Maggie the dog died just the other day. It was sudden to us, although, I guess, it had been long in developing. We were out at a concert and friends were with her and our new dog, and texted us that Maggie couldn’t close her mouth. They worried that something was stuck in there and tried to get it out but there was nothing they could find. We came home and she was not whimpering or having difficulty breathing, but couldn’t close her mouth and drooling. We took her to the emergency vet hospital, and they ended up over some hours sedating her to examine her. She had a hugely enlarged tongue which was a tumor, not blood or abscess. Perhaps it had just grown to a certain point, or perhaps she injured it chewing something and it swelled more and that threw it over the edge. It couldn’t have been taken out with clean margins, and even if it had she would have had no tongue and no way to eat or drink. We said goodbye and were with her as the veterinarian euthanized her peacefully.
It was very hard, harder because my father died just two weeks ago and we are still reeling from that. Maggie was a really good dog, kind and sweet and loving of attention. She was probably 12 or so, so we knew we would lose her eventually, but had no idea it was imminent. Ironically, we had just gotten a new dog from the shelter a few days earlier, to be trained by Maggie on being on good dog, but had no idea she’d be gone in 3 days. Just that morning we went on our usual 1.5 mile walk through the desert, and later Pat and the dogs went on another long walk. Everyone who walked dogs around here knew her, and knew how sweet she was. She ate and drank well until the mid-afternoon. And now she is gone. And we miss her. Maggie’s former buddy, Fry, died earlier this year, also from cancer, but he went downhill over several weeks.
We will miss you very much, Maggie. We hope that Molly can someday emulate your grace. We are glad that when the time came you were able to exit peacefully. And I hope that when my time comes I am as well. Maybe by then we will `be able to let people who have come to the end leave with as much dignity as we let dogs.