Confessions Of A Proudly Broken Man

A man who weeps for his dog, he is a man with a shattered heart. In him beats a heart far better because she tracked her lovely way through.

August 26, at 2:15, I lay on the floor of a bereavement room and said sodden goodbyes to Maggie, a golden retriever just slightly small for the breed. A beautiful nonconformist with a sun-size soul. It was merciful for her, this goodbye. Easy and tender for her. Excruciating for me. Yet that’s part of the deal I made with her when I drove through the Georgia fog to adopt her spirit into mine. To bring her bounding through the doors of our life.

For all the hope Maggie gave us — ever brave and kind — science finally had its say that morning. The ultrasound images spoke out loud what Mag’s recent times had whispered into our rattled hearts. Her body was laced with cancer. Of the hopeless kind that pulls a young, vital, happy girl into the swamps of sickness and courageous suffering. It came on hard and fast, out of a chill dark we scarcely had time to know we were living in until the light left her eyes. Her head trusted my arm as she left this wilderness life.

My arm held strong. My soul did not.

I am proud to say I am broken by all this. Shattered. Withered into little shards of grief. Each a jagged little shrapnel piece of what used to be. I am yanked off the shores of my manhood, washed away on the tears of a wounded little boy. And, yes, I am proud. Proud of this. I am glad to say she so affected, loved, and changed me. I’m a stronger man because I have wept this day like choirs of women and children. It’s a downpour of love. A waterfall. I so loved her. I love her still. It will not stop.

But please don’t think me weakened. That sick young girl has taught me otherwise. From her I learned anew this truth: There is no stronger man than one who has so loved and lost and wept for so good a dog. Been shouldered through life and death by the dog who seems wired into the heart of God. There is no stouter man than one who cries aloud for so great a soul in so small a vessel.

Maggie swims this outflow of my grief. As I write this without her here, the hollows of my heart flood with a lonesomeness. One like no other. My hand longs for her. I crave to hear her drawing the breath of our house, asleep only steps from my sleeping. Waking me at 4 am with her dreaming — the rem-sleep fun of her slumber land. Yes, gone from this place, she is. Gone, and I will weep a very long while for her. Trying to drown the bottomless hurt of her absence.

But as I do, she is present.

She is!

Maggie, like our great Savannah (her cousin we lost to cancer years ago), is a present tense. Alive and more than well within me. After I put her down, I drove home through the prisms of grief, and I walked to the field where Mags and I shared many a ball game, romp and tender chat. I found the place way too still, quiet, and yet there she was. Death no match for the fact she had been there. A field made sacred by a God-made good dog.

Once such a dog has been where you are, she remains. She is.

Please pray for us, wherever you are, no matter your faith. This was harder than putting down Savannah. And that was torment, losing her to merciful death. Maggie was just a few quick days from her 5th birthday. Only 5. Just a girl. A chip of a lass. I feel like a highway patrolman knocked on my door at 3:30 in the morning with that news that throws jarring hot rocks through a parent’s heart. For the much-too-soon day of my girl’s ending, I was not ready. Not braced. I thought I had ten more years with her. Right now I ache out loud here for another ten minutes.

Yet I am a man fresh from a stout dose of heaven. Maggie looked at me in her last moments of this life, and what came up in her eyes said all is not just well, it’s way more than well. Thank you, my daddy, for helping me. For loving me as you have, so much in so little time. I am to be well, and I’ll stream through the breaks in your heart, just after I’m gone, and long after. That’s what the look said. Her quiet eloquence. If you’ve witnessed such a look, you know.

In that look, God reminds me that perhaps dogs live so short a time because they just need less of it. Life takes them less time to fulfill what love and grace and fun really are, and what life is for.

But reader, do pray for me and pray for Jill, my wife, who heroically removed the toys, the beds, the empty places that helped me come back to a house that would break my heart less. It was so beautiful an act of love. One Jill has twice done now. I love her for this, and for being the kind of woman who can harbor the love of a girl so good as Mags. Pray for us, for we are deeply broken, down in that place where the love of good dogs is made, and stored, and lives on.

And as you pray, resolve to live, big. Run from all that’s regretful and coarse. Haul your wagging tail away from anything that is not love. Golden retrievers do. In this, they are better than we are. In this, Maggie made, and makes, me a better man.

