Monday, February 13, 2012

Little Miss Magnolia

This post is in memory of Maggie, our dear little dog who passed away last fall.  It is primarily for journaling purposes, and for the few who have an interest.

On Tuesday October 11th 2011 I was teaching piano lessons, Maggie had been trying to get out and roam the neighborhood each time a student came to the door.  When my last student came she finally managed to get out.  Jaren tried so hard to hold her back, but his books were slipping and he was all but falling over trying to hold on to her so I told him not to worry about it, she would come back.  I will probably always regret that decision.  Maggie had been getting really good about coming back home just a few minutes after getting out, she would only cross the north street to visit the neighbors dog.  This day however she stayed out much longer and for some reason she decided to cross the street on the west side of our house, a much busier street where cars drive much faster.  She was hit by a car driven by a 16 year old girl who had only been driving for two weeks.  I did not witness the accident, I do not know the circumstances, but it was an accident and we do not hold the girl in blame; Maggie simply should not have been out.  The girl was so upset by the accident that she walked the rest of the way home, just the street north of ours.  A witness to the accident came to the door to let me know what had happened, I was still in the middle of teaching piano lessons.  Just prior to her coming I thought of Maggie, that she had been out for a while and I wished the lesson would end quickly so I could go get her.  I will always wonder if that was the Holy Ghost telling me to go call her, maybe I could have prevented her being hit, I’ll never know.  Anyways this lady came to the door, told me my dog had been hit by car, I asked her if it was bad as I was walking outside, when I turned the corner I saw Maggie’s lifeless body lying in the road and burst into tears, until that point I truly thought she was fine, injured perhaps, but my Maggie was invincible.  I watched the gentleman who owns the home across the street to the west of us pick her up by her feet, move her from the road onto the plants in our side yard, it was horrible seeing her limp body being carried like that.  I went to her and scooped her in my arms and just cried and cried and cried.  I don’t believe I have ever cried so hard in my life.  The mother of the girl who hit Maggie came to console and apologize for the accident, I told her it was okay, and I was sorry for her daughter as well.  I am sure she felt terrible; I know I would be beside myself if I had hit someone’s dog.  Morgan Murdock came over quickly to also console me.  The Good Samaritan women who came to tell me about Maggie went into my house to get Grant, Brandon had already come out.  Brandon did not seem to understand what was going on, he did keep asking what was wrong with Maggie; over and over again I had to tell him that Maggie was in Heaven now, he would ask why, and I would tell him because she did not make a good choice, she did not listen to me to stay, she did not obey the rules to stay in the house where I could protect her, she did not obey the rules to not cross the street, and she was hit by a car.  Maybe I should have spared him the hard truth, but I wanted so desperately for him to understand how dangerous the road can be, it was so hard loosing a dog, I could not bear to loose a child in the same way.  He would act like he understood, but a few minutes later he would ask again.  I just kept crying.  Brandon did not like to see me cry, he kept telling me it was okay, don’t cry; honestly having him there really did help me keep things in perspective.  Heather Murdock was also quick on the scene for which I was very grateful; I did not know the other three women well, they did not know me well, they were kind and understood the relationship people have with their dogs and their words were comforting, but having Heather there to really love me was just what I needed.  Morgan asked me if I had a towel to wrap Maggie up in, I was still holding her in my arms.  I asked him to go inside and get the tree blanket, it was after all her favorite and I couldn’t just wrap her up in a towel, she deserved better.  He brought me the blanket and I wrapped her up and laid her on a pillow in the garage; that is when Brandon started to understand, that Maggie was really gone.  Jaren finally came out of the house from piano lessons; I still hope he does not place any blame on himself for letting her out, that would make me feel terrible.  His dad came to pick up Jaren, after he learned what had happened he turned the car around and came back to offer his apology; they had just lost their dog a few weeks earlier, so he understood what I was going through better than others might.  I knew I had to call Jared, but I was terrified to do so; I was so afraid he would be mad at me for letting this happen, I was also so sad for him; I remember watching him morn the loss of his dog Smokey, he loves his pets deeply and it is hard to see them go.  Heather offered to call him for me, but I knew I had to be the one to call him.  I went in the house called him and threw tears told him to come home, Maggie was dead.  Probably not the most graceful way to handle the phone call but I did not know how to handle it better and it was all I could do to get those words out.  While I was outside waiting for him to come home I looked over to the road where Maggie had been hit and saw lots of her fur still in the road, once again I completely broke down, Heather held me and cried hard with me, it was awful, even now writing about it brings me to tears.  Heather went to clean up the fur before Jared got home.  When he got home people dispersed for which I was grateful, I knew Jared would not want their company.  Jared asked me if I was certain Maggie was dead and not just in a coma, I was certain.  I took the boys into the house and left Jared in the garage with Maggie.  He stayed for nearly an hour with her, I could hear him from inside the house crying and pounding the walls in anger.  It was a hard thing to listen too.  The emotions of loosing my dear Maggie were so hard to bear, but I added the emotion of fear that Jared would not be able to forgive me for this to it as well as the emotion of guilt.  I said many prayers that Jared and I would be able to get through this.  