Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Maggie Mae

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our sweet Maggie Mae. While we know it was the right thing to do, it was by far one of the hardest. We miss her SO MUCH. Because I don't want to forget, here are some more details about the way the day rolled out. We've known she's had Congestive Heart Failure since August and that this day would be sooner rather than later so we had already established some things about how we would know when it was time. We had always said we didn't want her to be in pain. We also knew and trusted that she would let us know and yesterday she definitely told us it was time to let go. 

We had a hard morning from the get-go. She wouldn't take her pills, she was a bit wobbly on her feet, she threw up, and she just seemed really off to me. I eventually decided I wasn't leaving her side. So we laid on the bed and listened to NPR...Lennon even came and snuggled up with us. We looked like this for most of the morning....(this is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us)

I eventually had to get up and get a tissue because I was so sad....I could just tell that the end would be closing in sometime soon. When I got up she all the sudden started to bark/howl in pain and when I ran back in her head was arched back and she was sitting in a puddle of pee. I still regret that I got up when I did but am thankful Lennon was still on the bed with her. I quickly scooped her up and held on to her as tight as I could. Her back right foot was paralyzed so she couldn't really stand well on her own. She was also really disoriented and her eyes were just darting back and forth. I called Matt and he called the vet who thinks she had a stroke. We decided to just try to get her comfortable and attempt to get her to eat and take her pills. 

Around lunch time Matt came home to sit with her while I went in to work for a bit (although there is still a part of me that wishes I would have just stayed). While I was away at work she just got progressively worse. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't lay still, and eventually fell off the couch. Her breathing was extremely labored and Matt said at one point she was even whining while she was breathing. He called and told me to get home. He was right. When I got home I picked her up and took her outside to enjoy some sunshine which she loves (see below!). She was finally still while we were out there and she looked up at me and looked right into my eyes, remember she's mostly blind, but I felt like she could really see me, and I could really see her. And she was telling me it was time and that she loved me. 

We are so thankful that our vet, Dr. Stowe, was able to come to our house to help us say goodbye...that was something we had decided a long time ago as well....that we wanted her to be peaceful and surrounded by warmth and all of the people and things she loved most. We are thankful we could honor that. I laid with her while we waited and she licked away my tears even in her discomfort. She didn't look or act like herself all that much but I wanted to savor every moment. When Dr. Stowe finally arrived we were able to gather around her, pet her, and hold her head as she was put under and as she eventually was able to find peace and rest. 

We are still grieving and will be for quite some time. Maggie was with us throughout all of our major milestones as a couple/family and was with us during some of our hardest and most difficult days. I'll write another post about that later but I didn't want to forget the details of yesterday as we said goodbye to our best buddy and first child. She was an amazing dog and our life has been so much better since we made the decision to bring her home with us five and a half years ago. We thought we would have so many more years with her and mourn the time we won't get. But we are more than thankful for the time we DID get with her and for all of the love and joy she brought to our home and to our family. 


  1. I just stumbled on your post because I was searching for Stitch Fix. I am so sorry about your Maggie Mae. The photo of you snuggled up with her is priceless. Oh how we love our pets. I have lost many in my lifetime and I still miss them. Sending you many sunny thoughts today. Elizabeth

  2. Oh, Katie and Matt... my heart hearts so much for you. I pray that you will feel comfort in your grief and continue to remember your wonderful memories of Maggie. Prayers for you both.

  3. This is a nice way to remember your girl. I'm very sorry you had to lose her.

  4. There's something so special about being with your beloved pet when he or she passes. I was with our lab, Chip when he drew his last breath and I will never forget it. I'm so thankful to know I was with him when his pain stopped; it means so much to me.