She was 15 as of December. I called in to work and just said I wasn't coming in. Then I spent the morning alternating between sitting with Maggie and digging her grave. She kept hanging in there. I don't know how. I kept thinking of Ms Moon's Pearl and how she is still alive and hanging in there. So I was not sure if she was going to pull it out again, or if this would be the day. She was so disoriented and never really was herself today.
But hope springs eternal.
I got the grave dug as best I could. It was about 2 1/2 feet wide by 4 feet long and 3 feet deep, close to that anyway. I wished I could dig it deeper, but that was all I had in me. I was proud that I could do that much. I was not well enough to dig Lily's grave, so I appreciated the gift of being able to do this last act for Maggie. I drove to give my blood for the doctor's appointment on Wednesday. They got me in right away and I was home within an hour and a half, but she was gone and it looked like she had been dead for a while. I think she waited for me to leave. My sweet Maggierose Puddinhead Osgood. Named after her Mother, Gwen's Chocolate Puddin. She was such a smart, sweet, perfect black lab. In my world the most perfect dog is a female black lab. And Maggie was perfect. She gave us one litter of puppies which included Harry and Lily and then we fixed her and Lily when Lily was 4 months old.
Maggie was my little girl. One time we had taken her to a party for one of the kids back when we lived on Pine Island. Woody came through the trailer and it was filled with dogs, kids and adults. Way too much life in one double wide trailer. He yelled at the top of his lungs for all the dogs outside. And all the dogs ran out the door lickety split. But not Maggie. She calmly walked over to the couch and as ladylike as a lab can muster got up and sat down on the couch. We all looked at her and she gave us this look like "thank goodness you got rid of all those dogs, now we people can have some peace and quiet." That was Maggie, she never thought of herself as a dog. She was always our little girl. I have so many stories about this wonderful child of mine. How she knew the first time that Lynne held up a leash what it was and what it was for. And that girl could catch a Frisbee like nobodies business.
We called her Margaret Louise because she liked it.
Mary came over when I had everything ready and helped me move her from the house out to her grave. I had sprinkled rose petals all over the bottom and once we had slipped her down into her final resting spot, wrapped in her favorite blanket that her grandpa had given her for Christmas one year. I covered her with stems of roses and then placed her food bowl with a dog bone in it, a candle with matches to light the darkness, a glow in the dark star to help her find her way, a ball and her favorite bandanna. Mary helped me to start filling the hole with dirt. We stopped at about 3/4 of the way.
When I buried Lily, I would go out each evening after she was gone and I would shovel more dirt into her grave and talk to her. I looked forward to that each night, and now I will go out and finish filling in Maggierose's grave and since she is laying next to Lily I can talk to each of them.
I asked Harry if he would please hang on until I get back from Europe with Dad the end of June. I just need a little break to all the dying. But then again, I am thinking of retiring, maybe with all this experience I could become a professional mourner. hmmmm, no, I don't think I can hold up to that. Anyway, as we lowered Maggie down in on the bed of rose petals, Harry joined us, got a little too close and almost fell in. Mary and I gasped and Harry pulled back just in time. Really, the hole was plenty wide and long enough, but not really deep enough for two. sigh, just kidding, I love my kids, and it has broken my heart to bury Maggie.
But at least I did not have to tell Larry about her. It broke his heart when I had to tell him about Lily. I didn't want to tell him, but he was going to be coming by the house, and I thought it was better to tell him before he got her rather then noticing that she was gone. If his concept of the afterlife is real, then Maggie is with him. And they are happy to be together.
And now Mother and daughter lay side by side.
In my pasture.
Safe journey my dear ones.