Amid all this hurt, a dear friend far away reminded me to rest in my humanness. Weep into the sackcloth of her absence. I am no fit company for anyone in the hours just after that goodbye, and that’s as life is. Yet I am so thankful for the love that rains out of a world of people who understand the love of such a dog. I stand under its balm, even now. Lonesome as a desert. Sawed to my quick with a hurt I didn’t know a man was able to feel. Yet God abides with me. So many of you have spent your breath speaking and writing love to Jill and me. In this, God own tonic is made. We are healed. And this makes us family. Mags belongs to all of us. Our matriarch.

Yet now, I must speak another kind of farewell. I’ve wound my way through these serpentine thoughts to the one I have dreaded to lay before you. Hating the finality of it, yet knowing it is essential to the epitaph. So hard to utter, but I must say it here, as I whispered it to my girl at 2:15 on that August afternoon:

Goodnight sweet Margaret River. Aka Maggie. Aka Mags. Your short night of sickness is over. Rush to the gold dawn. Run for the day that lasts. Full of fun and boundless love, run. Rush to God. You strong, fearless, princess of a tomboy girl, who ran miles at my feet through this life. Run, girl! You good, good girl! Run for our eternal life!

I’ll be along, soon enough. Both of us, when it’s our time. And there, we’ll all run again.

Thrive on, in sweet mercy and peace, Mags.
So Good. So Loved. So Brief Was Your Blooming

Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet, we celebrate God, whose ways are truth.

I dedicate this essay to the people of Cleveland Park East Animal Hospital and Upstate Veterinary Specialists, whose love and compassion healed us, even in the face of incurable disease. They managed Maggie’s suffering with majestic compassion and mercy. They know our illness of grief so terribly well. They have treated it, and us, with hands of a great love and dignity. To all who care so for animals and those who adore them, great tides of love to you.


89 Responses to “Confessions Of A Proudly Broken Man”

  1. I know your pain and could feel it rising as I read this. I lost my Schnauzer to cancer and it was the most heart-wrenching pain I have ever felt! I have tried to describe to people who say, “it was just a dog…” but was never able to put into the words the pain! There are no words and I as read this, I wept for you, for me, and for anyone else who has ever had to experience this. It is true that dogs only need to be here a short time to show their love and gratitude! They are the closest thing to Heaven here on earth! I will keep you and your wife in my thoughts…

  2. Simply Beautiful…….

  3. So sorry to hear about Mags, my heart goes out for you and Jill.b

  4. Van Bowen Says:

    Michael and Jill,

    I am truly sorry for your loss, I also know words cannot heal your hurt. But I without a doubt, I believe that GOD gave us animals to show the human race what unconditional love really is and as an example as to how we should be living our lives. Mags was a disciple of GOD sent to you from heaven to showed you how to love unconditionally. All of us could learn a few lessons from our animals. I will pray that GOD and Mags will hold you both close during this difficult time that you are enduring and to cherish all the memories that she has left you with! May Peace Be With You Both. God Bless….

  5. We had to say good-bye to our Maggie, a shih tzu who we lost in January. She was the “baby” of the family, one who loved us all unconditionally. I miss her everyday and my heart hurts for you in your loss. I understand and yes, I will be praying. They are not just dogs, they ARE a member of the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers, Michael and Jill. . .

  6. Jacque Holliday Says:

    I’m sorry Michael and Jill. God Bless you and comfort you.

  7. Gods speed to you both. May your sorrow be quickly replaced by sweet sweet memories of your precious girl ! Praying for you.

  8. We wondered about sweet Maggie’s graying — but didn’t realize what she was battling… we’ll miss seeing her in the neighborhood. Our sincere condolences. We’ll pray for God’s comfort for you and Jill.

  9. p.s. do you know Dan Forrest’s beautiful anthem set to Johanna Anderson’s utterly profound text?

    (found on

    Choral Praise – “Lord of the Small”
    Lyrics by Johanna Anderson; Music by Dan Forrest
    Dedicated to Erin Buenger, 1997-2009, who remained an “unapologetic enthusiast,” despite the nueroblastmo that claimed her young life.

    Praise to the Lord of the small, broken things,
    Who sees the poor sparrow that cannot take wing,
    Who loves the lame child, and the wretch in the street,
    Who comforts their sorrows and washes their feet.

    Praise to the Lord of the faint and afraid,
    Who girds them with courage and lends them His aid;
    He pours out His Spirit on vessels so weak
    That the timid can serve and the silent can speak.

