Maggie is a lovely 8 year old Chocolate Lab. She is a CKC registered dog and came from a breeder in Saskatchewan. She’s obviously had obedience work in her life, and she’s clearly been pampered and loved her whole life.
So, how did she come to be with New Hope? You see, her owner recently died of lung cancer. Her breeder was not interested in taking her back. And, no arrangements were made for Maggie, or at least none that worked out for her. But, lucky for Maggie, a family friend decided to contact New Hope and ask if we could help. Me, being the Labrador lover I am, said “SURE!” When I picked up Maggie and all her belongings; her crate, a bag of food, a blanket, bowls and her registration papers; I saw on her neck a lump. Of course, the nice man exclaimed “OH! I had no idea that was there!” and jumped in his car and drove away.
I brought a very scared, confused Maggie home that day and she began the steady process of settling in with me. It hasn’t been easy for her. She’s been an only dog her whole life and she was clearly attached to her owner and was clearly loved by him. She has been grieving his loss; at times I catch a far away look in her eyes, as if she knows she’s missing someone desperately. It’s heartbreaking to see that look of sadness and confusion in her eyes, as she pleads with me to take her home. But, she’s trying and Maggie has learned to get along with the pack of dogs here (2 other Labs, a Jack Russell and a mixed breed dog).
Also, lucky for Maggie she found us as she was taken for vet care immediately. The vet originally thought the two lumps were fatty tissue. However, by the time her appointment came to have them removed, a third was growing. Dr. Nairn, at Erindale Animal Hospital made the decision to have the lumps biopsied and it was a good thing. Sure enough, poor Maggie has Mast Cell Cancer, a common skin cancer in dogs. She’s had her lumps removed, only to find one regrowing almost immediately. Today she was back at Erindale having a liver biopsy and ultrasound to see if her cancer has spread. As of tonight, it sounds like good news; the cancer has likely not spread but further surgery is required to ensure there are clean margins on the tumor sites in an attempt to keep them from returning. She’s been poked and prodded, and shaved to do these tests; she’s pretty miserable this evening, huddled in a lump on the couch beside me, post sedation. She’s trying to sleep it off, but her shaved belly is itchy and irritated and it’s keeping her awake. She’ll be ok in a few days, but at the moment, Maggie again is looking at me with longing in her eyes, to make this stop, to help her feel better. I am trying.
Maggie has become part of the family for the time she is with me. She runs in the yard with the other dogs. She sleeps on the bed, occasionally. She cuddles up on the couch and she wrestles and plays with the others. She chews a bone and really just wants a soft touch and a nice place to have a nap. She is a great dog working hard to make the best of a situation she is powerless to control. She continues to break my heart though as I look at her, and wish I could make it all better. She really NEEDS her own family, a family where she can be loved and cared for, in a quieter place that has more room to give her all the attention she needs. I wish I could give that to her, but part of fostering is loving them as best you can, while they are in your care, but also knowing that there will be a time to let them go. I am doing the best I can to look after my girl, but, I still need help for Miss Maggie.
What help does Maggie need? She needs YOU to help her in a variety of ways! You can choose to donate money to help us help dogs like Maggie. Maggie did not ask for this fate and she certainly is longing for the comfort and care she deserves. She also deserves the medical treatment she is receiving; if she had been placed in a shelter, Maggie would have been euthanized. Not here at New Hope; we choose to treat her with the dignity and respect she would have if she was one of our own personal dogs. And, truly, I’ve grown to love Maggie as if she was one of my own. But, her surgeries and scans come at a price and New Hope along with Maggie need your generosity to keep us able to save and take care of the dogs who need us.
As well, we need MORE FOSTERS! If you think you could provide compassionate care and love to a dog in need, please, PLEASE contact us today! We have puppies and seniors, purebreds like Maggie, and dogs who are uniquely mutts. We have large and small, most healthy, some with big needs. They all just want a home that cares and helps them become the best they can be, in order to find their forever home. In order for us to keep operating, we NEED YOU! Please, consider donating. Consider volunteering. Consider fostering. Consider adopting- especially one with needs or a senior like Maggie. I promise you, it will truly change your life.