Have you ever had a best friend, the kind you can snuggle up with and tell all your secrets to? The kind of friend that knows when your hurting inside, and is willing to just sit next to you ... no one has to talk, she's just there for you? The friend who forgives when you've had a bad day and yelled ... because she knows you didn't mean it at all, and she's forgiven & forgotten about your grumpiness by the end of the day?
I have a best friend; her name is Maggie. And yes, I realise that she's a dog. To be fair, she's actually a gorgeous BorderCollie/AustrailianShepard mix, and she has big brown eyes that are filled with kindness. She's missing her tail, but her little stump of hair can still wag like crazy when she's excited, and she has the softest, snuggliest coat you'll ever find - even softer than a fluffy bunny rabbit. But, on top of it all, she's the best of all the friends I've ever had.
Miss Maggie came to us just two weeks after I was discharged from the hospital last year. I found her on a classified's website ... free to a good home. So we went to meet her. We weren't expecting much, but the moment I saw her, I was in love. She trotted up to us ... my husband our three small children, and I. She plopped down right next to my feet, and looked up at me calmly as my toddlers smoothered her. Even my husband was amazed by her. She was ment for our family - no doubt about it.
Maggie's favorite place is next to me, no matter where we are. She listens patiently and obeys even the most timid child, but no matter who's talking, she listens carefully to me - What I say *always* trumps anyone else ... no matter what.
We joke at our house that Maggie is the second mother here. Remember "Nana" from disney's Peter Pan? That is Maggie. Throughout the night, she is up 2-3 times, making her rounds, quietly peeking in each child's room, and perking her ears at the slightest sound. If a child cries, she comes to me, nudging me softly until I tell her it's okay.
Maggie's been with us since AngelBaby was 4 months old. I think Maggie thinks of her as the puppy she never had. When AngelBaby was learning to sit, she used Maggie as her boppy-pillow. When AngelBaby was pulling to stand, Maggie stood patiently as AngelBaby pulled up with fistfulls of fur. AngelBaby learned to walk, leaning on Maggie, hanging on to the fur as Maggie slowly walked her around the room. One of AngelBaby's first words was "ag-gie", to which Maggie wagged her little stumpy tail happily. And every meal time, I have to put Maggie outside, because my 15 month old AngelBaby will very sneakily pass food to her dear Maggie - and when I scold them, Maggie ducks her head down in shame, and AngelBaby tries very hard to hide her smile. The pair of them can be very disarming!
Maggie has weaved her way into my very heart. I never knew a dog could have such an effect on me! I have been through so much this past year emotionally, and much of what got me through it, I owe to Maggie. She can sense when I am crying, even when she's outside or in another room, and she comes running to me in a state of urgency. She lays her head on my lap and just looks up at me with her big puppy-dog eyes. As the tears come faster, she refuses to leave my side, patiently waiting for me to call her next to me to be snuggled. And when I have anxiety attacks, it's Maggie who can soothe me into calming my sobs, and begin to breathe again. No matter where I am, she is happiest when she is near me, content to sit by my feet and doze off. She may be just a dog, but the effect she has on me is beyond anything anyone else is capable of.
So, now for the very sad news. DH is at the top of the list for relocation to Ireland, England, and South Africa. Basicly, the first account that is secured will be offered to us. Well, I just recieved an email back from a realitor in Ireland. She confermed my fear ... finding a home to "let"/rent in Ireland will prove *very* difficult if we bring my Maggie with us. We've already been told that there is no taking Maggie to South Africa. Dh isn't too concerned about finding Maggie a new home, but my heart is breaking. I don't know how well I'll adjust to culture shock without my best friend with me. DH is my bestest of best friends, but what about all that time he'll be at work, or out on assignment on location? How will I do it without the calm influence of my Maggie?! Who will snuggle me when I am at my wits end? I need my Maggie, more, perhaps, than she needs me.
I'm not ready to let her go.