Love With a Capital M

Maggie led the way for hiking in the snow, followed by Jim and our grandchildren.

Maggie was the snow hike leader, followed by Jim and our grandchildren.



She wasn't much for raking leaves, but rolling in them with the family was fun.

She wasn’t much for raking leaves, but she was always up for  rolling in them with the family.

She had the sweetest smile.

She had the sweetest smile.





Charles Schultz, author of Peanuts, wrote, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”

For more than twelve years, happiness for our family has been a warm and amazing dog named Maggie. With a capital M. When our son-in-law was a policeman in the little town of Canton, KS., he found her abandoned in the back yard after the renters had moved out. He and our daughter already had two large male dogs, but they knew immediately the Colorado couple who would agree to rescue this dog.

When we adopted Maggie, we had no idea that in the big scheme of our lives, Maggie would actually rescue us and prove what writer Roger Caras said, “Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.”

This was not the post I had planned to write today, but life had other plans. Yesterday afternoon, Maggie suddenly could not stand. Six weeks ago blood tests and a checkup showed everything was good, but in just a short time, a fast growing tumor formed between her ribs and against one kidney. Last night Jim and I sat with Maggie in the vet’s office, saying our good-byes and stroking her head until she quietly went to sleep.

My words are too sad to write, so I’ll borrow from Dean Koontz: “Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is diminished.” Our lives are diminished without Maggie, but we’re ever so grateful for the many years she was our trusted and loyal friend and a beloved member of our family.

She led the way, and we happily followed.

She led the way, and we happily followed.


Maggie was born a Kansas dog, but she was Jim's favorite Colorado hiking buddy.

Maggie was born a Kansas dog, but she was Jim’s favorite Colorado hiking buddy.

At my mom's recent 97th birthday, when things got too hectic, Mom closed her eyes, and Maggie when over to rest next to her.

At my mom’s recent 97th birthday, when things got too hectic, Mom closed her eyes, and Maggie when over to rest next to her.






Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, just doing the best we can, lessons for great-grandchildren, special quotations, Things to be thankful for

79 responses to “Love With a Capital M

  1. Oh Marylin, my heart is breaking for you and your family. I am so very sad and sorry to hear about your Maggie. May the wonderful memories you have of Maggie stay with you always. Much love and hugs. ❤

    • Thank you, Tracy. It was so sudden, but I doubt it would have been less painful to know it was coming. We do have many wonderful memories, and so do the grandchildren, so Maggie will be well remembered.

  2. juliabarrett

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry. I know how you feel and I am right there with you. I love Maggie. She will be with you all your life. And she’ll wait for you at the end. Dogs are family. I hate that they don’t live as long as we do. One day God and I will have a little chat about his mistake.

    • God should just make plans to hold this chat in a huge conference area because I think all dog lovers will want this answered, Julia. When my dad was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, Maggie surprised us all by jumping up in his hospital bed and lying beside him. Now I’m confident that last night my dad was there, waiting to welcome her.

  3. We only just met in the blogging world but I am crying too for your loss. We had a fast friend rescue dog named Rozie – who died about a year ago. She looked very much like Maggie. And there were other dogs before her who added so much happiness and laughter to our lives. I know exactly how you feel and I am crying with you. ~Dor

    • We just met, Dor, but your comments make you feel like a friend. Your Rozie and our Maggie were both so special and added so much to our lives. Thank you for this sweet comment.

  4. Claudia

    I am so,so sorry. I’ve known this pain and it is never easy to bear. You loved her and wasn’t she lucky to find you after bring abandoned! Many good years of memories that will never go away…..

  5. Beautiful testament to a special one in your family. I wrote a similar post (with pictures) a year ago February when our golden Henry passed – in a similar way to Maggie. We are still mourning. He is missed so much. Each of our dogs brings a light and a love within the house that will never be extinguished, even when they’re gone.

    • Now Henry has a friend! I think we will be mourning for a long time, too. I like how you describe each dog bringing a light and a love in the house that will never be extinguished. So true.

  6. Oh Marylin: we know how much we have loved and been loved by the pain we feel at our loss. Maggie sounds like a wonderful dog and that you have been a wonderful family to her.
    Our dog CJ, got our family through some difficult times and her unconditional love was, for us, a sign of God’s love.
    I don’t think we will ever ‘get over’ the loss of CJ, as I am sure you won’t over the loss of Maggie – but also I am sure you will enjoy sharing many fond memories of her. Even after many years will still suddenly recall something she did and feel again the happiness and joy she gave you.
    May you find peace and comfort in your grief. You have been blessed.

