As I woke up and checked my emails, as I do every day, one jumped out from the pack ; my mother informing me that Maggie, our border-collie was put down early this morning at roughly 6am. Although I was taken aback at the news of her passing, it didn't come out of nowhere. She's had some health issues for the past few years and some that unfortunately plagued her for most of her life. In my late teenage years, I was a bit of a rebel. Part of which manifested itself by not participating or being present during family vacations. That particular year, the family had decided to go to a cottage and enjoy the scenery that a rural environment would provide, whereas I opted to stay home and enjoy the peace & quiet of a deserted house which normally is occupied with 4 more people. When they came back, they told me they had a surprise, to close my eyes and open my hands. When I opened my eyes, I saw a tiny tiny creature in the palm of my hands. Maggie must've been all of 3 weeks old, tops. I was surprised, especially considering my dad's reluctance to adopting more pets, but was delighted at the new family addition. She had a zest for life that was seldom matched by any living creature, human or otherwise. To say she had energy is an understatement. The moment we walked through the door, we'd get a song that lasted for a couple of minutes essentially telling us she was happy & relieved that we were back home safe & sound. She was afraid of strangers though and would oftentimes hide behind the living room table whenever somebody new walked into our house. Unfortunately, her life got severely impacted by a couple of tragedies. The first occurred when I threw the ball at the park one too many times and, as she was running to retrieve it, somehow snapped something in one of her legs (back then, I wasn't concerned with medical terms ; I just knew she was injured). She needed an operation on her leg which cost our family 2k back then. Maggie was all but 3-4 years old at that time. A 2nd event happened a couple of years later when one of my twin sisters left the front door opened. She had a nasty habit of doing this and we all called her out on it, but whether out of defiance or simple forgetfulness, she always had a problem with shutting the door. Maggie darted out and was wanting to meet up with my other sister who was walking on the other side of the street. A car hit Maggie as the driver kept on going and never stopped (who the HELL does that?!). It took me *years* to forgive my sister for her careless actions. My parents were on vacation at that time with no way to contact them (cell phones weren't affordable back then), so all 3 kids were left alone. We went to an emergency vet since the incident occurred after business hours where we were told that an operation would cost 5k, this time... but that her life would be saved. We had the night to think it over while Maggie was being cared for with painkillers. The logical choice was to put her down as our family didn't have the means to opt for the operation. However, when we saw her for the first time in almost 24h, Maggie cried like I had never heard her before. She just *knew* she was at death's door. We all caved in and decided to go with the operation. When my folks came back from their vacation, they were met with dire news about our beloved pet and the financial impact of our/my decision. They were incredibly understanding and proud of our decision. They decided to honor it regardless of the financial strain this would bring them for the next few months. Maggie ended up having a good life in spite of those 2 incidents, although she could not run anymore. This was a real shame as I had never seen a dog enjoy physical activity as much as she did. However sad that news was, I was glad to have had the opportunity to nevertheless spend close to 10 more years with her. Due to both her hind legs being impaired, she could walk ordinarily for some time, but if she were to jump or run for a few seconds, she would limp for the rest of the day. Still, she was as happy as ever to be part of our family and to be around us and involved in all activities. In the last few years, her health had declined quite a bit. She could no longer walk up some of the stairs at the house, her vision had gone done quite a bit, and her hearing was 85% gone. Her breathing was occasionally labored, too. My 6-year old nephew will be absolutely devastated as he was in love with Maggie. Too bad he didn't know her when she was in her prime. We had a 2nd dog who was entirely deaf through old age. One trick she learned on her own is getting him back to the house when he veered too far. We would simply need to ask her to get Bingo back home and she would show him the way. Very smart and loving dog. I was saddened to read the news but I know that if my folks had to put her down that there was nothing else for them to do for her. In the last few years, with every trip back to my parents' home, I always made a point to spend as much time with her as possible as I knew this day would come sooner rather than later. In the past 2 years, I've lost my 3 family pets ; Bingo (19 years), Pacha the cat (19), and now Maggie (15). I grew up with these 3 being quite a presence in my life and delighting me daily with their warmth and antics. Now that all 3 are gone, it feels strange, surreal, and there's a nostalgic longing to relive the days I spent with those 3 fun-loving creatures. Now, I am glad to say that I have Caleb, our own dog. We adopted him last year and he's been nothing but a pure angel who sniffs everything I bring into the house, LOVES his toys, runs faster than any dog I've ever seen, and whose beaming smile warms my heart. He's not Maggie and he's not supposed to replace her, but the blow of her death is somewhat softened by the fact that I now have my very own dog whom I love more than most people love their own children waiting for me at home. I'll make sure he gets extra hugs and treats tonight as we toast Maggie farewell and hope that wherever she is, she's able to run & jump with as much enthusiasm as she once did. RIP Maggie.