    Praise to the Lord of the frail and the ill,
    Who heals their afflictions, or carries them till
    They leave this tired frame and to paradise fly,
    To never be sick, never to die.

    Praise Him, O praise Him, all ye who yet live,
    Who’ve been given so much and can so little give.
    Our frail, lisping praise God will never despise;
    He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes.

  10. Janice Blanton Says:

    Michael, I’m so sorry for your loss of Maggie. I don’t think anyone is weak who grieves for the loss of a loved one. Our pets bring so much into our lives. They fill a void and make our lives complete. You have lost a beloved family member. Take the time to grieve and remember het always. For when we remember them they are never really gone, just waiting for us on the other side. God bless you and your family at this time. Please keep us posted…Sincerely, Janice Blanton

  11. you have managed to eloquently say what so many have gone through and felt as they have said their goodbyes to their best, most faithful friends. my heart breaks for you and your wife. my husband and i received a call while we were out of town from our vet to tell us that our sweet bassett hound, clyde, was very sick. they found a mass on his spleen that was malignant and he was in a lot of pain. we had to make the long distance decision to let him go–without us there. as hard as it was for you, be ever grateful for those moments that you were able to hold her on monday as she ran towards God. she was blessed to be so loved. May God bless you and bring you comfort as you grieve.

  12. Concentrated Effort

    Thank you for the blog post. Jones and I happen to be saving to get a new publication on this topic and your blog post has made us to save all of our money.

  13. Michael, so very sorry for your loss! I know well that sorrow as I lost my Precious the same day, but could never have expressed it so eloquently! Prayers for you and Jill!

  14. Susan Parnell Says:

    We feel your pain. We still miss our baby girl, Mollee, who left us 3 years ago. She is now running with Maggie, waiting for us at Rainbow Bridge. As her marker on her grave says, Gone from our arms but not from our hearts. May God give you His peace and be thankful for your 5 years of memories.

  15. Susan Seigler Says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Only other animal lovers can truly understand the profound grief that you feel when you lose a furry family member. I know no words can ease your grief, but know there are many of us out here that understand!!! I know your girl will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. I also know that she can still feel the love that was so beautifully expressed in this tribute to her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  16. Melinda Kirkley Says:

    I, too, know what it’s like to lose a dog. I’ve lost 3 in my lifetime. The first was my dog, Blackie. I had had her for 16 beautiful years before she had to be put down because of heartworms. The other two were my beautiful Beagle puppies, Spike and Scooter. They were only five months old, but contracted parvo. My husband and I nursed them and thought they were getting better, but it was not to be. Both of them slipped away during the night. This was two years ago. We think of them often and still cry over their deaths. We still have three dogs from that litter. One had parvo, and we thought we were going to lose him, too, but thankfully he survived. He has brain damage from it, though. Two other ones, Bear and Baby Girl, never showed signs of having the awful disease. I thank God everyday that they survived. I know how quickly it all can change and cherish every day God allows us to care for them. Through the pups’ deaths, I have learned to take nothing for granted and to be thankful for everything.

  17. Donna Briody Says:

    I wept aloud reading your words, as I hold my beloved Heidi in my arms, who is facing her finality of life…her small frail body, less than 2lbs, blind, deaf, renal failure, stroke, but she is still here,kissing me…I smell her. I feel you pain, and admire your willingness and openness to share. I am faced with this decision to say my goodbyes, there is never a good time, but I do not want such a kind loving soul to suffer, her quality is gone, her laughter, she is only existing and most likely for me. I will pray for you my friend, as I hope in return you will pray for me to make this decision and move forward in my own grief. I cannot imagine my life without my Heidi Hope. blessings

    • Donna, peace to you. Your mercy is of God’s own hand, and your Heidi will carry you through the gift of a sublime parting. It is terrible and beautiful at once, a lesson in how to live. Again, peace to you both.

  18. Cloughey bespoke conservatory

    Confessions Of A Proudly Broken Man | Michael Cogdill

  19. Herbert Caudle Says:

    Thanks for posting this beautiful piece. I lost my Shih Tzu of 13 years a month ago, and I’m still grieving, too. She was beautiful, I was proud to show her off, and that totally unconditional love was such a great gift to me. Hang in there, Michael.

