Maggie's Blog
A retired greyhound living with a deadly disease.

For background information on Maggie, please read Maggie's Story.

Read Maggie's Blog from the beginning, or select from entries below ...

Final Entry - July 31, 2016

Maggie's Final Entry - July 28, 2016

 

Maggie's Story - Part 1 ... Maggie came to GAF in mid-December.  She had broken a leg a few days earlier at the Naples track and was taken to a vet there (along with 2 of her kennel mates) to be killed.  Someone in the vet's office intervened and the 3 dogs were spared as long as they would quickly leave Fl.  A MI rescue group agreed to take the dogs but wanted a place for the dogs to stay until transport could be arranged. GAF agreed to house the dogs for a few days believing that they were 3 healthy dogs,  All 3 dogs arrived late in the evening and all had severe injuries, but Maggie was by far the worst.  She had a compound fracture of the right rear leg (which had been crudely splinted) and was comatose and in acute kidney failure, which was most likely due to severe dehydration and improper medication.  The trip North was abruptly canceled due to potential costs to rehabilitate (no good deed goes unpunished).  When Maggie was unable to be stabilized at the local vet she was transferred to Affiliated Veterinary Specialist in Orlando where she spent the next few days in intensive care.  There was no possibility of repairing the leg until her kidneys were stabilized, so she was an AVS Internal Medicine patient for the next 8 weeks. Maggie became GAF's Christmas Miracle.

Maggie725

After 8 weeks Maggie was deemed healthy enough for surgery to repair the leg. X-rays indicated that the leg had fused and was stable. The Orthopedic surgeon suggested that although it would never be perfect, Maggie would do just fine with a tiny limp.

Everyone thought Maggie's ordeal was over and the only thing left before a triumphant adoption was a spay surgery. Meanwhile back at the farm, Maggie has become a typical bratty 2 year old, running around like a nut and getting into everything. To make matters worse, Bear is the same age and they quickly became buddies and partners in crime. They sure keep the farm on their toe and laughing like hell.

Disaster struck again when Maggie went in for her spay. Blood work and urine analysis indicated that all was well but when she was opened it was discovered that her abdominal cavity was full of blood tinged fluid.  She was closed and transported to the ER at the UF Vet school. Extensive testing has begun but has not yet yielded an answer to this mystery.  The only thing we know at this point is that it is getting very expensive. That being said, Maggie is a sweet, loving and vivacious little girl and deserves a chance at a rich full and long life.


Maggie's Story - Part 2
... Well the other shoe has dropped. Maggie has a heart condition that is fatal, period. The only question at this point is if Chagas disease is the culprit but  the best guess that two University Veterinary Schools can offer is that it is, and regardless, it won't help Maggie. Chagas is a little known disease that has no cure and originates in S. America and is slowly spreading thru the US.  There is no cure and there is currently no treatment. Maggie will die soon.

There has to be some meaning to this and some value to Maggie's life.  We know that this scourge is invading the country, so we feel that Maggie's legacy is to educate the greyhound community and the attendant community to the possibility of this disease. Until there is a vaccine for this we need to be aware that it can happen. Knowledge is power.

Maggie is coming home and she will be loved, eat good food, get into trouble with Bear, terrorize the old dogs, beat up the toys, chew the corner of the toy box, lay in the middle of the floor to the point that she creates a dog traffic  jam, and lay a lot of love on every human in sight.  Maggie we know your time is short but we want as much time with you as possible.


    April 6, 2016

Hi everybody!

 

First of all I want everyone to know that I would never chew on a toy box (spit, spit, splinters gone). I am feeling pretty good as I recover from the abdominal surgery. I am pretty bouncy and although I tire easily, I am just about ready to assume my role as Chief Brat at GAF. I am so glad to be home and Mom and Dad are watching me closely, but I am having great fun with my sister Bear. We have our usual contest to see if we can both get in Dad's lap at the same time and we plan our coordinated attack on Max. Max thinks we are terrorists.

I have discovered a hidden talent as a song leader. When Mom and Dad go out to the kennel I get the house hounds started on a Roo and we sing like crazy. I think we should get a recording contract.

Time for a long nap.  I'll be back.

Love,
Maggie Belle


    April 7, 2016

Left photo: Maggie, Right photo: Max (left) AKA Fruit Bat and Bear (right) AKA Russ' Little Girl, complete the cast of characters for this.

Editor's Note:
Maggie has a fatal disease that has virtually destroyed the right side of her heart.  There is no cure and Maggie will die (probably within the year).  Meanwhile she is at Greyhaven being spoiled rotten and trying to cram a lifetime of love into whatever time is left.  Maggie's blog is her venue to tell the world what is going on in her life and perhaps to educate the community about this dreadful disease.


Hi everybody!

I have been betrayed. The dastardly Max hired a body guard and to make matters worse, he used some string cheese to hire my partner, Bear, away from Greytbrats, Inc. Just look at that picture. There is a silver lining, however.  Since I didn't terrorize Max today, I have been promised some ice cream. Take that Max and Bear!

