Sweet baby girl how could this world be so unkind?
A part of me was lost the day you went away
This world can be so hard to bear, such cruel fate
Oh Maggie there's a place beyond the clouds and
� Maria Daines/Paul Killington
This song was written for Kathy Gorish as a tribute to her beloved dog Maggie. Here is Maggie's story and an update from Kathy at the end.
In memory of my beloved Maggie.
Sometimes in rescue, you come across a dog like none other. One who creates a "supernatural" bond with you almost instantly. One who's love goes beyond the normal realm of devotion and unconditional love; and somehow we, as the inperfect human learn to give back that same love, tho we are inherently incapable. But somehow; something changes, and we find ourselves striving to try to be who our dog believes us to be.
This will probably be very long-but I need it, my heart needs it.
Those here who have personally met my babygirl Maggie and I would most likely agree-we had that bond; she was my velcro dog, and I was her velcro human...we both adored the very ground each other walked on. I used to take her to work with me everyday, and tho she had to hang out in a kennel-she didn't care-she saw me often and got to play outside with me and her other human friends on my break-usually enjoying playing in the water of the hose or with a ball.
See; my sweet little girl became my dog, rather than the shared "house dog" between a friend and I the night I buried my wolfdog, Bandit...both in her heart as well as mine. I had come in from burying him, sat down on the couch-terribly numb yet in such pain that I could do nothing but stare ahead. Maggie suddenly did something she had never done before-she jumped up onto the couch, then crawled into my lap placing her head across my heart-staying just like that for hours as I cried. She didn't move, but to sometimes look up at me with such sad eyes-she felt my pain, and shared it...trying to take it from me. We became attached together in every way possible that night for not quite the next 5 yrs....she wouldn't even "allow" me to go into the bathroom without her following me.
In late 2005, I hurt my back and lost my job in May of 2006. I've been in limbo with Disability since, and recently Vocational Rehabilitation has been helping me try to find a job that I can do.
But-that didn't help the horrible, stressful experience I just went through trying to get help for my heartdog after Christmas when she started getting very picky over what she'd eat after I was given a bag of food by my brother to feed my dogs that apparently was "bad" in some manner-it caused all 4 of my dogs to vomit within 2 days of eating it, as well as their urine turned dark and smelly. While the boys appear to be rallying, they are not 100% yet. Normally, I homecook-but that is expensive to do properly for 4 dogs with no income-so sometimes I'd supplement with kibble to add to their homecooked food.
Dec 29th is when our lives took a turn I'll never forget-a couple days after getting that bag of food. Of course; as soon as I saw them all get sick within 2 days, they were taken off that food and it was returned. Stupid me didn't save a sample-I now know that Cornell is running tests on bad food, and in looking at the Consumer Affairs site - it's not looking good:
The recent letters are what concern me (since, let's say Oct), as well as the 2 that are pretty damn local!
I've learned during this horrible whirlwind, that some foods that have certain bacteria in them have actually caused cancer in animals, and while I cannot prove this now; the timing is entirely too coincidental. Maggie was FINE before eating that food-running and playing as always with her brothers; especially Mylo. She had radiographs in June, and they were crystal clear-no haze anywhere....so she did not have this demonic cancer then. She was a healthy dog.
Maggie suddenly stopped eating the normal foods she adored -fish, chicken, beans, veggies of all kinds - and trying to find something she would eat was hard since what she would eat changed from meal to meal-she wanted to eat, would lick at her food a little and sadly look at me, then walk away. This was the end of Dec after eating that food...
Having literally no income, I couldn't just take her to my Vet and make
promise of payments-when I have no way to make those payments; my Vet is awesome
and I didn't want to do anything to screw up that relationship by not being able
to pay in full in a reasonable timeframe.
They ALL require a diagnosis/prognosis before deciding IF they can help-and then that process of deciding can take quite some time. I have yet to hear back from a few foundations I applied to after obtaining a diagnosis (thanks to a couple wonderful friends who paid for it) on 1/22/08!!!! Also, I learned if the diagnosis is cancer? Unless it's a cancer-specific org, you can forget being approved for financial assistance to save your animal.
