Happy Heavenly Birthday Maggie Mae

They say that no one is safe from death. We are all moving towards the same outcome in the end though there are people, pets, memories….that we wish and pray we could save from the embrace of death. I continue to remind myself that though the grief is sometimes too much to bear I wear my sadness like a badge of courage, an honor to have such an unfathomable grief — because that meant that I loved something with such passion and gusto and now that Maggie has passed there is no where for that love to go and it manifests in such agonizing grief.

I would not trade any of this for anything in the universe. All of the memories, the good, the bad, the downright ugly — I replay them in my mind as if they were home movies in a nostalgic attempt to bring me back to those glorious times.

As I reflect on Maggie Mae’s “first” birthday in Heaven today I reminisce about her very first birthday here on earth! A baby faced 18 year old (convinced that I knew everything about being “grown up” — now that I am in my 30’s I can see how very VERY wrong I was — don’t tell my parents they were actually right about this!) working a crap minimum wage job and in college rocking the title of “poor college student”. Did I have any right having a dog? Absolutely not! Not for any other reason other then I was 18 years old! I knew nothing about responsibilities, the decisions I would have to make (or do) surrounding this little curly tailed ball of fur or when something would effect ME that it meant it also effected Maggie Mae. For the very first time in my immature young adult life I had someone else to think about, to worry about, to put before my own wants & needs.

I suppose as I reflect on Maggie Mae’s birthday, her life, ALL of the things that SHE accomplished in her life (and let me tell you, she accomplished quite a bit! What other pug can say they rode around in style on a custom made 1975 trike with there mom and grandpy? Or could go swimming whenever they wanted with mom and grammy because (my) grandparents have a swimming pool? Or all of the parades, the events, the PLACES that she went — I can say with all sincerity that no other dog can say they had the amazing, full life that Maggie Mae had) and it fills my heart with such bittersweet love that I can close my eyes and for a split second I SWEAR that I feel her brush against me, her black velvet ears, her little oinks she would make that almost expressed her inner thoughts to me, or her clawing/pawing at my arm when I was not giving her the amount of attention that Maggie felt SHE required (and let me tell you that Maggie Mae got ALL of the attention and then some! She sometimes had a “flare for the theatrics” and play the part of the “sad neglected pug” anytime I had to do chores or schoolwork — she was funny like that!).

I suppose that Maggie Mae played a MAJOR role in how my life began to shape and turn out. Without Maggie Mae I doubt I would have had the courage to leave a mentally & physically abusive relationship, without Maggie Mae I don’t think I would have had the determination to finish college, go to vet tech school and continue to learn as much as I possibly could, without Maggie Mae I wouldn’t be the person at work when clients thank me for such tenderness & compassion because I remind them that “I would want someone to extend the same love and compassion to MY animals so I will ALWAYS extend that same courtesy to others…”. Maggie Mae kicked off my endeavor to have the “house of misfits” – full of love, funny memories and general shenanigans with her handicat brothers, her epileptic brother Roscoe and even the devil child that set up camp in our basement (Lucy, she’s a calico so we cannot hold her sauciness against her!) — Maggie Mae is my reason for EVERYTHING.

So, for as much as my heart will forever ache for the little smooshy face, oinky pug that changed my ENTIRE life…. the total opposite course my life was attempting to take — I will always be grateful for her and cherish her for ALL that she did for me — she saved my life. For this I am forever in her debt and will for the rest of my days always remember and honor what a special day today is (September 13) because that is the day that the universe brought Maggie Mae into the world — by Thanksgiving 2006 Maggie and I had crossed paths and the rest is history!

Happy Happy Heavenly Birthday my beautiful, funny, affectionate, courageous Maggie Mae. Mere words will never be able to express just how much I love you, miss you and will forever appreciate you. Thank you for showing me parts of myself that I did not even know I could conjure up (and for reminding me that I can be a mom to a rag tag group of hanidpets — I learned a great deal of patience from being Maggie’s mama!). I love you baby girl.

September 13, 2006- January 25, 2021 ; forever in my heart & soul.

The Maxwell Chronicles (Continued…)

Have you ever heard the age old “tale” that having children one does not get an instruction manual but do you know what else they do not give you a manual to?


Or more specifically — handiPUGS.

It is even more difficult when you have a handipug who has a medical diagnosis that is not commonly seen (all of you handipet parents with those rare babies know exactly what I am lamenting about!) so you run into the problem of worry that is almost like an onion and you can peel away the layers but its just a different avenue of worry.

“Could this minor issue/problem be somehow related to their diagnosis?”

Can they handle or tolerate minor wellness things such as vaccines or dental cleanings?”

Am I doing everything that I can possibly be doing for their comfort, happiness & well-being?”

I am the very first to admit that I am stumbling in the dark when it pertains to Maxwell and his diagnosis (multiple limb deformity & kyphosis) but I am always willing to learn and continue to learn about dudes like Maxwell but in the meantime I am sort of learning by the absolute seat of my pants.

Is that scary? Absolutely.

But what can you do? You just have to keep “pressing on” because what else is there possibly to do? So you roll with the good and you roll with the bad just like life.

For every heart warming video I post of Maxwell cruising in his wheelchair there is probably a memory to match that of him and I up all night long while I hose down his bed that he managed to smear poop all around in (we suspect a nerve was pinched in his spine which was causing his legs to kick madly) or panic texting the patient vet’s that I work with because Maxwell is behaving in pain and I am constantly worried that he will BLOAT (again, insert face palm here!) and that I probably sprouted another few dozen gray hairs worrying if I am doing all of the right things for Maxwell all while not breaking the bank, being a pest to my co-workers or straining my marriage — sometimes handipets are dirty work and sure sometimes my husband and I bicker and squable over the animals, their “abilities” and if they in fact rule the house or not (I have accepted the fact they run the house but I fear my husband is still in denial and thinks we stand a chance — we do not), some days I am absolutely a few minutes late to social engagements because I had to hose off/sanitize/hazmat/biohazard someone’s litter box, bed, behind, paws or on one occasion face but it is life and I do believe that everything happens for a reason and there was a purpose and a reason that my adorable crew of misfits came to bless our home.

And then there are some memories that you just laugh at the horribly-timed misfortune that if you do not laugh you will cry type of moments – like when we took Bifford on his first adventure to Michigan and were unsure how to handle the bathroom issue so at the time my husband and I decided that a diaper would be the best plan of action (in case you were wondering it was not, in fact, the best plan of action!) but we had not decided who would be the official “checker” if we happened to find ourselves catching whiffs of atomic sulfur.

So if you can picture my husband and I circling our vehicle as if we are in some sort of a hazmat standoff because we could not decide who was about to check if Bifford graced us with a code brown or not. After a heated round of few choice words and panic I took the plunge and became the hero that day and checked (luckily it was a false alarm!).

But just like in life, a life with handipets is not for the weak person. They are no more work if you go in with an open mind, a healthy serving of patience and then lastly (but most important) … you must have a warped sense of humor! How else do you cope with life in general? Which is why we enjoy posting all of our funny, adorable, cuddly and sometimes messed up memories because they are all warm memories to us!