I also know that the string cheese is gone and that I will be able to re-enlist Bear by allowing her to sniff my ice cream breath.  How about them apples, Max!

Mom said to tell everyone that my blood panel this week was pretty good.

Love,
Maggie Belle


    April 12, 2016

Editor's Note:
Chagas is a disease that destroys the heart and cannot be cured. People catch it also. 8 million worldwide with 300K in the US and Canada. It is considered enough of a threat that blood banks screen for it. Texas A&M has a Chagas clinic. It is also known as "Kissing bug disease".  Find out more at
kissingbug.tamu.edu.


Hi everybody!

Well, I told MaMa that there was no way that I would ever chew the toy box. Then someone sent her this picture. I am pretty sure that it was the dastardly Max that sent the picture. I think it might have cost me some ice cream.

Right now I am feeling pretty good. I tire easily and go off by myself for some really long naps. I am usually up for the game of let's charge out the doggie door and bark at nothing in the middle of the night, but Bear usually gets in trouble for this, not me.

Revenge is sweet. Take that Max! You are the new toy box.

Love,
Maggie Belle


    April 19, 2016

Editor's Note:
Maggie has a fatal disease that has virtually destroyed the right side of her heart. There is no cure and Maggie will die (probably within the year). Meanwhile she is at Grey Haven being spoiled rotten and trying to cram a lifetime of love into whatever time is left. Maggie's blog is her venue to tell the world what is going on in her life and perhaps to educate the community about this dreadful disease.

Dr. Steven Barr of Cornell University wrote "Chagas disease is the most common cause of congestive heart failure in the world." (Let that sink in)

Chagas has also been reported in the equine population.

More info can be found on the CDC website.


Hi everybody!

I have some new friends. Lolly came all the way from Canada and kissed me and made me an honorary Canuk. (Dad muttered something about Canucklehead and Mom hit him). Anyway, my sister, Donna Jo, might be going there. We are all excited.

I got a brother today and his name is Fletcher (just like Dad). He is a gorgeous big boy (be quiet my hormones) and guess what, he has a broken leg, just like me. This is Grey Haven, so the leg will be fixed, but whew, what a hottie he is!

Mom took me to the vet today to get the staples out of my belly.  Mom, Dad and Dr. Tracy were very concerned that I had gained a couple of pounds, that might be fluid buildup. Guess I have to see a Cardiologist next week. More hugs, but I need a nap.

I'm getting a lot of hugs and kisses and as soon as I get up from my nap ICE CREAM. Ha! Take that Max and everyone in Canada!!

Mom and Dad are taking me to see a Cardiac specialist. I will let everyone know what he says.

Talk to you soon.

Love,
Maggie Belle


    April 21, 2016

Editor's Note:
Maggie has a fatal disease that has virtually destroyed the right side of her heart. There is no cure and Maggie will die (probably within the year). Meanwhile she is at Grey Haven being spoiled rotten and trying to cram a lifetime of love into whatever time is left. Maggie's blog is her venue to tell the world what is going on in her life and perhaps to educate the community about this dreadful disease.

The only truly reliable Chagas diagnosis is made post mortem.

Get more info at Doctors Without Borders.


Hi everybody!

Well I went to the Institute of Veterinary Specialists yesterday and I met Dr. Borde and Dr. Corbett who are really nice. They did some tests and confirmed previous diagnosis that my heart is severely damaged. Both doctors had long talks with Mom and Dad while I napped at their feet on my travel bed. On the way home I got some french fries ... not as good as ice cream, but still pretty yummy. I slept most of the rest of the day.

This is a pic of my hot new boyfriend, Fletcher.  We were getting cozy on the deck when Mom started warning that neither one of us is fixed. Fixed?? What's broken?? Maybe she was talking about our broken legs. All I know is that he sure is handsome and makes my heart flutter.

More later. Time for a nap.

Love,
Maggie Belle


    May 2, 2016

Editor's Note:
Maggie has a fatal disease that has virtually destroyed the right side of her heart. There is no cure and Maggie will die (probably within the year). Meanwhile she is at Grey Haven being spoiled rotten and trying to cram a lifetime of love into whatever time is left. Maggie's blog is her venue to tell the world what is going on in her life and perhaps to educate the community about this dreadful disease.
 

  

This is the triatomine bug (kissing bug). This is the vector that carries Chagas. There are varieties of this insect and they range in size from 1/2" to over an inch long. The shape on each is basically the same and the distinctive orange stripes around the abdomen is a common trait. If you catch one, notify the authorities and arrange some extermination services.


Hi everybody!

Just want you all to know that I am doing well and I am having a ball here at Grey Haven. I love my sister Bear, and there is Paloma, Tanner, Jerry Murray, and of course the dastardly Max (who I consider my personal chew toy). All of them are old except for the chew toy and Bear, who is a real instigator and gets me in a ton of trouble and probably costs me bunches of ice cream. In fact, I can't remember if she ever "bought" when the ice cream truck came along.

