Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Maggie and me

Salma Ali
“We spent a lot of time together. Somehow, she always knew when I was upset, and spent those days clinging to me.”

I blame my older brother for a lot of things, but I have to give him credit for his obsession with getting a dog. When I was in 4th grade, he convinced my mom to get us a black lab puppy we named Maggie.

Maggie was comically self-sufficient. She liked to be alone and didn’t want to cuddle.

One day, when I was laying on the couch she came into the room and sat next to me. I froze, not wanting to scare her off. She plopped down onto the rug, and slept for hours while I pet her.

After that day she decided that I was worthy of her trust and put up with my antics. In the mornings I would come back to my room and tell her it was time for breakfast. She would bury her head in her paws and wag her tail. She knew acting cute enough would get me to turn the light back off and let her sleep more.

We spent a lot of time together. Somehow, she always knew when I was upset, and spent those days clinging to me.

My first two years of high school were a struggle to say the least. I had stretches of days where it seemed impossible to do anything.

Every one of those days, I can remember my dog loitering around me, finding any excuse to lay at my feet. It seemed like she knew exactly when I needed company.

I still have no idea why she decided to trust me more than anyone else. I’ve always thought that my connection with her was so special.

In October, my family frequently commented on her sudden change in behavior after our elderly family dog passed away. She became affectionate with everyone in the house, going out of her way to make her presence known. She also began picking up a strange habit of rejecting her meals.

One night, I took Maggie outside before bed. She went out into the grass as I shivered in my dark backyard. I waited, as I always did, by the pool where I couldn’t see her.

I grew impatient, and tossed a tennis ball to where I guessed she was. I waited. She didn’t prance back to taunt me like she usually did when she caught a ball. It was eerily quiet.

I pulled out my phone, turned on my flashlight, and walked into the grass.

Hidden in the limits of the shadows, I found her lying awkwardly on the ground as though she couldn’t move. She was panting, with the ball I had thrown just behind her.

I found out she had cancer about a week before she passed. She didn’t have much time left.

Maggie’s cancer progressed rapidly. Her favorite activities were off limits. The toss of a ball, talk of a car ride or sight of a bird would cause her to lose all of her bearings. Her legs would tangle up, and she accepted awkwardly slumping to the floor. She didn’t have enough energy to fight.

A few nights before Thanksgiving last year, I came home to her laying on her bed wheezing and refusing to sleep. Everyone knew. I think she did too.

I didn’t sleep much that night. I sat with my dog in her final moments and took it all in.

I fell asleep on the couch that night, still wearing my jeans and shoes. My contacts dried to my teary eyes, and I could hardly open them when I heard my family talking at 3 a.m. Words couldn’t help anyone. We sat in silent company, grieving our dog.

Dogs have this special way of showing they care. She had become a constant in my life. No matter what, she was there. She loved me unconditionally, the way that all dogs love their people.
That connection was so special and my loss was devastating. But I feel incredibly grateful that I got to experience such a unique connection with my pet.

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About the Contributors
Marley Roberson
Marley Roberson, Reporter
Marley Roberson (she/her) is a junior, and this is her first year on staff. She enjoys spending time with friends, writing, and reading. She loves listening to new music, and playing video games with friends. She is looking forward to her first year on staff. She is really excited to start writing for the Marquee.
Salma Ali
Salma Ali, Photographer
Salma Ali (she/her)  is a junior but is always mistaken for a freshman .This is also her first year as a staff member on The Marquee. She loves art and anything to do with it and dance and acting as well. Once in a while she enjoys playing lacrosse and soccer. She has lived in Africa since she was 9 years old. She loved living in Africa because it was fun and adventurous and she learned so many things and met so many people she loves. If she can one day she will definitely go back .

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