  20. As I read your beautiful words I cry, I’ve been where you are and I know I’ll go there again. No one can ever understand the loss of a dear companion, no matter what species. The love shared between the two of you cannot possibly be measured and all we can hope and pray for is that we will once again see our beloved friends at the Bridge. Bless you for loving her and letting her go to pain free is the greatest love of all…..

  21. I have loved many dogs over my 68 years. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Jill. I once explained to my minister, who is not a “dog person” that to me DOG is GOD spelled backwards. They live to show us unconditional love.

  22. Wow… *insert big ugly crocodile tears here* The rush of emotions – the loss of my own beloved Dakota – The emptiness I have in my heart for your Maggie being gone – Yet, the love my heart feels knowing she’s running free and awaiting you/Jill just as my beloved Dakota and Niki are waiting for my mother and me.

    It’s not easy nor will it ever be. My heart, my prayers and my thoughts are with you as you mourn your sweet Maggie.

  23. Wow I read this with tears in my eyes. I know one day I will have to say goodby to my beloved dogs. I am not wanting to even think about it. My dogs are like family to me. They are my constant companions. I would be lost without them. So sorry for your loss. God be with you and your wife on your loss. One day you will see her again. Cherish the memories.

  24. Michael and Jill,

    I too know this pain. We put our two loved labs, Sadie and CJ, to sleep just a few short months apart earlier this year. Sadie had the advanced stages of liver cancer and CJ, much like your Mags, had cancer everywhere. CJ was very sudden for us too. It feels as if someone has ripped our hearts out. I also know the look before they go to sleep peacefully. I will be thinking of you through these tough few days. Our babies now have angel wings and are always watching over us.

  25. Judy Gilick Says:

    I understand exactly how you feel. We just lost oir twelv year old Golden Retriever Oliver. Three weeks ago. I have my bad times and so does my husband. We love him so much and we will never forget him.

  26. Loves Animals (from Easley) Says:

    Michael and Jill,

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your special girl. Maggie brought you an
    abundance of joy and happiness, and I grieve with you. My husband
    and I have been in that deep well of grief over the loss of our beloved feline girl. It has been fourteen months and the pain of missing her still comes, at times, in waves. I will never, ever forget
    holding her gently in a blanket, and singing “you are my sunshine”
    over and over until my husband could make it home. She, too, had
    cancer, and we had agreed that when the time came we would both
    be there. We were a family.

    This quote may help you. I read it somewhere online and it has
    stayed with me. “You Have My Whole Heart For My Whole Life.”

    May your hearts be happy (in time), knowing that you were blessed
    to have had her in your lives.

  27. Cannot finish this now, for the tears cloud my vision. Will be back to honor dear Maggie, and another sweet golden girl who was taken too soon, Sadie…

  28. I am so sorry for your loss. I grieve for our chocolate lab, Jack even after 2 yrs. We lost our home and had to move into a rental home where we could not take him. It was the hardest thing to look at him and say goodbye as he drove off with his new owner. One day we will as you will, fill the void that inspired you and your wife with happiness and laughter. God bless both of you.

  29. Josie Ingle Says:

    Sir, this is the second article of yours that I have read that has touched me in ways I have not the words to express. In this last know that I’ve walked your walk, felt your sorrow and join you in your joy of the soul that was your Maggie. I was blessed with such a soul in my late Charlie Brown Dog, a Boykin Spaniel of no repute beyond having been my joyful companion for 13 years before cancer also required the same choice you made for Maggie.

    For years I have seen you as a newscaster. Twice now I have read your words and seen the man. I rather like both. Thank you for being willing to share your innermost with us who deserve the least to hear it.

    • Overwhelmed, Josie. So deeply grateful. We share in these losses, and in the enduring love behind them. Peace to you. Keep in close touch and take the finest care.

      • Stephanie Clark Says:

        Hello Michael, I had to wait a few days to read this as my husband doesnt talk alot about his clients, I knew this was going to be tough to read and it was. We have dogs, cats and cows and horses, I think they all are a special part of our lives and we are intrusted with taking care of them til the end, which is the hardest part but the ultimate duty we have and can do as owners. I had never seen my Dad cry until he had to put our collie Shane to sleep several years ago, I didnt know at the time what it was to put a beloved pet to sleep, but over the years I have had to do the same with our dogs and cats and horses. I too had to put one of my best friends down named CJ of 30 years to sleep last year, but I know one day I will ride him again over beach like I had done several years ago. I know there is a heaven and we will get to see all of our loved ones again human and animal.

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  31. Lorraine Sutton Says:

    Amen. I have a service dog Golden and I dread what you are going through. God bless you, Jill, and Maggie. May you have the strength and grace to do this.

  32. I can hardly type as my eyes (and heart) are streaming but I am so grateful to you and your Mags that you were willing to share your grief, expressing a feeling that many have felt but few can share so beautifully and clearly.
    I wish you peace as you remember more and more that Maggie is running and laughing as she waits for you.
    When the time comes she will send you a new friend to keep you company.

  33. Catherine Says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I got to meet her, and unfortunately participate in her ultrasound. You could tell immediately upon meeting her she was a gentle one. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    • Catherine, thank you for the gentle, sweet care you took of our girl. She was so very kind, so much a philanthrope. Mags warmed so many hearts, and the depth to which her loss has broken hearts speaks so very well of her soul. We are devastated by the absence of her. Riding a tide of tears, each an outflow of love. Thank you and all the wonderful souls who cared for her, and for me that terrible Monday. I’ll count it a high honor to thank you in person one day soon. Peace to you. Deepest gratitude.

  34. I too cried while reading your beautiful tribute. I am right where you are. We had to say goodbye to our beautiful 5 year old dog Stella almost three weeks ago due to cancer. It came on sudden and it was ruthless. Nothing could be done for her. We lost our first dog to cancer at 11 years old, 5 years ago and we hoped we never had to go through it again much less so soon. Sadly we only had our baby 1 year. She came to us to be fostered but she won our hearts and we had to keep her. I wished our time with her was not so short but we treasured every moment of the last year with her.

  35. I am so sorry for your loss. I have a plaque on my wall that says, “Heaven’s the place where all the dogs you’ve ever loved wait to greet you.” It is surrounded by pictures of all the dogs I have loved. I stand at that wall many times and see that message and those beautiful faces and I am comforted that no one is really dead unless they are forgotten. These dogs still live, just like your Mags.

  36. I loved your so eloquent words – as my mother just passed away, I am now the caretaker of her dog Teddy. The “ever-barking-spastic-poodle-terrier” of hers – that now is a calm and peaceful inhabitant in our home surrounded by our other house dogs – is my most dear and loving – lasting connection to my mom. I peer into his black saucer eyes shrouded by fluffy white hair surrounding his little face and I see him still wondering where she is. We comfort each other through our shared loss of her in our lives and I realize that while my other siblings may have dodged the “responsibility” of taking Teddy, I received all the blessings of him…. and I’m thankful.

  37. Debra Drew Says:

    Such beautiful words of love for such a wonderful companion. They aren’t just pets for us, they are companions who walk through life with us. They share our joys as well as our sorrows. Regardless of our mood, they are there laying their heads on our laps looking up at us and telling us everything WILL be allright. To run my hand over their heads to stroke them calms the racing heart even if only a bit. What would we do without them? I cannot imagine nor would I want to even try. I have walked in your shoes many times Michael and those of us who have completely understand from where you come. I make a promise with all my babies I will be the last face they see when they leave this world to move onto the next. I can say only two have not. I do not know either you Michael, but, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, as well as a glimpse into who Maggie was and what she brought to your family. Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet. Yom Tov.

  38. I do not know you but I am so sorry for your loss. As many have said understand the overwhelming feeling of the loss of a Beloved pet but also the loss of a Friend. I lost my sweet Teri-Anne a yr and a half ago, and while the pain has lessened I still miss her. Take your time mourn your loss. My prayers are with you and your family may your hearts fine Peace.

  39. […] Confessions Of A Proudly Broken Man | Michael Cogdill Reply With […]

  40. I know the grief all to well……and yet I would do it all again for the love of my dogs. Tears flow for you as well as for my own losses. How lucky I am to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard…….

  41. this was simply the most beautiful thing I have ever read. We said goodbye just last night to our 11 year old English Cocker Daisy. Much like you, it was totally unexpected. She vomited yesterday, and seemed to not feel good. She was curled up asleep, so I left her alone. Within a few hours, her belly was bloated, and her breathing labored, her gums white. We rushed her to the vet where they tapped her abdomen and found it was full of blood. She was rushed to emergency surgery, hoping it was just a mass on her spleen, which could be removed and we’d take her home the next day. When they opened her up, she was full of cancer. How can that be?? Just yesterday morning she’d been fine, eaten her breakfast and barked at my grooming customers dropping off their dogs. The day before, she chased balls in the yard.

    Even though she was older than your Maggie, it came as a total shock. I am so very sorry for your pain…as you said, it’s a contract we make with them when we bring them into our lives. Hugs to you and your wife…

  42. My deepest condolences. Having just lost my 14 1/2 year old soul dog a mere month ago to bone cancer (which came out of nowhere and swiftly took her life in six months,) I can well relate. Your eloquent and expressive words made me weep from the moment I began reading your post.

    Thank you for sharing. Wishing you peace during this time and warm hugs from Mags as she continues to love you in spirit.

  43. Having just lost 2 of my life friends, within a month of each other, yet on the same day of the month,,reading this has brought some comfort. So sorry for your loss…

  44. My heart breaks for you and all of us who have lost our sweet pups. Letting them go is the most loving act we can do for them but at the same time the most difficultly impossible decision to make. We too, held our sweet Frankie, just 10 weeks ago as he crossed over the bridge. We miss him dearly every day. There is nothing like the love we have for our dogs. They love us unconditionally and ask nothing in return. Their sweet souls are physically with us for such a short time, but they are forever in our hearts. If we didn’t love them so very much, it wouldn’t hurt as badly. I wish you peace as you navigate through this grieving process and send you both hugs of condolence.

  45. I lost my fearless little Yorkie, Otis, 10 days ago at 15 years old due to renal failure – I am so sorry for your loss – I too have such a big hole in my heart and can’t wait until we are reunited in Heaven. Thank you for such a touching piece!

  46. Thank you for so eloquently stating what so many of us dog lovers go through. I have been lucky to have my “soul dog” with me for 14.5 years. Khamsin and I have had many adventures together; even though age has taken her hearing and some of her vibrancy, she still has a great love of life, just at a much slower pace. She was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. I weep for her, and for me, and know that our time together is drawing to its end. I pray I have the grace and dignity to face it well, but I know I will be weeping and distraught, huddled in my darkened bedroom. My other dogs will be a great comfort to me and that will help but they are not Khamsin.

  47. Carol A. Vahl Says:

    I feel your pain. May God ease it. Maggie lives right next to you as your Angel.

  48. Michael & Jill,

    Unconditional love is exactly what our pets/babies give us on a 24/7 basis — they teach us so many things and some of those lessons can go unnoticed until its time to say goodbye. I grieve with you both about the loss of “Mags” but please know she is with you each and every day —

    I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers …..

  49. Reblogged this on Michael Cogdill and commented:

    The renewal of this post comes with a very special dedication at the end,. I pray it finds home in the hearts of many a reader around the world.

  50. Saying I am Sorry for your loss of your Loving Mags hold no feeling for me. What does is letting you know that I cried with you as I read you letter. Oh, that brokenness and total feeling of lonesomeness at that time of that kind of Goodbye. I have been there with you and now have a another God sent baby again…Cuddles…oh see fits her name. I know she was sent from God. He knew I would need a Special Angel to get me through the next few hardest years of my life. So I wanted to let you know my tears ran with yours and my heart bleeds with yours. But wasn’t it just such a Blessing to have that Love encircle you for what ever time we have! The Joy they give is like no other. I will pray for you both, that God release the pain of your loss an that he keep your memories crisp and that the memories put a smile on your face and sunshine in your heart with every thought of your Sweet Mags! Love to you both, From Lydia and Cuddles

  51. You are such a mighty tender, but strong soul, Michael. Yet I admire your ability to admit your weakness when it comes to that tremendous loss no one else can fill. Those of us who have witnessed the sting of losing our beloved and precious family pet grieve along with you.

    Prayers for you and Jill. Prayers of healing and peace. May the memories of Maggie’s love forever comfort you. She would want that.

  52. Freda Warlick Says:

    Giving GOD the praise, honor and glory for allowing you to be Blessed and embraced by this glorious creature. Rest easy in the memories of which you could probably fill volume upon volume of written words of Maggie…..GOD BLESS YOU….

