Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Very Special Package

Hi everyone.  It's me, Mitch.  I guess I don't have to say that anymore because it's just me now.
I have been missing My Maggie a lot.  I've been getting lots of extra hugs and kisses and even extra treats and it's very nice but I still wish I had My Maggie here with me.

My Maggie had a very special stuffie that she called Baby and Baby has been put away up on a high shelf for a long time so that she wouldn't be destroyed.  Baby already has a huge bandaid around her tummy and that has chew marks on it too.
 Baby has been a great comfort to me.  I promised mom that I wouldn't do anything to hurt her and she believes me.  She smells like My Maggie!

A very special package arrived at my house yesterday afternoon.
 The package was from Miss Elaine.  When My Maggie wasn't eating her breakie with enthusiasm and it was really whigging mom out,  Miss Elaine told mom that she had a plan and that she was going to send something that My Maggie couldn't possibly refuse and it would make her gobble her breakie right up.
What do you think it is, Baby?
 It's tripe!!!!!   I've heard wonderful things about this stuff!
Mom feels so badly.  In all of My Maggie's 13.5 years, she never had tripe - not even once and now she'll never get to taste it here on earth.  I hope they have lots of it at The Rainbow Bridge!
Thank you so much, Miss Elaine.  I promise I won't let it go to waste.  I will eat every bit of it and think of My Maggie and wish that we could have shared it together.
You are the best friend ever!

Once again, mom and dad and I want to thank all of you so very much for your wonderful support through this very difficult time.  We can feel your love and it helps us all immensely. 

Love ya lots,
Your friend,

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Dad's Tribute

My dad loved Maggie very much and he wanted us to post his tribute to her.
He sent a note out to let his timber framers know of her passing.  Please get a comfortable spot and grab a cup of coffee. This will be a long posting. 