I also sent what was probably a terrible text to my parents, Jared’s parents and Natalie telling them Maggie was hit by a car, she is gone, I was not ready to talk so please do not call but please pray for us.  They all responded quickly with concern to the text for which I was grateful.  I spent the next hour crying and trying to stay busy with household chores, laundry and tidying up the boy’s rooms.  I had had such a great and productive day getting the house so clean, really spending quality time with the boys, and actually teaching Brandon letters and numbers; I was looking forward to Jared coming home so I could report my great day and so he could be pleased, I kept thinking why did this have to mar my good day.  When Jared came in he told me he had talked to his mom and she suggested that we bury her that night or as soon as possible.  I cried and cried and inquired as to his feelings regarding me in this situation, I asked him if he was mad at me and if he could forgive me.  He lovingly said he was not mad at me and he would always forgive me and he loved me, which was just what I needed to hear, knowing that weight was off my shoulders helped me handle the other emotions much better.  I worked up the courage to call my parents and ask them if we could bury Maggie in their back yard that night, they agreed and said they would have Scott begin digging the grave for us so it would be ready when we got there.  I then called Dana to see if she would watch the boys for us while we were gone, she agreed, so we prepared everything, dropped off the boys and headed to Salt Lake.   The drive down was mostly spent in quiet reflection.  Scott had dug a hole just under the large pine tree in their back yard, the perfect spot.  My parents came out with us while we buried her.  We buried her in the tree blanket with her Friend, it was horrible watching Jared lay her in her grave and that first shovel full of dirt placed on her body was terrible.  Dad held me, while Jared finished.  Jared cried horrible loud tears and mom cried as well.  After Maggie was buried Jared dedicated the grave site then mom and dad gave us some time alone outside.  We talked of Maggie and said our goodbyes then went inside for a little dinner.  That night after putting the boys to bed we watched NCIS in an effort to numb the pain, the opening scene was of a person being hit by a car, mid way through the show there was a scene that took place in a pet shop, needless to say it was not the best distraction.  Then we turned the TV off and Maggie did not jump up to go outside, our much loved nightly routine was all wrong.  It was hard going to bed that night, I did not sleep well, and when I woke up I was sad all over again.  I envied Jared for being able to go to work and not have the constant reminders that I would face that day.  The morning routine was out of place.  When I fed the boys Maggie was not there to clean up and get little orange macaroni noodles in her fur while hoping for a taste, when people came to the door to offer their condolences Maggie was not there to bark at them or run around the house like crazy with excitement.  When I was too sad to do anything else and just wanted to cuddle on the couch there was not tree blanket to cuddle with and no puppy to comfort me in her quiet ways.  It was a terrible day.  We did receive many kind phone calls and visitors bringing words of comfort and treats.  When Echo Neal came to visit she brought donuts, she said they were so good I should eat one right away, I did, I love donuts, but truthfully it was hard to choke down threw my tears and emotions.  I did pretty well not crying too much through the day except for when people would call or visit, but I was numb all day.  I kept thinking of the phrase “I can’t imagine” it’s something we say to people when they are going through a trial, it is a habitual thing to say, but I suddenly realized just how true it was.  I had lost my dog, I felt pain and hurt unlike anything I had ever felt, more than when grandparents, cousins, or friends of mine passed away.  If my pain hurt this much, how much worse must it be when you loose a child or a spouse, I really can’t imagine.  But I continued to find peace and comfort in knowing that while I can’t imagine others pain and they can’t understand mine Jesus Christ can.  His atonement not only paved the way for salvation and eternal life but it made it possible for him to have a perfect knowledge of our hurt and sorrow so that He could comfort us.  I knew that I needed to use the atonement and let the Savior take my hurt and make it possible for me to carry on, though I was not really sure how to do this.  I said several prayers asking for peace and comfort and you know what, I got it.  When I began feeling down and miserable I would pray and I would feel better, there really was a peace after my prayers.  I am SO very grateful for the atonement, for my Savior and for his sacrifice on my behalf. 
Jared and I discussed heaven and where dogs fall into the plan of salvation a lot the night she passed away and in the days following.  We are taught that Heavenly Father knows and loves all of his creations, (consider the lilies of the field), we are also taught that the earth will receive its paradisaical glory.  I believe that Heavenly Father will take care of our pets after they pass and that we will be reunited with them on the other side of the veil.  I believe that our pets will be able to choose us in heaven and be part of our eternal family if they so desire.  Maggie was a good dog, she lived the purpose of her creation.  I believe she will be blessed accordingly.  If however I am wrong and there are no pets in heaven I know that Heavenly Father knows best, Heaven will still be a place of joy.  I trust in Heavenly Father and His plan.  This gives me comfort during this hard time.

I loved Maggie, we shared a special bond.  I miss her terribly, I am sure I will continue to miss her for a long time.  We have been blessed to have her in our home and in our lives.  Maggie will always have a very special place in my heart.  She was MY first dog. I love her!

1 comment:

Shaylee Wilcox said...

This is exactly how I felt when Bandit died. :( I'm so sorry Michelle! We will miss Maggie as well, but I truly do think that dogs do go to heaven, and I think Bandit and Maggie are up there together. Thanks for your testimony of the Atonement. I miss you and your boys so much! Thank you forever for everything you taught me. Love you!