A little over a year ago, there was a litter of puppies born in Labrador. This past Saturday, June 6th, they turned one year old, and one of them in particular, lives in my house. While I didn’t even know of the pups this time last year, it wouldn’t be long before this ball of energy made her way to St. John’s.
What was on my mind, however, was that I desperately needed a dog in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat. Nermal is awesome and is my little cuddlebug. But there is no comparison to the level of companionship that exists between a dog and their owner. As someone who grew up with two very loving dogs that had since passed, it was a gaping hole that needed to be filled.
I started looking locally at first, with the intention of adopting an adult dog, to give them an awesome senior life. After many dismayed attempts at contacting a certain organization and no luck finding a dog that suited me (and vice-versa) in others, I started looking online as well. There was a close call with a husky puppy on Bell Island, but the dog was very suddenly sold to someone else. It seemed like it wasn’t meant to be; that is, until someone suggested I look at the Happy-Valley Goose Bay SPCA Facebook page.
The first picture on the page was of a golden coloured pup with the brightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. I literally gasped at the computer screen. I quickly scrolled down to read the comments: *ADOPTED*. While I was very happy for the pup, I was a little jealous of the person who got their name in before me. Directly below was another golden coloured pup, sister to the one mentioned above, just as beautiful with a slightly darker coat. I swiftly put together my adoption forms, contacted references, and sent it off with the hopes of bringing this one home. After about an hour, I was informed that she too, had been adopted, but her sister “Sage” was still available. So I find “Sage” on the page. She is not golden, she does not have bright blue eyes. But there’s something about her that makes me say “yes. I’m definitely interested.” The more I look at this picture, I see mischief in her face.
I spoke directly with the Coordinator of the HVGB SPCA, and she tells me a little more about “Sage”. “She’s my favourite. She’s right spunky.” My application is approved, and plans are made for little “Sage” to make her way from the big land to St. John’s.
Myself and about five others are standing in the hanger at Provincial airlines. I stand, waiting nervously of how this will work out, with a bright pink leash in my hand. I’ve never owned my -own- dog before. Is she going to be timid, will she take to me, etc. Eventually, the receptionist tells us that we can go in and get our dogs. There are five kennels in the middle of the floor. Everyone leans over to greet their new family member and open the door. Slowly the dogs make their way out, tentatively saying hello. I lean over and see the little face looking up at me. I open the door, ready to greet this little puppy into my arms. Before I knew it, she bolts out of the cage, runs between my legs, and is now running around saying hello to everyone else and their dogs. And as much as I tried, I could not get her! She was so fast! So now I’m awkwardly trying to get this puppy to calm down and apologizing to everyone who’s dogs are being jumped on and forced to play. I finally get her on the leash and we are off.
I thought it would take a while for a puppy with this type of personality (spunky indeed.) to get used to me. She seemed so stubborn. But the minute we were in the car, she demanded to be in my lap. That afternoon at my parents house, she wouldn’t leave my side, and would follow me whenever I got up. It was instant.
Since then we’ve had many adventures, including a trip to the South Coast of Newfoundland, dog park adventures, playing on the beach, and walks around the neighbourhood. And while I loved the name “Sage,” it was too calm of a name for such a silly, energetic puppy. So the name “Maggie” was given to this ball of energy.
Since getting Maggie, a lot of things have changed. Maggie came into my life during a really hard year. And when the year went from bad to worse this past fall, she was a major part of what kept me going. No matter what kind of a day I was having or what new and unwanted surprises came my way, I came home to a wagging tail and puppy kisses. Maggie makes me smile when I feel like I’ve forgotten how to. I sincerely believe that having her around is what helped me break through the funk of last year. She’s annoying, and demanding, and really needs to stop chasing the cat. But she’s also loyal, hilarious, and a solid friend at the end of the day.
So happy first birthday Maggie! (And here’s to many more!)