Every stranger was greeted with a few barks, a wary sniff and a kiss.
Inside, she was happy to wrestle with a human, chase the cat, chase the Lab or just cuddle. She awoke every morning cheerful and couldn't wait to face the day. When I let her out of her nighttime crate this week, I couldn't help but admire how excited she was to run into the bedrooms and greet the rest of the still sleeping family.
While the dog officially belonged to Kaylee, Ginger claimed ownership too. Ginger and Kaylee would argue, in a fun way, about who would keep the dog when Kaylee goes to college in the fall. Kaylee said she'd take her. Ginger said no pets are allowed in dorms. Kaylee said she'd figure something out.
Unfortunately, the argument is moot. In a sunny afternoon romp on Wednesday as common as any other play day, the little eight-pound Maggie and 75-pound Shelly collided in a run, and Maggie went limp and instantly died.
That the accident was freakish and blameless doesn't ease the loss. But besides the pain and sorrow, we do have many good memories of the little dog's short life.
In the big scheme of things, I must ask myself how important this is, really. Death of a pet is a part of life for any pet owner. We grieve, yet this little dog lived a life better than many children in the world. There are many other things to be upset about in the world, yet the loss of this little creature still stings.
Whether by accident or by God's plan, dogs and people have co-evolved into the best of friends, sharing an unbreakable bond of species' companionship.
To make the most of the joy Maggie brought us and get more value from the gift of her brief presence, I consider the teachable life lessons this little dog provided:
- Start every day with brisk excitement.
- Greet everyone with unconditional love and good cheer.
- Accept treats when they are offered.
- Make a positive impact disproportionate to your size.
- And be so doggone loveable that you make others forget their long-held biases.