Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maggie: Resquiat in Pacem

I am woefully behind in my blogs, having taken a long break from writing. In part the silence was due to design issues with my book: irritable and frustrated at the fruitless results, I just didn't have it in me to write in the evenings. Happily, those issues are now resolved, but the decline and inevitable death of our beloved Maggie also made it difficult to write.

It is almost impossible to talk about the demise of a pet without sounding self-indulgent. Undoubtedly one should be redirecting the time and money lavished on a pet to charities and worthy causes. For those of us who love animals, though, the prospect of a life without canine or feline or even equine companionship is unfathomable. Maggie brought us great joy and, admittedly, many moments of frustration. She was not the easiest dog in the world, but I suspect that she will prove the most memorable, the one I will think of when I am facing my own end.

I am attaching a picture of Maggie to this post that captures her very best qualities: fearlessness, curiosity, and joie de vivre. She loved sailing with Rod, and I recall many times watching her with admiration and affection as she stood on the bow of our sailboat, chest puffed out bravely and face into the wind. Even storms and high winds couldn't dampen her enthusiasm. Once we were attempting a very rough crossing from Knapp's Narrows back to Herrington Harbour, where we used to keep our sailboat. The skies opened and water pelted down, while waves washed over the bow. Maggie, cold and damp, stayed close to my feet in the cockpit but never once complained or showed fear. She was that kind of dog.

It's been three weeks, but we continue to miss Maggie horribly. Sometimes I think I glimpse her shape when I look up suddenly from my laptop or a book--only to be heartbroken when I remember she is indeed gone. Eventually we will get another dog, but now we are mourning, the very least we can do to honor this creature who gave us so much and who loved Rod with the sort of devotion we humans can rarely muster.

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