  53. Cindy Simmons Says:

    I know the hurt you feel. I just lost one of mind. She was a Boxer she was so special.I found her that morning and had to go to work in just a hour. Only been back 2 days after. 2 surgerys. I had to go…I prayed all day God please let This 24 hours go fast and it did. Shes been gone a month and I still call her name and look for her.
    Then it hits me…
    Loved that Bailey

  54. Normally I don’t read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

    • Vanda, so sorry for the delay. The spam filter caught your kind note, and I just discovered this. So very humbled and honored here by your kind words. Please feel free to share this around the world as you know it. I hope you find it serves many souls, including yours.

      Warmest peace,

  55. Beautiful tribute . . . I am speechless

  56. Elaine Simmons Says:

    In the course of a normal human life span, statistically, we will outlive several much-loved pets. I, too, know the sorrow of losing friends like your Maggie. Because of this I have chosen not to have another dog, at least for the foreseeable future. Blessings to you and others who know ahead the likely outcome and the deep despair and grief, yet bravely open your hearts to love again. I believe there will be another golden in your future once your healing is done.

  57. Your story plays out just as mine did. I too had to put my buddy down after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was 11years old. We got him when he was eight weeks old. My heart goes out to you and your family. I tell ya what you pray for me and I’ll pray for you.

  58. Michael, thank you so very much for sharing your feelings of loss and grief. I will keep you and Jill in my prayer’s and thoughts. We said goodbye to our Mollie, a schi-zhu, on June 16th and it is still so difficult to believe she is gone. She shared her love and life with us for 15 wonderful years. Concentrate on her life and not her death.

  59. May God and Maggie bless you and heal your heart and that if your wife in your darkest hour. Life is an energy, the most powerful and significant. As all energy is; it is indestructible. You will all be at one once again soon. Blessings.

  60. Michael, you are amazing when you write!!! Reading all about Mags, makes me feel like I know her personally. I would have loved to have had that opportunity. My blood will always run golden and my heart lights up after I see any golden, cause I miss mine soooo much. Thank you for your comments on my page about my daddy. You and Jill are truly wonderful people. Love u and will remember you in my prayers!!!

  61. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

    • So sorry for the delay. I just found the spam filter intercepted your very kind note. I’ll count it a HIGH honor to have you share that blog post around the world as you know it. To serve lives with this scattering of words is a part of the legacy of our Maggie and her cousin, Savannah. They were treasures, and our hearts treasure them on!!

      Warmest peace. Talk soon,

  62. Mr. Cogdill, I too have a Maggie. I know the love you write so beautifully about. Thank you for sharing your precious gift with us. You and yours are in my prayers.

  63. Jackie Cook, Taylors, SC Says:

    Thank you so much for your heart felt story. I wept as a read it because I lost a 4 year old sweet Persian cat and a 14 yr old beloved cocker spaniel last year. They became a sweet part of our family and we miss them. I feel your pain.

  64. Mr. and Mrs. Cogdill,
    This is so beautiful and heartfelt. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Maggie touched many lives, including my own when she entered through our practice doors. Her bright demeanor and always happy tail was a welcome sight whenever she visited. Although short in life, her memories will live on with many forever.

  65. I don’t know if I’ve ever read anything more beautiful and sad. The fact that you were able to stand up and admit your loss and pain – I hope it makes others realize the pain losing a pet causes. There should be no such thing as “just a pet.” I’m still terribly grieving for my boy I lost 2 years ago. I’d had him, literally, half my life. My other boy is getting up there in years and I have no idea how much longer I have with him. I’m sorry for your loss, I understand and in this time, that means more than sympathy sometimes. Eloquent and moving. I wish you peace.

  66. Deborah Scott Says:

    I have tears flowing down my cheeks after reading your beautiful and poignant story. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Ironically, I lost my precious dog one year ago on August 26th as a result of complications from Cushing’s Disease and, only three weeks later, lost my loving cat of 12 years. The loss of a cherished pet a/k/a best friend is so very difficult and this double loss was all the more devastating. We will forever mourn the loss but treasure the memories of our babies. Our family also takes our pets to Cleveland Park Animal Hospital and are forever grateful to Dr. Allen Finley and Dr. Katie DePalma and their wonderful staff for helping us through the treatment of our pets’ illnesses and their loss. I know they brought you comfort as well.

