All of our dogs have had names starting with M. First there was Muffin, a black terrier mix we got from the pound. She was our baby until our first child was born, but she weathered being replaced pretty well and was a good dog. Then we had Magnolia, a chow mix, whom we got from a friend. They had a litter of new puppies, and when we went to see them, she followed us out the driveway. We had to take her home! Her best friend was our border collie neighbor Boomer, who would come and sit at our house when we got home until “Maggie” could come out to play.
There was an unfortunate time with a dog we called Molly, who was just not right. We couldn’t manage her, and so took her back to the people we got her from. Hopefully it turned out well.
Then we got Megan. We got her as a puppy, and she and our two children grew up together. She was large (about 125 pounds) but very gentle, and she would wag her tail in time to the music as my husband would sing songs about her.
The neighbor’s dog Annie was old when we got Megan, but having a puppy around seemed to give her new life. I give Annie full credit for all of Megan’s good habits – she learned them from the patient teacher who seemed to treat Megan like one of her own.
Megan’s retriever instinct caused her to bring home many interesting things – a construction worker’s lunch, an assortment of neighbors’ shoes that they had left in their open garages, and various critters from her hunts (or someone else’s). We would put the shoes on top of our brick mailbox and when the neighbors spotted something they recognized, they would stop and pick it up. Once the college student next door was home for the holidays and she questioned her mother why we would put a cowboy boot on our mailbox. “What kind of decoration is that?” she asked. Her mom explained, and then the next day it was the same college student who came to retrieve that boot – and now its mate – when she realized it belonged to her.
But Megan really did have the best manners (thanks, Annie), and she never demanded much. She knew how to play and also how to be still, and she loved us with all her good, sweet heart. She was the best, best dog.
Like many large dogs, she had arthritis and in time she was unable to walk. She did the best she could for as long as she could, but eventually she couldn’t even stand. She gave us all she had and we had to let her go. We still miss her to this day.
There’s another dog after Megan – another M name, in fact, another Maggie. But that’s a story for another day.