Maggie Rose

If you happen to walk down Forest Street,
There is a Golden Retriever you’re sure to meet.
She might surprise you with an aggressive Hello,
But with a stuffed animal in her mouth she’s a sweetheart you know.
Her name is Maggie and she was born a Taurus,
Stubborn and proud she came to live before us.

There were times when she looked at you regal and gay,
And she said ‘you can’t catch me’ and then ran away.
Maggie Rose was the mascot of the neighborhood.
She taught all the kids to love dogs as only a golden could.
When it came to her diet anything was fair game.
Cat food was okay but chocolate cake was her claim to fame.

Tennis balls were her favorite and she had one for you,
Sometimes one in her mouth but more likely two.
The Rosebud was gentle and never did growl,
But when she heard a siren boy would she howl.
Her voice was pure and her singing was true,
So many octaves she would play for you.

Maggies tail is long and certainly able,
To take a swipe and clear off the table.
When she sleeps near the bed on the floor,
Like a truck driver she can loudly snore.
Sometimes a plant in the yard will turn brown.
Apparently Maggie has decided to dig out the ground.

Many battles Maggie has fought and many she’s won,
Ear hematoma, seizures and cancer she’s done.
People around the world she has taught to cope,
With her friend Lena and her herbs and her hope.
Three legs are better than four you describe,
Been there, done that, I’m a member of that tribe.

So now my time has come I’m sorry to say.
I’ve made so many friends I’ve met along the way,
Abbie, Rainy, Jax, Charlie, Bullits, Oscar and Pam,
Joey, Jeff, Dr. Tripp, Dr. Waterhouse and VCM.
Life is a journey and my path has been fun,
And in the arms of my Mom a new one I’ve begun.

So now when you’re walking down Forest Street,
Maggie Rose you can no longer greet,
But to her people who miss her to no end,
Please stop and say you knew her as your friend.
For that Golden Retriever that so soon did depart,
Will always have a special place in our heart.

-Jeff Leach

Written in memory of Maggie Rose by her loving human dad. Maggie has inspired people and animals all around the world with her story. We will all miss her. Please click on Maggie’s name to read her story.

Thank you Kathy Crabbe for using creative commons to license your beautiful art so I could share it here.

5 Responses to “Maggie Rose”

  1. Jeff Leach Says:

    I am Maggie’s human dad Jeff. I seem to have a need to write sappy poems when I lose a pet. Somehow writing a few details of Maggie’s personality helps get me through the grieving process. I have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of support we have received. Even one of our substitute mail carriers brought a gift with a card signed by all our delivery people expressing their love of Maggie. Very touching!!
    When Maggie was first diagnosed with cancer she was given a life expectancy of 6-12 months even with treatment. Pam (Maggie’s mom) and I just started doing what we thought best. We changed her diet from conventional dog food to cooking a high protein low carb diet. Maggie got pot roast, green beans, snap peas, and sweet potatoes. I think I have cooked 600 roasts in the last 6 years and probably won’t be able to eat pot roast for a long time now. We also came to know Dr. McCullough who provided herbs and acupuncture. For some reason something worked for Maggie as she outlived all expectations. We would make an appointment for the vet and we would frequently hear “Oh she’s still alive”. Since something worked and we did not know what accounted for Maggie’s survival we were afraid to change anything so we just kept everything the same.
    Maggie’s mom has the most natural and sincere ability to talk to animals that I have ever seen. She gives them all nick names and sings to them and the animals just light up. Pam would frequently bring stuffed animals home for Maggie and Maggie would just know when there was something new for her. I was behind Pam one day when she didn’t know I was there and she had just given Maggie a new stuffed lamb. I heard her singing so naturally “Maggie has a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb”. It was the most clever and natural thing I have seen. My point on all this is that talking to your pets seems to bring them tremendous joy and Maggie has been blessed by having Pam for a mom.
    If I were to speculate on what made Maggie live 5 years longer than expected, the diet, the herbs and the acupuncture were important but don’t underestimate the importance of talking to your pets. Communicating with them just seems to make then shine!

  2. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Thank you Jeff for adding your comments.

    I’ll take your comments about talking to your pets one step further. One of the things I have found in common with all the animals I have worked with who have outlived every prognosis out there is how they are viewed in their family. All these animals have a very important and central place in their families and are valued for how much they bring to those that love them. They have a role and a job and know they are important. When they get sick they are cared for because they are loved not because their people feel like they need to do it. I think we all live better when we are loved and valued and feel like we have a purpose. There is so much more to health than science can ever explain. I think a large reason Maggie lived so long was because she knew she was important and loved:-)

  3. Mimi Says:


    It is with great sadness and emotion that I read your elegy for Maggie.
    Without Lena’s precious advice and Maggie’s story, we would definitively not have made the choice to amputate our Binny. She is doing well at 3 months post op.
    Like Pam, I made up little songs, the ‘’SanSheDan ChuanBeiYe song” is her favorite.

    Binny used to be a very timid, submissive dog, and we had accepted that. She has had a very rough time before her rescue. To our astonishment, Binny changed completely since her amputation; she gained confidence, and turned into a gentle bully, it is a pleasure to watch her harass the rest of the gang without hesitation. They are all willing to play the game and are very tolerant towards her.
    This is exactly it, she feels important now.

    My thoughts are with you.

  4. MaggieMom Says:

    I cannot believe that my girl has been gone for 3 months! It was a tremendous loss for us. After her surgery in 2007 I knew that every day with her was a gift. A gift that turned into over 4 extra years with her! I learned that there is more than “traditional” medical care out there for our pets and for ourselves. I have met people that have rolled their eyes at the extremes that we went through for her. I would do it all over again!!

    I miss tripping over her at the front door, her howling at the sirens flying down Admiral Way, her staring at me while I ate ANYTHING!! The dog smell of her, her soft fur & cold nose.

    Think about taking on another Golden. Not to replace Maggie Rose, but to add some love and energy to our family! The cats need to learn to share their house with another critter. I can fall in love with another pup & still feel Maggie in my heart, forever…

  5. Lena Says:

    Thank you Pam for your heartfelt message. It is very true that you Maggie will always be in your heart even if you get another pup. I miss her also.