Around this time yesterday, we brought our AireGirl, Maggie, to the New Haven animal hospital. We had made the hard decision that we knew was the right decision and our dear sweet Maggie was put to sleep.  We discovered a tumor in her mouth on Christmas day. For the past month, we tried our hardest to make her life special and in return, she let us know what a special girl she was.  Maggie came home to the House at Pooh Corner here in Northford, Connecticut, the first week in September in 1998. She was 7 weeks old.  Melissa left a few days later for her senior year in college.  We were just finishing up the barn project in Windham.  From the day we brought Maggie home, I had the sense that she was a special girl.  She looked like something out of a cartoon and she acted that way too. As much as she made me smile, I always noticed that she was smiling too.  She always had a smile on her face and happy eyes.   
I took 2 weeks off in mid-October when she was 12-weeks old.  I had a task in front of me.  I had made an agreement with Charles Crump to build new doors for the end of his barn. In return, I would be able to store lumber there.  So while Sue was at work, Maggie was with me – literally beginning her life hanging around, playing and making mischief in a 200 year old barn.  She barked at the geese that flew overhead; she chased butterflies and bees; she ran through the hay and rolled in the dirt and we delivered truckload after truckload of boards to Crump’s barn.  She used to sit next to me in the front of my ’87 red F-150. She used to lean against me like a bottle of milk and as many times as I looked down at her, she looked back at me.   A few months later, the calendar turned to 1999. We spent the entire year, Sue and Maggie and me, building the 17th Century frame as an addition onto my workshop. She was alongside of us making mischief every minute that we worked.   
In November of ’99, I was diagnosed as being in heart failure.  Throughout the year of 2000, I was in denial as we watched my brother, Jon, battle and lose his battle to cancer.  In June of ’01, I retired from work and began the process of being listed for a heart transplant.  On my first day home from work, we took on the job of building a small timber frame barn for Don and Donna. Such a struggle the summer of ’01 was!  It seemed each day it was harder and harder for me to breathe. Maggie was by my side as we worked on this project and each day for lunch, when I would lay down to rest, it became our routine that she would lay down with me.  As I look back now, it seems that Maggie carried us along – me and Sue and the work we were doing. She was always with us and she was always involved in something.  Almost until the end of ’04, our lives continued this way.  Maggie was with Sue the morning that they found the card, which was the six of hearts, laying in the road only hours after my heart transplant, which was on November 6th. Through the literally hundreds of doctor appointments and 30+ heart catheterizations and heart biopsies – through hundreds of trips to Yale, pre and post transplant, the one thing I could count on was when I returned home and opened our back door, she was there waiting for me with a happy face and a smile.  It would be hard to explain how it felt for me to return home to the House at Pooh Corner with my donor’s heart having lived through such a challenge.  I remember how good her fur felt and her cold black nose. He tail just about knocked me over.  I was home safe and alive with our Maggie.   
Maggie was a familiar face at many barn raisings – Don’s and Gene’s and the Miller barn and the Dudley Farm and Paul Sanderson and Ross Goodhue and Mike and Lauren, Todd and Tim - she was such a part of our lives.    
Maggie went to Nantucket for the first time on her first birthday. We had the good fortune of returning back to that special cottage many more times with Maggie. Some of our best memories ever are being on Nantucket with Maggie and then when there was 4 of us when Mitch came along.
We dismantled Crump’s barn in the summer of 2008.  I used to say to Sue all the time – I will be a happy man when Maggie can lay in front of a fire in the fireplace inside of the barn where she started her life with me.  That dream and that vision came true on more than one occasion – most recently last week, when Maggie laid on a quilt alongside of Mitch on a quilt in front of a blazing fire in Crump’s restored barn while I warmed my backside and worked on an Oliver bandsaw.  I sat on the floor next to her, stared into the fire and I thanked God for the moment that we were having.  Maggie loved most everyone.  She especially loved her human sister and Gene Jones and Uncle Phil.   Most of all, Maggie loved her mom.  She adored her.  She was never secure if her mom wasn’t around.  If she was gone, she waited and she watched for her return.   
Maggie had several doggie buddies – Charley, her cousin Jenna, Putter and hundreds of dogs on her dog blog throughout the world. Maggie mostly loved her best buddy – her Golden Retriever friend, Molly Bruce. They walked 2 miles every day together for all of the years that I waited for my miracle. This may be hard to understand and to some it may seem impossible but Maggie changed my life. She changed our lives.  She was a spirited, sassy, energetic, playful clown who loved living.  We had so many adventures with her.  She truly cared for and loved her little brother, Mitch.  The two of them were bonded and after Mitch came along, the four of us have shared many, many adventures.  Our lives have seemed to revolve around them but it’s Maggie who changed us.   An Airedale is a curious creature – not for everyone.  If you are fortunate enough to bond with one, it’s a very special friendship and that’s what we had with our Maggie.  
 In her final moments yesterday, I thanked her for all she has done for us and I thanked her for believing in me and waiting for me to come home each time that I have left.
If you knew Maggie, you know that she always had something to say. She was a loudmouth!  We used to laugh at her sitting, with her head up, facing Heaven and barking away.  She had a way to do it where her lips would take the shape of an “O” and somehow she’d look like she was yodeling.  You always knew where Maggie was because she was making noise.  You always knew when anything was going on anywhere around you because she was telling you so.  Over the years, I got to realize that it was more than just being a nuisance.  I started to hear her messages. She was saying, “Hey, can’t you see that I am Maggie - Can’t you see that I am an Airedale and hey, can’t you see that I want to be your friend – that I just want you to say hi to me and hey, look at me – listen to what I’m saying. I am Maggie, can’t you see that! And Hey, can’t you see that I’m telling you thank you, thank you for helping my dad while he is so sick. Can’t you see that’s why I am barking.  It’s me, I am Maggie. Thank you for helping my mom get through all of this – thank you for being our friends – thank you for visiting my playground, my dad’s workshop, The Temple and hey, I am Maggie, I am your friend. I don’t want you to forget me. Can’t you see that it’s time for me to go.  Can’t you see that I have had a perfect life for an Airedale girl. Wait – I think I see the rainbow.  I do see the rainbow. It’s just on the other side of this Bridge. Hey, can’t you see that I, me, Maggie, I have to go.  I have to cross this bridge but hey, please don’t worry about me. I will be on the other side after I cross over. I will be barking at geese and chasing butterflies, bees and romping around in some hay in an old barn and rolling in the dirt and hey, I will be here waiting.  I will wait for as long as it takes for my family to come and hey, I’m Maggie – I’m on the other side now.  I’m going to spend a lot of time now listening, and hey, I’m going to listen for the sound of an Indian motorcycle. I know it will come and hey, it’s going to be my dad and maybe my brother Mitch will be in one of those tan saddlebags. Can’t you see that I am Maggie. Can’t you see that our lives have crossed and can’t you see that we have touched and can’t you see that I love you all so much and I will wait for all of you and hey, can’t you see that we’re still going to have another barn raising on the other side of this Rainbow Bridge and hey, please don’t ever forget me. I am Maggie. Yup, Maggie from Northford!"

