Happy “gotcha day,” Maggie!

It was exactly 5 years ago today that we brought home our Maggie. I don’t write about Maggie as much as I probably should. It’s not that I don’t love her – in fact it’s the opposite. It’s just that she’s so easy, she blends into our lives so seamlessly. She is the type of dog that any dog owner could have and succeed with. She’s fairly well-mannered, doesn’t need a ton of exercise, and gets along with all dogs. As Stewie has proven himself to be less dog tolerant as he matures, I can definitely say I’ve come to appreciate that last point. Maggie could get along with Cujo, she’s so great with other dogs. We’ve had to deal with crating and rotating one of our fosters because the foster didn’t get along with Stewie, but I have never worried about Maggie. Maggie’s like the responsible older sister to Stewie. I can count on her.

Maggie was our first dog as adults. Hubby and I both had family dogs as kids, but we definitely learned a lot with Maggie. Sure, we did stupid stuff in the beginning. For starters, we got her way too young. She was only 7 weeks old when we brought her home. The woman at the rescue said the mother had stopped nursing the pups, but knowing what I know now, I know she definitely could have benefitted from that continued socialization with her littermates for at least another week or two. Holy cow, we were so not prepared to be puppy parents. We were living in a third floor apartment in the city, and dogs were strictly prohibited from riding in the elevators. I have vivid memories of scooping up puppy and racing down the hall and down the stairs in the middle of the night during the potty training phase. Hell, our first night we didn’t even have a crate for her. we thought she would be fine in a laundry basket next to our bed. Waking up at 2 a.m. to the sound of her having explosive diarrhea on our bedroom floor made me realize we desperately needed a crate, which we purchased the next day.

Eventually I realized if we were going to raise this puppy right, we would need to become more educated ourselves. Off to the Internet I went, and I haven’t stopped learning since. I became obsessed with learning more and more, and that’s when I realized just how dog-crazy I was. I couldn’t get enough, and committed myself to learning as much as I could about dog behavior, training and the problems of animal overpopulation. That led to volunteer work, and well, the rest is history. How time flies! On the one hand, it’s hard to belive it was only 5 years ago that I was such a “green” dog owner, but on the other hand, I can’t believe we’ve had Maggie for 5 years! It seems like yesterday she was a teeny tiny puppy.

With that, I leave you with some of my favorite photos of Maggie through the years…

Maggie, the day we brought her home

Getting bigger...

Bratty teenager

Looking like a big girl


Say what?

First time in the water

Sleepover with her friend Parker

Pretty girl

Merry Christmas

Maggie and my parents' dog, Sadie

Ready for Apple Cup - Go Cougs!

With her new brother, Stewie

With brother Stewie and foster sister Josie


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