The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Farewell Maggie May~Adopted~RIP

Farewell Maggie May~Adopted~RIP
A Perfect Border Collie
A Perfect Border Collie

Last Friday, Laura picked up Maggie May from transport via Becky Harshman, kept her overnight, and brought her to my home.  I spent the weekend with Maggie, and I was impressed with her overall condition.  She was clean, no matted hair, her teeth were white, her coat shiny and she was fully trained; crate trained, sits, speaks, shakes, you name it.  This was the perfect dog.

on Transport
on Transport

I noticed on her paperwork that she growled and snapped at a kennel worker, and Laura mentioned that she growled at her daughter as well.  I gave Maggie her space, and didn’t push her into doing anything she didn’t want to do.  Maggie warmed up to me quickly, giving me kisses and wanting hugs.  She showed no food aggression, and was comfortable with other dogs.

Yesterday, I invited Debbie and her husband John to meet Maggie.  I thought they were a perfect fit.  Debbie has been wanting a Border Collie for years, and she wanted an older female.  Normally, I don’t allow adopters to meet their dog until after spay/neuter, but in this case I really wanted Debbie and John to meet Maggie before her surgery, so they can see for themselves how this seven year-old dog didn’t look or act a day over four!

Debbie fell in love with Maggie immediately, and the feeling was mutual.  Maggie was perfect, she showed Debbie that she can sit, shake, speak, and roll over.  She was a very calm dog, and it was a go for the adoption contract.  Debbie had already bought a crate, leashes, bowls, etc.  We completed the adoption contract, Debbie wrote the check for her adoption fee, and we were set for her to pick up Maggie Wednesday.

Debbie & Maggie
Debbie & Maggie

This morning Debbie sent me a text, “Give Maggie a hug for us this morning.  We’ll be thinking about her.”

I took my daughter, Sarah to school, and had to return for her awards ceremony.  Sarah got a ribbon for Reading and Honor Roll.  After, we went home, put Maggie in the van and took her to the vet so she can have all of her shots, be spayed and microchipped.  I checked in on our Parvo Puppy, Meredith, and left without any concern whatsoever.

On the way home around 12:30 pm, Newman Veterinary Center called me about Maggie.  Kerri explained that there was a large amount of unexplained fluid in her abdomen, and Dr. Kim wanted to know why.  It was not normal, and suggested an exploratory surgery to see what they could find.  I don’t know why, but I still wasn’t concerned, the people at Newman are the best.  Twenty minutes later, however, they called me with the news.  Maggie had tumors, many tumors.  One had ruptured, and they were located on her liver, and other places.  Of course, I didn’t really know what that meant.  Can’t we remove them? But it’s not that simple.  The cancer had spread and they recommended euthanasia.

John & Debbie Adopting Maggie
John & Debbie Adopting Maggie

I pictured the warm and loving exchange between Debbie and Maggie, and my heart sank.  I called Debbie, and gave her the bad news.  In tears, she said she didn’t want Maggie to suffer.  She had seen another dog go through the aftermath of cancer surgery, and she didn’t want Maggie to go through it.  I altered my course and drove straight to Newman Veterinary, where Kerri was waiting for me.  I signed the necessary paperwork, and the staff let me go back in to the surgery room, where I said goodbye to Maggie.  Most of the Veterinary staff was in the room while I said goodbye.  I don’t cry very often, but this time I bawled.  I thanked everyone, and hugged Dr. Kim.  She said this was the best thing to do for Maggie.

I’m so confused, because Maggie was so well cared for, so trained, so smart, and she looked incredibly healthy.  My daughter Sarah, of course was hysterical.  “It’s not fair,” she said the entire drive home.  As I write this, Sarah has sneaked into my bed with all three of our dogs, and Squeeze.  I don’t sugar coat or hide much from my kids.

In the story about the Rainbow Bridge, if a dog is not owned… Maggie was owned.  Debbie had in fact adopted her, so if you believe the Rainbow Bridge exists, Maggie has crossed over, and is playing with many of our gorgeous dogs that we have had to say goodbye to.


Maggie, a Proud Adopted TDL Dog!
Maggie, a Proud Adopted TDL Dog!
Goodbye Sweet Maggie, I wish you could've stayed with us longer.
Goodbye Sweet Maggie, I wish you could’ve stayed with us longer.

So the last experience that Maggie had was enjoying her meet with Debbie and John, enjoying our company, and her stay with Laura, her temporary foster.  I’m sure she had long forgotten the shelter where she was abandoned.

Even though Maggie was asleep from surgery, I gave her many kisses, cuddled her face, gave her a hug, and rubbed her pretty feet.  Maggie was perfect.

In closing I just received this email from Debbie:  Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be Maggie’s Mom. I only met her once but immediately fell in live with her. She certainly didn’t deserve the hand she was dealt but now God will give her perfect peace. My heart is heavy and my tears are many because I know from our brief meeting that she was an awesome girl. ~ Debbie

You can see more photos of Maggie on Facebook

06/05/13 Update: A few days have passed, and we have gathered our composure about having to say goodbye to Maggie, but her collar hangs on my rear view mirror. I see it every time I get in my van to remind me of her. I need to be reminded that you never know what you’ll find during spay/neuter. Maybe I shouldn’t show a dog before surgery. Maybe I shouldn’t take for granted that a dog looks and acts healthy. I need to be reminded that anything can happen and to cherish each moment. I’m very proud about the time we spent with her, how much attention and love she received from us. How many kisses she stole and hugs she received, especially from Sarah, gives me some peace that she knew, proof positive, that we loved her.

5 thoughts on “Farewell Maggie May~Adopted~RIP

  1. Thank you for sharing this very touching story. Tears running down while I read this. She went through so much and didn’t deserve this, but in the end it is His decision. As she crosses the Rainbow bridge, we can take comfort knowing that she is no longer in pain, and will always be loved.

  2. I followed this magnificent pups journey from day 1. I actually considered being part of the transport team but all was quickly in place. Was delighted to hear she had found a forever home and yes, she did have a caretaker and has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I tend to cry more for a K-9’s passing than a human and what I learned of Maggie May tore my heart out. Keep your head up Debbie & John, there is that special forever pup out there. I know you knew it was Maggie May but you made the right decision in her case. My TRULEY heart felt condolences go out to Gisele, Debbie & John

  3. I am so sorry to hear about Maggie May’s passing. This was exactly what happened to Darwin. It is hard to believe that a dog who appears so healthy is fighting cancer. It is sad that this happened to a dog as young as Maggie May. I hope that you find some comfort in knowing that she was loved.

  4. Sweet Maggie, so sweet, so fearless. About 12 yrs ago, against my better judgement I brought a little boy Border Collie home from a pet rescue hanging out at PetSmart. I already had his sister. his first owner had turned him back in. He was an amazing boy. One day He stopped eating. The vet did an X-ray do his abdomen. He had a hemangiosarcoma. We too had to put him down.–all very sudden. I still miss him and am so thankful for the 12 years we had him.
    Giselle you did everything right. Dont second guess yourself. Maggie brought pleasure to both you and Debbie and she also knew how much both of you care. I do believe I doggy heaven & you are an earth angel.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: