About seven years ago, a friend messaged and said she was rescuing a Great Dane puppy. She knew we already had one Dane, so she immediately thought of us. Up until that point, we hadn’t thought of getting a second dog, but nonetheless, we agreed to pray about it and let her know.
Less than 72 hours later, the puppy was home with us, named Maggie, and 100% attached to The Boy. He was immediately her person.
For the next 5 years, no matter where he went, she went. They were always touching – even when sleeping.
This dog was the sweetest dog I have ever met. She had not a single mean bone in her body. She also didn’t have the most wrinkly of brains. She relied heavily on her good looks.
She was EVERYTHING for The Boy: She helped him adjust as we moved across the country. She was with him when he struggled making friends. She didn’t judge when he made bad choices, and she greeted him at the door with pure love, no matter what he had endured throughout the day.
She kept his secrets, sat patiently waiting when he was distracted by video games, and she always came running if he said her name from anywhere in the house.
And then, one day. We found the mean bone in her body.
It was her leg – filled with cancer and the tumor was about the size of a baseball and growing rapidly. Amputation was an option, but the likelihood of her developing cancer again somewhere else was pretty high, AND she was considered on the older end for a Great Dane, which means the recovery and re-learning to walk, etc., would have been tough on her.
We took her for cheeseburgers, and a quick walk on the beach (she was limping pretty badly – and if you zoom in on her front leg you can see the tumor).
We gave her pain meds, and let her rest.
A few days later, it was time to go to her final resting place, and we took her to the vet. I still think about just how READY she was to go.
She had served her boy and she had done what he needed her to do. He had started at a new school and he’d completely turned his life around. She knew he was going to be okay, and we had to let her be okay too.
That said, I still bawl every time I see her pictures – and it’s been over a year.
My good friend is a Great Dane breeder, but I never felt the need to get a puppy. Maggie could never be replaced.
Until about six months ago.
I don’t know what changed, but all of us felt the shift. It was time for a second, and our breeder was due for pups around The Boy’s birthday. We talked to The Boy and I was surprised to hear how ready he was.
I was also surprised when he picked a baby that looked somewhat similar to Maggie. While Maggie was Blue Merle, and this new baby was a Blue Harlequin, they were somewhat similar looking.
The craziest part isn’t even how much they look alike, but rather how much they act alike.
No matter what The Boy is doing, Reagan wants to be right there with him.
So much so, that last night, after The Boy passed out on the floor, Reagan wiggled her big ol’ body under the table, and used the metal leg as a pillow just so she could be close.
His hand naturally found his way to her back because they have to be touching.
Eventually she scooted her self into the position she wanted most – as close as possible.
And while Maggie will always be one of kind, Reagan is proof that love never ends.