Monday Maisieness – Jan. 2, 2022: Happy Birthday Maisie!

Of course, the date of her birth is only a guess. She was a rescue, and I told her story HERE. But she was in rough shape when she was rescued, having just had 6 puppies, no food or shelter in our Michigan winter, and having spent her life on a short chain that had started embedding into her neck. The first 2 photos show her right after her rescue…the 3rd photo was the day we picked her up…

We guessed Maisie’s age at about 14-15 months at the time of her rescue. Given her size and her teeth it was estimated that she was bred on her first heat. Her puppies were born approx. mid-March 2017; she was rescued March 31st. Because Jan. 2 has special significance to me, I arbitrarily chose that as the day we would celebrate her birthday. You can see the difference in size from her in the chair a few days after she came to live with us, and in that same chair once she was fully grown. She was just a pup herself when she had her litter – yet she was a fabulous Mama!

Things were….um….interesting during those first weeks with Maisie. Though she had a heart that was larger than life, was affectionate and loved people, she was nearly feral. It was evident she’d never lived in a house, as part of a family. We lived in a motorhome at the time and she definitely had some learning to do!

BUT we made it through those early weeks…then months…and once I had earned her trust she became the easiest dog (of many!) that I had ever trained. Her desire to please knew no bounds, and teaching her the ways I needed her to help me for her job as my service dog became some of the most satisfying times of any I’ve ever had with animals. She quickly honed her intuition as well, performing tasks I didn’t even realize I needed at times. She became, within a few months, absolutely brilliant at her job – and absolutely filled my heart. I’ve had lots of dogs – and other animals – but I never could have comprehended the bond that forms when working as a team with one. It is way more than just “love”…and there’s no way to describe it so I won’t even try.

Because Maisie was such a wild child I got her this vest so she’d have an excuse! People would nod in understanding rather than cluck in disapproval during those first months! We were living in a campground at the time, and were out walking the roads a LOT during her training. Rather than explain to new campers all the time, this was just easier…

You can take the dog out of the wild but it’s harder to take the wild out of the dog!

As Maisie came into her own after her nightmarish start in life, and her true colors started showing, she has loved me and amused me and made me laugh more times than I can count. She is a big dog – but her level of intelligence is bigger yet – and her personality is HUGE!

Over the years Maisie has more than proven how perfect she is for her life with me, and how dedicated she is! She’s dragged me home across several blocks when I was having an asthma attack…she’s shown her only aggression EVER when I was approached by someone who had just been released from prison (and later showed he hadn’t changed his ways)…she’s stayed glued to my side and helped me with everything when I’ve been bedridden with pain – without having to be asked…there is absolutely no way I can describe how perfectly suited this dog has been for my helper, partner, and companion for these last few years. I can only hope that by giving her a loving home, a great diet, a purpose, and my heart it has made up for what her life was before.

Happy 6th birthday my sweet Maisie-girl!

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