My Maggie Monster, 3/21/92 - 7/17/01  



I never thought that my wild girl would ever calm down, and when she finally did, I would give anything to have that wild girl back. Maggie was the essence of FRAPping. She had a rocky start, and she entered my life on the day that my first ever dog, Hannibal, died of histio. Maggie and I sort of saved each other - she had been dumped at a shelter when she was 14 months old by people far more intelligent than I, and I was learning just how special a Berner was from the intensity of the pain of the loss. Maggie taught me a great deal, especially about my own limitations in training issues. She was a demonic chewer, as any of you who have seen her chair would know. She was a total brat, pushing for control even though she didn't really want the control, she just enjoyed the pushing. But she latched on to me, and she was MY Monster. I used to love watching Maggie on our walks in Fairmount Park, she would run uphill just so she could barrel down full speed. I was convinced she was going to break a leg, but I knew a cast wouldn't slow her down either! Somehow she always managed to avoid injury - I never did figure out how. She had the highest prey drive of any dog I've ever known, and she even caught a chipmonk once - all right, so Luther chased the poor thing right into Maggie's mouth by accident - but the look of surprised glee on Maggie's face was quite a picture! Maggie always slept in the bed with us during the cool months; she'd hop up next to me and slam down on my side and just ooze the rest of the way so she could be assured of maximum Mom contact. And I could just lie there and pet her, and if I stopped - she would roll over onto her back and put her legs across my chest - who can resist a bernerbelly like that? And she knew it! We always joked that when Maggie refused food she'd be dead. We were right, but just not really ready for it - is anyone ever? Seeing that wild child slow down over the last few weeks has been difficult, but it also enabled me to spend a great deal of wonderful time talking to My Maggie. She's given me so much over the years, and now I was able to give some of that back to her as well. I don't know yet what Maggie's legacy will be, but I know she's going to have one. Hannibal spurred me on to help find ways to share health information, Vesta has spurred me on to help others find ways to find breeders, and maybe Maggie's legacy will be for me to help people find help in training Wild Things, or perhaps it will be something to do with rescue. But there will be something that I do to help pay back in some small way all that she meant to me. Maggie was never an angel, but once she learned to pretend to be somewhat civilized, she was my sweetheart Maggie Monster. And I was so very lucky to have her as many years as I did. I wouldn't trade a single second of them to help lessen the pain of her loss. When she had the mast cell tumor removed from her leg almost 3 years ago, I never imagined that I would be blessed with this much additional time with her. So hug your dogs for me, and let them know how lucky they are to have such caring people in their lives. And to those of you who have found room in your homes and your hearts to take in rescue dogs, there's a new angel watching over you. But don't worry - I'll bet she's already got teeth marks in the Bridge... Pat Long, in loving memory of Hannibal, Vesta, Sam, and now Maggie, Berwyn PA

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