  67. Linda Forrester Says:

    What a beautiful statement of love and goodbye. This is especially poignant for me since I, too, lost my little Ladybug in July of this year. She died in my arms having had all the possible love and care (also provided by Cleveland Park – of Greenville). My feelings are as true and sorrowful as yours, but my words, in comparison, are not nearly as eloquent. You put into words what all pet owners who truly love their furry family members feel when they experience such a loss. Thank you for this beautiful essay.

  68. Sharon Frazier Says:

    Thank you for sharing about your precious Maggie.

    When the time came to say “goodbye” to our loving American Eskimo dog, Nikki, Dr. Phillips and the CPAH staff stood with us and cried with us. And I am certain they gave the same love and compassion to Maggie–and to your family, as well.

    Since Nikki left us, we have rescued two more Eskies but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Nikki and how much we love and miss her. She was truly beautiful and a remarkable dog and I smile when I think about her.

    After she left us, there were times that I would actually turn around in my home and expect to see Nikki standing there, pleading with those soulful brown eyes, tapping a front paw on the floor, tail wagging, smiling, and waiting for a “treat.” She could turn a bad day into a great day where everything was suddenly wonderful when you got home as she ran to sit in your lap. Nikki “trained” us well as you can see.

    As much as they are missed, I take solace in knowing that Nikki and Maggie are enjoying a grand time together in Doggie Heaven, and they are running as fast as the wind.


  69. So sorry for your loss. I am feeling that pain deep into my heart and soul. I just had to have my 18 yr old cat put down on Monday. I feel a huge hole in my heart. My prayers are with you and anyone who has to feel this.

  70. Wanda Blanton Says:

    Michael I can not tell you what this has meant to me, the fact is I ‘m facing this valley in my life with my beloved Westie of 11years. He was diagnoised in March with a tumor in the bladder. He has been given 190 days with medicine to help pain and hopefully strink the tumor, however the medicine has some side affects too. My heart is already breaking and I find myself crying almost everyday knowing what I have to face. I know with God’s strength I’ll get thru it all but I tell you I am so scared to face a day without him. Your tribute to your beloved Maggie has helped in a way I can not explain. My Prayers are with You and Jill…Thank You so much for sharing…Wanda

  71. Dale Garrett Says:

    Very touching story. Please know many are praying and lifting you up during your time of loss.

  72. I am so sorry for your loss, I have tears just flowing as I was reading. We have a dog she is 7 and I know that one day her life will come to an end, I’m truly dreading it I can’t imagine a day without her. Mags was so young, I know she gave you so much love. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.

  73. Have walked this road too many times. Beignet, lost at 6 to cancer 16 years ago, remains my heartbeat … in the present tense. One day at a time.

  74. I find myself coming back occasionally to find this to forward to a friend who lost a dog. Being in rescue, it’s all too often. But today it was especially poignant because it’s for a lady who can’t stop crying and her friends don’t get it, that kind of love for a dog. I was glad to share this with her so that she can know some of us DO get it. I felt that kick in the stomach when I read again at the diagnosis at such a young age. My first Shih Tzu, the dog who came into my life to educate me about puppymills, was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma just before his birthday. But he beat it, a cure in human terms. He lived to be 15 years, 6 months, 23 days. But it still wasn’t long enough, and after two other diseases he had beaten, it was hard for the realty to sink in that he finally did have to go.

    • Vicki, I am so deeply moved by this outreach to that lady in the throes of a grief we know so well. This quickens my heart, my memory of my girl, which comforts me. She endures, ever present in this man. Thank you!! Please, spread this blog to everyone who might feel the balm I felt from writing it.

      Great tides of beauty to you,

  75. B J Van Camp Says:

    On the very same day, I was having to say goodbye to my Benji. You expressed this so much better than I ever could. It’s now been a year & I still feel I have a hole in my heart & the pain of the loss never seems to stop. I have begun to foster dogs. I keep them in my home until they find there forever homes & another comes to be saved for their new homes. There never is a day that goes by that the sadness & pain leave, but it helps to know that these will never be left behind again nor will the ones we get off death row will have the real love that they all deserve. My Benji is always around me but he will be glad to see that I’m saving others lives , Like I did his. Thanks for sharing your feelings. I haven’t been able to find words to express how deep the pain is. I am so sorry for your loss. I know they will be waiting when we arrive @ the Rainbow Bridge, jumping up & down. They are pain free & we will all feel the same as they run around looking @ us & telling us to hurry as they were ready for us. Sorry about Maggie. Barbara

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