Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maggie--Playing Nice With Others

Maggie was an ambassador in our neighborhood.  We walked her every day, usually twice a day, so she became well-known to our neighbors for blocks.  She always elicited smiles, and because we socialized her in early puppyhood*, she learned to be comfortable with people, and greeted everyone with a tail wag and a smile...and for those she liked most, she pinned her ears back.

*..."A properly socialized puppy is well adjusted and makes a good companion. It is neither frightened by nor aggressive towards anyone or anything it would normally meet in day to day living. An un-socialized dog is untrustworthy and an unwanted liability. They often become fear-biters. Often they like to fight with other dogs. They are difficult to train and are generally unpleasant to be around...."  (from Perfectpaws.com)

People in our rather staid and conservative community warmed to Mark and me by observing us around Maggie's antics, and our obvious love and care of her.  We patiently let her go at her own pace, as she followed her nose, sniffing almost every blade of grass and tree along the way.  She would suddenly lay down on someone's lawn, and the only way I could get her back on her feet was to gently slide my hands under her belly, and she would stand up automatically. Sometimes I would carry her home like a Yearling deer.  She was popular, even winning a 4th of July festival cutest dog contest (second place).  She would let very young children explore her ears and soft fur, and she always sat patiently. The only time she walked quickly was when she found a treasure (an apple, a paper plate, etc.) and would proudly parade her new find while making an effort to get home quickly with it.

No one complained when she howled in the yard....

....and she believed that everyone was her friend. 

One neighbor couple was particularly close to Maggie.  After losing their Chocolate Lab to illness, they would board in their home the dogs of friends who were traveling.  On one occasion, they agreed to watch two sibling Golden Retriever puppies. Maggie was invited for a play date.  It's hard to add words to the story these pictures tell (especially the last two).

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific story! I never tire of reading about Maggie! The awesome pictures vividly depict the loving and nurturing side of this wonderful dog, which dramatically conveys not only the tremendous joy she must brought, but also the terrible loss you both must feel in her absence. Very well done!