Please forgive me for my fantasy.  I heard what Maggie was saying and she was saying all of these things. She never wanted us to forget her.  Our hearts are broken. We have enjoyed nearly 14 years in the presence of a wonderful Airedale Terrier named Maggie.  I named Maggie. Sue named Mitch.  M-n-M.  When I came home for the hospital last night, Mitch was laying on the hearth still and silent laying next to one food dish where there used to be two. He had Maggie’s pink pig clutched in his paws with his head resting on it.  He just looked at me. 
When we leashed Maggie up to head to the animal hospital, I could feel my complexion go white.  My heart sank and I had too big of a lump in my throat to swallow.  I couldn’t breathe.  I was thinking to myself – she doesn’t know where she’s going and Mitch doesn’t know that he will never see her again.  It felt cruel. It may sound strange but how is it fair that we have control over these wonderful animals and how could anyone ever be mean or abuse such a good friend. When our back door closed with Mitch inside, I could feel my heart breaking for Mitch and for Maggie, for Sue and for myself. 
Thank you all for being a part of our lives and thank you all for being in Maggie’s presence.

This picture is of Maggie and me when she was 12 weeks old. This is how she and I both looked when she was beginning to understand the greatness of hanging around at Crump’s barn. 

Maggie and Mitch welcoming me home on April 10th of last year.  My spirits were down.  My strength was low but my determination was renewed when my 2 Airedales, Maggie and Mitch, welcomed me home and pledged to share some of their Terrier spunk and spirit with me until I got back on my feet.

Your friend,

We want to thank all of you for your heartfelt comments and for all of the emails and cards and facebook comments and for all of the touching tributes. We appreciate them more than you will ever know.
Yesterday was a very tough day for us but we got through it because we were together.

Love ya lots,
Mitch, mom, dad and angel Maggie

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Precious Girl

I just wanted to let you all know that my sweet girl is gone.
Maggie had the saddest look in her eyes yesterday and every time that I looked at her, she was staring at me with those sad tired eyes and I knew that it was time.
George and I held her close and kissed her and told her how much we loved her and that we were going to miss her so very much as the fluid was injected into her IV.   She never closed her eyes.  That's Maggie - never wanting to miss a thing!

Good-by, my precious girl.  I will always love you, forever and ever.

Wings are not only for the birds above
for God gifted you with a dog to love

He knew the love that you could give
for he knew the perfect place for that dog to live

and as you have a void that can't be filled
remember that your memories can't be killed.

The love you gave to your four legged friend
is a gift of love that will help you to mend.

Love from above will always be felt
as the wings are added your heart will melt

When you are feeling low
you will still have a place to go

for you can always talk and share
with a friend who will always be there.

Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I'll miss you until we meet again!

We love you, Maggie - now and forever
Mom, dad and Mitch

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Dining Room Project


And after~~

Mom decided that to stencil would have been too much of a good thing.  We were so hoping to see Airedales running along the ceiling!

So until next time............

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Thursday, January 26, 2012

True Colors Thursday - Tomato Red

We're playing True Colors with Reilly and Denny again this week.
This week's color is

Mom is thawing fresh tomato sauce out for this weekend's pasta dindin. Those tomatoes were grown in our garden this summer!  yummm
 Can you see the tomato red on our taco that Jazzi made us?
 The twist~
We didn't have tomato soup in a can so we used tomato paste in a can.

The tomato paste treat machine!

That was fun! We can't wait for next week! 
Come on, guys - play along - it's fun!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A New Brand

Hi guys - it's me, Mitch.
Mom bought me a new kind of kibble. I've never had Taste of the Wild before.

I have a meal partner. Thanks for joining me in the kitchen, Maggie.  It's beats dindin in bed, don't you think?
 That's yummy kibble! I like it!
Mom says I get to have it again!  I like that idea!
What brand of kibble do you eat?
So until next time............

