This is going to be sad.

Maggie is gone.

She had been sick for the last several months with nearly every horrible thing that can happen to a Boxer dog, and finally it just became too much. We took her to the emergency vet on Sunday and she didn’t come home. She’s better off, the pain is gone, she has found peace, and so on. All the standard things people always say absolutely apply here, and as usual, none of them help very much.

Maggie knew how to press the top of her head right into my chest when I needed it. Maggie smelled like maple syrup. Maggie loved having her belly rubbed, and cheese, and her big pillow on the couch. Maggie hated thunderstorms and wanted to hide under my office desk until they were over. Maggie limped out on arthritic hips and a bum leg to hop around in the yard under the giant oak tree with me because no matter how old she got or how much it hurt, she was still a puppy on the inside and she wanted to play.

Maggie was the first dog to notice Simon in his crib as we brought him home, and I will never forget the amazing look on her face when she saw him.

For eleven years, this beautiful, soulful dog loved me and I loved her. I have a 77 pound hole in my chest, and it hurts. I hope it always does a little bit; in that way, she’s still here.