One of the luckiest decisions I ever made was to unlock the office door I'd just locked and return to answer a ringing phone. A friend at a vets office had only a few minutes to call before they were to put down a dog whose back legs were paralyzed. She wondered if we might adopt the dog.
This is the dog we called Maggie, who in 6 years became the beloved caretaker to the other special-needs cats and dogs who live as a family in our home:
Maggie adopted all the cats as if they were her puppies, and would groom them daily from head to toes. They loved her for it and would crawl up on her back to sleep. Here she is with Louis, a cat with a fatal storage disease:
Maggie eagerly took to her rehab and before long could get her back legs moving again. She loved to play with Pandora, a dog born with one eye and a heart defect:
Here's Danny, a cat with the calicivirus and eye problems, a survivor of pneumonia shortly after birth, sleeping while draped over Maggie:
Maggie and Gideon (found in the woods at 6 weeks old weighing less than 2 pounds, barely responsive, with a heart murmur, missing the end of his spine and his tail) are hanging out with (and on top of) Sirius, a dog with a progressive fatal disease (granulomatous meningoencephalitis):
Here's Maggie sleeping with Pandora and Ursa, an elderly blind and deaf dog:
Maggie developed cancer and received chemo which gave her an additional year with wonderful quality of life. The end came suddenly. After a day of play, her strength seemed to leave her and she could barely raise her head. She died in our arms. We miss her terribly.