Today my best friend in the whole world passed away, my Chocolate Lab, Maggie.
For the last seven years I have been blessed enough to have a loyal friend named Maggie. It was about this time of the year in 2001 when I picked her out at the Sherman, Texas animal shelter. She had a broken tail, a chipped tooth and was missing the fur on her elbows, but she was adorable and she was my best friend.
She was a quiet dog. In all of the years I was lucky enough to have her in my life she only barked a few times. That's not to say she didn't make noises. Anyone who was around her for any length of time would tell you Maggie had a collection of noises, mostly grunts and whimpers. She would grunt to let you know she needed to go out. She'd whimper when you opened a can of food and didn't immediately put it in her dish. Sometimes, you could swear she was talking to you. She'd grunt and make noise as if she was trying to find the words to say, "hey, quit watching TV and take me for a walk!"
She was sneaky, but in a good way. Some dogs will spot food on the kitchen counter and attack it like a dog on a mission, not Maggie. Maggie would slide in, like a Navy Seal on a mission, and swipe the food without leaving a trace that she had been there, other than the bacon was now missing.
Maggie was a master of the "scoot". She'd sit still and look at you and then just start scooting, not really walking, but not really sitting either. It was her way for staying seated but still moving to where she wanted to be.
She could shake (for a cookie) and she would balance a treat on her nose and then flip it into the air and about half the time catch it, the other half it would hit the ground and she would quickly eat it there.
Maggie would give you two choices in the morning; get up and take her for a walk or let her into the bed with you. At about six in the morning she would starting making noises and that was your indication that you needed to either get up and let her out or pull back the covers and let her hop into bed with you.
Maggie loved car rides. When I first adopted her I had a Ford Ranger and she would ride in the bed of the truck. Maggie had a habit of placing her front two paws over the edge of the truck and leaning out. She never fell out of the truck; however, I always worried that she would. When I traded in my truck for a smaller car, I would fold down the back seats and open the trunk. Maggie would then hop into the trunk and crawl forward to the now folded down back seat. From there she could stick her nose out a cracked front window or lick you in the ear as you were driving. I always wondered what people thought when they saw me putting this big brown dog into the trunk, I'm sure there were plenty of people who didn't realize that she wasn't being locked in the trunk, but being given the best seat in the house.
You didn't toy around with car rides. If Maggie so much as got an indication that you were heading out and she was coming too, she would sit there and wait to be let in. And if, for some reason, you didn't let her in, she would try to get in on her own. If perhaps you were not planning on taking her with you, she would sit on the driveway and give you the saddest look ever.
Sometimes I would call her "Margaret", sometimes it was "Mags" and sometimes it was "Maggie May"…. but she was always my little girl and my constant companion.
I already miss her. I miss her smile (ask anyone who met her, she had a smile). I miss her cold nose. I miss the way she'd place her head in your lap and jut press down to let you know her was there. I miss the way she would paw at you if you stopped petting her. I miss the way she would roll her eyes back if you scratched the area behind her ears. I miss the sound her tags would make, as she would scamper through the house. I miss the way she would "dance" as you attempted to put her leash on her. I miss the way she would greet me at the door after a long day and the way she would look at me as I left in the morning. I miss the way she would sit with one paw curled under her body. I miss the way she would lay on her back and stretch out. I miss the way she would yawn, showing off all her teeth (including the chipped one).
I miss her.
You're a good girl Maggie and I love you.