    • Thank you, Rod. There have been many times in the past twelve years–and I’m sure the future will have many, too–when Maggie’s love was indeed a sigh of God’s love for us. She was a blessing.

  7. So sorry for your loss.
    The photo on the trail is an amazing photo.

    • That’s one of my favorites, Elizabeth. The trail any time of the year is thick with trees and wildlife, but in the autumn when this was taken, it was almost golden. Maggie ran ahead then paused and looked back at us as though to encourage to come on this adventure with her.

  8. I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. Pets become so much a part of our lives. The last picture with Maggie and your mom is precious. ❤

    • It was as if she knew, Darlene, that my mom was feeling overwhelmed by everything going on. So as the family kept eating and talking, Maggie just went over to my Mom’s recliner and lay down beside it. She lay there quietly as my mom napped.

  9. Don

    Marylin, I don’t know what to say to you. I feel so deeply for you all. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  10. Marylin, I am so sorry you and your family lost your beloved dog. You will keep a place for her in your heart . The photos are precious.

  11. Marylin, I am so sorry! No words. Just “feels.” 🐾

  12. And I feel them, Jane. Thank you.

  13. A sweet tribute – my sincere condolences to you. After we had to put Me-Too down, I couldn’t walk down the pet food aisle for months and months.

  14. I am so sorry. There aren’t words to comfort. Peace.

  15. Marylin, my daughter has been the one who has had to deal with our family pets when they are ready to depart. I am grateful that she is the one that has said final good bye’s to several beloved kitties and dogs over the last few years.
    Dean Koontz wrote a wonderful book called “a big little life” about his dog Trixie. Have you read it? What an amazing book. When I am feeling down, all I have to do is read that book.
    Blessings to you all as you miss your Maggie. Surely she is looking down upon you all so fondly. She knows she was dearly loved.
    xo Joanne

    • I saw an interview Koontz once did, and he talked about Trixie, Joanne. But I didn’t know there was a book. I’m going to get a copy; I think we’ll be feeling down for awhile. Thank you for the recommendation, Joanne, and the blessings.

  16. Oh Marylin, I am so very sorry. You have so many wonderful memories with Maggie. That makes doing the right thing very hard, but I am so glad you were there with her. I know she felt your love.

  17. Oh Marylin, I’m so sorry to hear about Maggie. I hope you and your family are able to move past your grief with the happy memories of Maggie. I love the photo of you all in the leaves. Prayers for you and your family. xo

    • Thanks, Jill. Already we’re finding that talking about all the big and little, funny and touching memories is helping us. The photo of us in the leaves with Maggie and our grandchildren helps us all.

  18. I am so sorry that you lost your sweet dog and I hope that the memories will keep her alive in the hearts of your family. A big hug

  19. I feel that hug, Gerlinde. Thank you.

  20. What a beautiful girl. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  21. Aah, Marylin – so sorry to hear your sad news. You are the second blogging pal to lose a dear doggie friend – I know how much they become part of your lives and family. I hope you have many happy memories of your lovely Maggie.

    • We do have many happy and wonderful memories, Jenny. Today when Jim and I started sharing our favorite memories of Maggie, one led to another and then another, and soon we were laughing over some of her cutest antics. It’s a process.

  22. I am so sad for you. All of us who love and have pets can feel the anguish

  23. It’s hard to give up an old friend, one so loving and loyal. When the family is ready, there will be many “Maggie” stories to share around the dining table because she is there with you in spirit. Am so sorry for your loss, Marylin and Jim. Your pictures and quotes express your heart so well.

  24. Molly

    We all will miss Maggie Moo. She was such a wonderful dog. For her sake I am so glad it was quick and painless. But, for us all it was so sudden and unexpected. We know that the dog lover, Grandpa Shepherd, is in heaven enjoying Maggie’s company, while Zoey is trying to get her to play! We can’t wait for you to get here so we can throw our arms around you and give you big hugs and loves!

    • Dad and I were talking about that today, Mookie. We like to think that Grandpa Shepherd and Opa Warner both were there to welcome Maggie, plus Fritz and Bootie, and yes, even Zoey. I like Will Rogers (I think it was his quote) who said that if dogs don’t go to heaven, then he wants to go wherever they go.

  25. I’m so thankful to God that He used you to save and enrich Maggie’s life all those years ago. Beautiful photos and memories of your beloved pet that show her love and appreciation. Here’s another *hug* for you.

  26. Such a sad post. Many of us have been there and understand the depth of your loss. Very sorry but what a wonderful companion to have had.