Sadly - there aren't many cancer-specific foundations, but they do great with what they have.
I was denied by every single "regular" org who took the time to respond, and tho they never actually stated it was due to her horrible diagnosis - they usually stated her diagnosis didn't fall under their guidelines for helping animals. Somehow it just didn't seem fair to spend endless hours applying for help, gathering and sending in required personal information; taking away precious time from my babygirl-only to be denied by every single one...or, no response at all.
Maggie didn't have that kind of time. Yes-I'm livid I was denied help for my
little girl by every assistance org out there, and I'm beyond heartbroken-it
wasted so much precious time away from focusing only on her as I should have,
and wanted to do-but because of my situation, I couldn't.
Then, some friends rallied, and my Vet agreed to take payments based on goodfaith promise of payments-and Maggie got a 2nd Ultrasound/drain of her abdomen and slides done for diagnosis of the type of cancer we're dealing with on 1/29. We knew she had a tumor on her spleen and some lesions on her intestines and a small part of her liver from the first Ultrasound on 1/22/08...but, we needed to know the "type"- it may have been "workable".
But-Maggie started declining fast those last few days...
She adored nothing more in life than to go for car rides-she became my Co-Pilot when the two of us packed up and drove 2300 miles one way to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary back 2 years ago, and she adored every moment of the ride and the visit. And she went on daily rides since her diagnosis on 1/22/08. Sometimes in the middle of the night if she wanted. I slept with the light on since then, and would wake up if even a hair on her moved...needless to say, sleep did not come easy-fleeting moments, at best. I truly believe I've aged 20 yrs in these last few weeks. I look it, and feel it.
Finally, 2 days later- on 1/31/08 the slide results came back:
Even tho surgery would not cure her, the spleen had to come out if Maggie was
going to live at all-if even a few months. I've recently met a few people with
that same diagnosis whose dogs have lived as long as 3 yrs; so, even with an
expensive surgery I could not afford - I HAD to try to save my babygirl.
I took her immediately and planned to stay the day and see her in recovery. Even that morning, as weak as she was-she still wagged her tail at me, and wanted to go for that car ride. But-I also had to come home and fundraise to try like hell to pay the bill...so I hesitantly left. My Vet is a bit of a distance from me in Jacksonville; and as I turned onto my road, my Vet called me with the most heartshattering news: the tumor on Maggie's spleen had attached itself to her stomach and her abdominal wall. There was just no saving my sweet babygirl.
So, as hard as it was - I told my Vet to give Maggie her Wings while still
under anesthesia, and I'd come see her after she was gone to say goodbye. That
was the hardest thing I've ever done-to not "be there" to help her cross over.
I've had to help many cross over in my life, and yes; it is always
They were wonderful when I went to see her after...and I thank them for that. They know I have other dogs that I love and adore, but they also know that Maggie was my total heart. For most of our time together, it was just Maggie and I -sidekicks in everything. Then last year she forced me to keep a puppy that she fell madly for. I had rescue lined up for him, but Maggie had other plans....and thankfully I listened, because Mylo gave her a wonderful year full of joy, playfulness and love. It's obvious now that Mylo is starting to realize his "momma Maggie" isn't coming home; even tho he plays a little with his brothers, he is a bit mopey and has sad eyes.
Will you please help me in memory of my sweet Maggie? Whether you can help directly or not, you CAN help by crossposting and by sending thoughts to Maggie that I am so sorry and will always, always love her.
Update message from Kathy -
There were no Foundations able to help Maggie & I....
Please consider a small donation if you are able, to help others fighting this horrible disease.
One more thing - something I wanted you all to know about. The reason behind it is very sad, but the cause itself is very awesome:
Please support this endeavor in any manner you can - even by crossposting
it's mission. It needs supporters and to get the message out. This is a GREAT
Many Blessings you. My heartfelt gratitude and love go with each of you.