Everyday, Maggie and I head to the DogVacay headquarters for work. We spend all day posing for the camera, updating her Facebook page, and telling jokes. Just kidding, we work hard together (but she does do a great job serving as the DogVacay mascot). She’s a great co-worker and an even more amazing best friend, but she’s not your typical pal. Maggie is a Bichon Frise, Mini Poodle, Golden Retriever and Border Collie mix. She’s a funny dog – a real ham. She’s also a rescue dog.
I met Maggie at the North Central Animal Shelter in Los Angeles. Ever since the day I met her, she changed my life. She was just a little shaking ball of fur sitting in the back of the kennel looking up at me as if she knew she would be mine. I couldn’t believe someone would ever abandon a fur baby so beautiful. I scooped her up and took that little baby home with me and our lives have never been the same.
I have always loved animals. I’m certified to train all sorts of animal friends but I previously only worked with the bigger ones, from bears to tigers to horses. I had dogs growing up, and while I loved them all, none of them have had the same effect on me as my Maggie.
Maggie is my superhero. She wears many hats: she’s a therapy dog, a working movie dog, my best friend and an inspiration for many, which is pretty amazing for a pup who, in the shelter, was shaking and scared.
She now knows more than 100 commands, can ride a skateboard, do handstands and ride horses. My best days are spent with her.
Because of some of the amazing friends Maggie has made, my friend Brandise and I started a new project called “Working Like a Dog” – an in-progress coffee-table book to educate people about the various types and breeds of working and service dogs.
In hopes of showing people that service dogs are meant for more than just assisting the blind (and that working dogs are not limited to Golden Retrievers and Labs), our project seeks to educate people about the amazing things dogs can do, from detecting seizures to finding explosives for the military. Through our “Working Like a Dog” project we have sold calendars and donated that money to Los Angeles city shelters.
There is so much about Maggie that I am thankful for. She constantly makes my life so much brighter. My shelter dog has taught me about kindness, not judging people, giving everyone another chance and being happy. Together we have made some amazing friends and visited some great places.
Without her, I would have never met my best friends, and I wouldn’t have the desire to make this world a better place if she had never entered my life.
Maggie also reminds me that when life gets too stressful, throw a ball or take a stroll. I don’t know what I did to be so lucky to have Maggie in my life. I marvel at the things she teaches me and the ways my four-legged best friend lifts me up when I am down and alone.
I love her from the tufts of fur between her toes to her ever-changing pink button nose. I can’t bear to think that she won’t always be here, but in the meantime, this kiddo and I have a lot more places to go, smiles to bring, and people to educate about dogs and pets.
My dog may not be the world’s greatest, but she has forever changed my world in many great ways.