  27. She was a wonderful companion, Andrew, and we do feel a closeness with those who have experienced the depth of losing such a wonderful dog, cat, or any pet who touched their hearts. Thank you.

  28. Dear Maggie. God bless her, and you, too. Heartfelt hugs.

  29. Such a sad moment Marilyn, I’m very sorry for your loss of Maggie. It’s really hard to loose a pet, they are the center of families with a different relationship with each member.

  30. I’m so very sorry to hear about Maggie, it’s so true that once you’ve had a dog your life is never the same, they help you to get through so much. So sorry for your loss.

    • These last few days have been healing for us, Andrea. Wherever we go there are memories, and gradually more and more of them are happy, funny, sweet memories rather than the sad ones of her last day.

  31. Oh Marylin! I am so very sorry for your loss. Much love and many hugs to you during your time of sorrow. XOXO

  32. Very sad news, Marylin. I know how much our furr-kids – dogs and cats – have been a part of our family. It’s never easy saying good-bye. Maggie sounds like she was a wonderful, loving dog and much loved. Blessings to you and your family and may memories of Maggie give you peace and comfort.

  33. Nancy Parker Brummett

    Oh, Marylin, I’m typing this through the tears in my eyes! So sorry for your loss. It’s true that pets leave pawprints on our hearts. She loved you, and you loved her well, too.

    • Maggie certainly let her pawprints on our hearts, Nancy. Grace was born several months after Maggie come to live with us–and Gannon was born 11 months after Grace–so many of our happiest memories and family pictures include her. She’ll always be in our hearts.

  34. Nancy Saltzman

    My dogs, Nacho and Macy, send licks, dog hairs, and woofs. I send you unconditional love as I am sure that Maggie shared with you constantly. Thinking of you.

  35. What a sweet and sad post. Dogs are the best, true members of our families and mourned as such. Every once in a while, I think about how much kinder the world would be if we were all a bit more like our dogs ❤

  36. Maggie… sleep well, my furry friend ❤ I know what you mean, I can't imagine life without them now…

  37. May you take comfort in the wonderful memories of times shared with Maggie. Love shared with our fellow creatures on this Earth is to be cherished.

  38. Oh Marylin, I am so, so sorry to read this terribly sad news of your loss of your beloved and beautiful Maggie. She has shared in so many of your stories and posts and reading about her, how she came to you and your family and how she rested by your mom during her recent 97th birthday celebrations brings a tear to my eye. I know you will miss her terribly, but what wonderful memories you will always have of her. I still think of our two dogs to this day and cats and all the pets we have loved and lost. They truly are part of our family and we grieve for them when they leave. Sending you a huge hug my friend and a prayer to bring you comfort ❤

  39. Marylin, I’m so sorry to read about the loss of your Maggie. May all the warm and beautiful memories you have of her bring many smiles to your heart. Sending you hugs.

  40. jakesprinter

    This is what i miss when i`m in school Marylin your beautiful post!

  41. Jake, it’s good to have you back from school. I read your recent post and appreciated all your hard work and desire to keep learning.

  42. And this one from our dear friends in Florida:

    We are so sad to hear about Maggie. What a sad time for both of you. We know your feelings right now and send our warm thoughts for the both of you. We to are very sad that Maggie is longer with us. In our short visit last year, we got to know and truly enjoy Maggie and the warmth she provided both of us. I loved getting down on the floor with Maggie, talking and petting her. She just laid her head back on the floor in an elongated comfortable position and seemed to silently say thank you for being a part of our family if only for just a little while. She exuded comfort and calm. We will dearly miss her too. We have some wonderful pictures of all of us the morning we took the walk out through the the woods in the park. Maggie is in many of those pictures. Be assured, we will always cherish her in those pictures even more.

    Thank you for sharing Maggie with us. Marylin, if you would like, please copy and paste this to your latest posting of which we both just finished reading. This message is especially meant for the two of you and for Maggie but it is also appropriate to share with your posting.

    Our best wishes to you both.
    Sharyn and Bill
    Thank you, Sharyn and Bill, for sharing these wonderful memories.
    Marylin and Jim

  43. Jim

    Dear Maggie,

    Mor-Mor and her blog friends have given you a beautiful memorial on this page. I cry as I read it. I miss you terribly, Maggie. I love you so much. I carry you now in my heart even as I carried you in my arms your last day.

    Grateful forever,

    • Today we hiked in Brown’s Park, our first time without you, Maggie. It was overcast, cool and breezy, and we knew it would have been a perfect day for you to run and watch for squirrels. We miss you so much.

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