Maggie is a 9 yr old Lab mix that came into our rescue when her owner could no longer care for her. Barbara was in stage 4 cancer and on her 4th round of chemo and was hospitalized. Her friends and family searched for a rescue option for Maggie. Thankfully they found us. A sweet dog, she fit right in with her group which was Niko the German Shepherd and Kono and Knight “the homeless lady Nancy’s” dogs.
In December, right around Christmas, Barbara was feeling up to the trip and her son and daughter-in-law brought her out to see her beloved companion. What a great day that was. I smile when I recall it. She spent time with Maggie and gave her treats and loved on her. And with the help of a walker and my arm around her where the walker couldn’t go, she even managed to take a tour of the sanctuary and saw where Maggie was living and met the other residents. It gave her peace of mind that Maggie was safe and happy and loved. It was hard for her to leave. I could see that. I can’t imagine the battle that went on in her heart as she kissed her girl goodbye and had to leave. I wished that Maggie could go back home with her, but it just wasn’t possible.
I had Maggie on our adopt-a-pet list, but had no serious inquiries on her. Such a sweet dog with no issues or illness or anything bad. It was hard to believe that no one was interested. Maybe there was a reason for that. I always believed that things happen the way they are going to happen. And for Maggie, it went the way it was supposed to. The way it was always going to go. I just wasn’t privy to the plan.
On April 1st I received an email. Someone was interested in Agnes the little 9 yr old Lab mix. I spoke to the gentleman and arranged for a meet and greet. I really liked him even after just a phone conversation. I was hopeful. He had many Labs in his past and had just lost his 14 yr old Maxine and was ready for a new companion.
April 6th, Frank came to the Sanctuary. Agnes did great and he liked her but I said to him “I’d like you to meet Maggie as well.” I told him I just thought she would be a good fit. I brought her out, and Niko even snuck out, too. Hard to hold back 100+ lbs of German Shepherd. LOL! He liked her as well and we talked about both dogs and decided to try Maggie first and then if it wasn’t a good match we could try Agnes. They were both great dogs and would have transitioned to the new home just fine and been great company for him, but I just had this feeling about him and Maggie.
April 7th I packed up Maggie and we drove to Frank’s house for a home check etc. I talked to Maggie about her potential new owner and that I had a really good feeling about him. His vet had given him a glowing review and I was satisfied that it was a nice home with a beautiful and safe yard and best of all a person for Maggie who would adore her and care for her the way a senior deserves to be cared for. At Mureille’s Place we don’t sign off on adoptions right away. We do a trial run in a new home so that everyone is sure it’s a good match. We want to make sure the dog is happy and that the new family is happy. This way no one feels pressured or “stuck” with a dog. We have a lifetime return policy as well. If at any point for any reason, our seniors are always welcome to come back.
I left and got in the car. So I was feeling really good. Ok, I cried in the car a little. Sad for her to leave because I loved her, but happy for her because I thought I had found the very best home that I could possibly find for her. Through the tears I talked out loud. “I did it Barbara” I had found the person I had been waiting for. I guess technically he found me. Thank God! Thank Agnes, too!
The next day I was checking email and saw a donation confirmation with a message. The note as to why took my breath away. I scrolled further down and found what I was looking for. It was an email from Barbara’s son letting me know that his mother had passed away.
Barbara Smith died on April 6th, 2016 at home. The same day Frank came and met Maggie. Take that in for a minute……I got chills, too!
The timing of this just blew me away. It was like it was meant to be. I am not religious but I am spiritual. In my heart I know the moment Barbara left this world she flew on her angel wings as fast as she could to her beloved dog to check on her. I like to think she was there with Frank and me when I introduced Maggie and listened in as we talked about her and that she was with us at Frank’s house when we decided to start the trial run and could hear me when I said aloud “I did it Barbara”.
Maggie was with us for quite a few months and we forged a bond that will never be broken. As I do with all my senior adoptions, I will still be involved in her life and will visit her and Frank and always be waiting in the wings if she ever needs to come back.
When I said yes to Maggie joining us at Mureille’s Place, it wasn’t just until she found a home. It was a yes for the rest of her life. That’s how it works here. We get to honor the commitment that Barbara made to Maggie. I will make sure she is safe and happy and loved until her last day on Earth. That is my privilege. That is my part in the master plan for these sweet seniors and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Rest in Peace Barbara. Much love and dog bless…..Barbara