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Maggie

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What a difference...........

A day makes~~

What happened to all of our snow?

 So until next time...........

Love ya lots,
Miss Maggie

Monday, January 23, 2012

Enjoying Our Snow

I, Mitch, got to go adventuring with mom this morning.  She said walkies were too dangerous on the black ice roads so we stuck to our snow-covered yard. We have a bridge that leads over our brook and across to the small pond area.  It's fun over here!

 It was in the teens and the wind chill was keeping the temperature right around zero. 
This water sure looks cold!
When Mitch came home, it was my turn for a walkie. 
Just to let you know - mom did not make my coat.  Katie and Sparky's mom did.  Mom appliqued the Airedales on there but my beautiful coat was made by Miss Linda, who is Katie and Sparky's mom. 

 Mom and I checked out the water fowl.   Everybody looks happy for these super cold temps!
That crazy looking contraption is our bubbler.  It keeps the water defrosted so that the ducks, geese and swans have open water to drink and swim in and it's also for their protection just in case a fox comes to visit. 
 Even the black swans are happy!  Dad says that they stick their long necks in the snow pile and come out with it all over their faces - just like we do!

 This is leftover pizza. 
Last night, we had company and when the table was cleared, somebody placed the leftover pizza in its original box, too close to the edge of the kitchen counter. 
You know where we're going with this, right. 
I, Mr Mitch - the non-countersurfer, had the time of my life helping myself to a whole piece of pizza - all to myself! 
Maggie wasn't even in the kitchen so she had no clue that a robbery was even taking place!
 Mom forgave me.  I got a pizza bone!
 And I, Miss Maggie, have to tell you that breakfast in bed never tasted so good with pizza bits sprinkled on top of my meal!  I may have turned fussy about a lot of foods but pizza is definitely not one of them!
So until next time..............

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Have Snow

Our weatherman predicted three to 6 inches of snow and guess what?  He was wrong.  We got a good 9 inches of the fluffy cold white stuff!

Don't you like snow anymore, Maggie?
 Don't you want to tuckbuttrun and stick your face in the snow and plow it?
 I do!
 I'm thrilled to see snow!  I love everything about it!
 Come on, Maggie.  I'll help you. I want us to play together!
 Not today, huh?  Maybe tomorrow?
I do still like the snow, Mitch but I'd rather gaze at it quietly and peacefully by myself.   It's a senior girl's prerogative, ya know!

So until next time...........

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jury Duty

Mom has jury duty coming up and it's not one of her most favoritest things to do so she asked me if I wanted to go in her place.

What are the qualifications for jury service?
A prospective juror must be:
  1. A United States citizen - I was born in Missouri so I'm a US citizen.
  2. A resident of the county - yup - New Haven county.
  3. At least 18 years old - I'm 5 years old so 5 times 7 is 35.  I'm of age!
  4. Able to communicate in the English language - Of course!  Mom taught me all of the important words that I need to know, cookie being the most important!
  5. Physically and mentally capable of serving - what do you guys think?  I hear lots of BOL so I think that means yes!     
It says here in the juror booklet that I can bring my own lunch.  I can do that!

And it says to please dress appropriately.  
  I'm happy to help you out so that you can hand feed Maggie breakie in bed, mom!

Yer favorite son,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

True Colors Thursday

We're back to play True Colors with Blue again.  This week's color is primrose yellow!

The perfect choice!  Our primrose rug that mom bought years ago on Nantucket at the Claire Murray shop!

 Inside this bag is a hand knitted gift for a very special friend who is going to have a baby in May.  shhhhhhhhhh - it's a secret~
 We haven't taken pictures inside the doll house in so long. That's because it's dusty and mom needs to dust it.  The problem is that she hates to dust and to get her to dust our house is like pulling toofies but to dust the doll house.............. yikes!
 Is it spring yet?
 Another block from the Home At Last Airedale quilt. 

Did you guys know that Reilly and Denny have started a True Colors blog!  Well, they have and we are thrilled about this!
They're going with the color celestial blue this week.

Mom took this picture at the end of September. These leaves were stuck in a spider's web.
This red ware plate seems to be celestial blue.
 The Home at Last celestial blue sky~ 

So until next time..............

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch