When we did finally find one she was so stoked! I couldn't even find a picture of it on the internet to put up here.) Maggie always wanted to play fetch or tug-of-war...she stayed a puppy in her heart, even when she was getting older.

Wasn't she cute?
As she became an old dog, Maggie had trouble walking because of her arthritis, and my parents told me she hardly got off her bed anymore except to do the basics. Whenever I would go visit my parent's house, I would go outside to visit Maggie in the yard, and she would come out and do her best to play with me. My mom and dad would come out and marvel that she was actually out and trying to play. Even though it hurt her poor old bones to do so, she would come out to try to play with me because Maggie loved me. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. The day we put Maggie to sleep was one of the saddest in my life, and thinking about her still makes me cry. The whole family misses her very much. I love you, Maggie Mae.

My very last picture of Maggie Mae.

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