Posted by: whisperernc | February 23, 2011

Reflections on Maggie

It’s hard to believe that my beloved dog, Maggie has been gone for two years. Some days I still cry when I think of her. Maggie was such a love; so smart and so in tune with my emotional state. There is no replacing her in my mind. Therefore, I am dogless in Ohio.

Reflecting on Maggie’s decline in health, a few things come to mind. She was diagnosed with food and airborn allergies at a young age. A result of that is for an animal to rub its head against a hard surface and also licking itself due to itching. Maggie did that for many years.

When we moved to North Carolina, I noticed changes in Maggie’s behavior. Her head rubbing continued and licking became more severe. She licked herself, the furniture & the carpet while awake. She also started pacing and circling.                             

Maggie’s favorite place to lay down was on the cool tiles in front of the fireplace, even though she had difficulty getting up from that location. In addition, there were changes in her bowel habits. Eating habits were affected too. It appeared that she had an insatiable appetite & water intake increased.

On February 19, 2009, Maggie was unable to stand on her hind legs. A veterinarian gave a diagnosis of brain and/or spinal cord tumor. Seeing my dog suffering with severe pain and unable to walk, I chose euthanasia. That is a difficult decision for a pet owner to make. It’s so hard to let go…

My past experiences with being a dog owner is this: I am drawn to ones who are not healthy. Because of that, I learn so much from helping them to heal.

After Maggie’s passing, I researched canine brain tumors. Maggie exhibited many of the signs, including the need to lay on a hard surface.  Although I was not aware while she was alive, the information has answered many of my questions about her behavioral changes. My regret is not knowing sooner.

Although difficult to lose my Maggie, she was a blessing of love and a source of knowledge for me. I miss you, girlfriend!!!



  1. Our animals teach us so much. They are truly Servants of the highest order. Thank you for what you do, Barb, to serve both the four-leggeds and us two-leggeds.

  2. Thank you for this post. It seems we all learn the hard way and often quite suddenly about canine cancer and its symptoms. I know Maggie knew nothing but love, did not realize she had cancer either and cherished every day with you as you did with her. I am glad to learn some symptoms of brain cancer, thanks.

  3. You are welcome. I suspected that Maggie had something going on, but not cancer of the brain. Two weeks before she passed, she kept staring at me. From being intuitive, I knew she was giving me an advance warning. Just didn’t know it would occur so suddenly. Maggie would have been 12 three weeks later.
    Thank you for commenting.

  4. I have shared Maggie’s story on my dog Buddy’s facebook page to help others learn. His page is all about raising awareness of canine cancer and lending support from a dog’s perspective. He is our second dog with cancer, we lost our first (Bob) to hemangiosarcoma 5 years ago.
    Stop by his page if you would like and see what he’s all about:

  5. That is great! Thank you. If Maggie’s experience can help other dogs, I know her beautiful spirit will love that.

  6. Dear Amy – Apologies for missing your comment. They certainly do teach us. You are welcome 🙂

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