Anyway, I want to talk about the brother and sister that accompanied me from Naples in December. As you know, we were all grievously wounded and close to death. (Thank you racing industry, and please tell us again how altruistic you are. We have the dogs to disprove what you say.) In fact, we were all three sent to the vet to be killed and were rescued by an angel in the vet's office who sent us all to Grey Haven. So I want to tell you about them.


Rennie

Rennie had really severe wounds to both back legs.  He had a five inch cut on one leg that was gaping open and unable to retain a drain tube. After several surgeries and innovative veterinary techniques to include drug therapies, the wounds on Rennie's legs were closed.  Rennie has been placed with a caring home in The Villages (look out Villages) and is doing well.


Amy's right rear leg was degloved to the point where the muscle was protruding and the end of her tail was raw and abraded. She has healed but alas she lost most of the tail, and her greatest joy is discovering and eating acorns. She has a new home in Ocala that is really excited to get her. She will be living with a small dog (chew toy), and a kitty (what's a kitty? Wonder if they squeak?).



Amy


As for me, I am staying at Grey Haven. Mom and Dad say that I will spend the rest of my life playing with my sister and chewing on the dastardly Max (he really loves me and Bear).

Love,
Maggie Belle

 
    May 17, 2016

Editor's Note:
Maggie has a fatal disease that has virtually destroyed the right side of her heart. There is no cure and Maggie will die (probably within the year). Meanwhile she is at Grey Haven being spoiled rotten and trying to cram a lifetime of love into whatever time is left. Maggie's blog is her venue to tell the world what is going on in her life and perhaps to educate the community about this dreadful disease. Some Chagas facts review:

  • Chagas is zoonotic, i.e. it can pass from animal to human.
  • Over 8 million humans have Chagas, and it is the most common cause of congestive heart failure in the world.
  • Once it reaches the chronic phase, the damage to the heart caused by Chagas is irreversible.
  • Chagas originated in South America but the vector that carries Chagas, the triatomine bug (aka kissing bug) has been discovered as far north as Pennsylvania.


Hi everybody!

We got two new big handsome boys in the kennel last week. I overheard Mom talking about one of the new boys, Ollie, and the fact that he had a kissy spot. I asked what a kissy spot was, and it was explained that some greyhounds have a small patch of different colored hair, sometimes heart shaped, and usually on the top of their head, that acts as a target for kisses. Big deal. I don't have a kissy spot and I'll bet I get a hundred kisses a day on my nose. Then I saw a pic of Ollie's kissy spot and made a crude comment about being able to identify the true kissy spot.


Ollie's heart-shaped "Kissy Spot"

Mom washed my mouth out with soap and took away my ice cream privileges. Sigh!! Guess comediennes aren't universally loved after all. Bear and the dastardly Max are laughing at me. Think I'll go chew his ears off. Then to make matters worse, Mom stole one of my pictures and put it on the dastardly Facebook. So I whispered in Ollie's ear how radically the landscape near his kissy spot was going to change. Now he refuses to enter a car and whines piteously when lifted in. Cost me more ice cream.

This will be my last blog for a while. I think we have raised awareness of Chagas in the greyhound community. My health is being carefully monitored and I am being spoiled rotten at Grey Haven. Right now my weight is slowly increasing as is the girth of my chest which indicates fluid is building. My activity level is good (maybe too good if you realize how much ice cream I cost myself), and I am in no pain. I will let everyone know if there are any major developments regarding my condition.

So far my veterinary expenses have been over $10,000. I want to thank everyone all over the country who have helped Greyhound Adoptions of Florida offset some of these expenses. You have given me a chance to live what time I have left in a loving environment, and I send my love to you all.

Love,
Maggie Belle

 

 


July 28, 2016

Editor's Note:
Magnolia Belle, Flying Ambrose to the industry that destroyed her, came to Grey Haven more dead than alive one week before Christmas. After several months of intensive and very expensive care, we believed that Maggie had turned the corner and could go to her forever home after the usual spay and inoculations. She had just turned 2 and we considered her our Christmas Miracle.

Then the other shoe dropped (actually came crashing down), and we learned that Maggie had contracted a fatal infection (UF diagnosed it as Chagas) that had destroyed the right side of her heart. There is no cure and Maggie was going to die soon. Her damaged heart was a ticking time bomb.

We decided to keep Maggie at Grey Haven, shower her with love and affection, and use her story to try to educate the Greyhound Community to the danger and spreading menace of Chagas disease. We were informed that we would be lucky if she had 8 to 10 months to live. Maggie's struggles have slowly but markedly increased over the past 2 weeks and it has become obvious that her quality of life had decreased to the point that it was time to say good bye. Maggie went to the Rainbow Bridge earlier today. Below is her final blog post.

Hello Everyone,
This is the last time I get to talk to all of you and I want to thank everyone for the love and support you have given me.  I know I had five pretty good months.  I got to squeak toys, chew on the dastardly Max, plot mayhem with my bratty sister Bear (and shift the blame when we got caught), remodel the toy box (again blame Bear), eat delicious ice cream, and make a lot of friends, both human and canine.  I hope the information I put out about Chagas will help prevent someone from going through what I have. Mom and Dad showered me with love and affection and I feel blessed to have spent this time at Grey Haven. Dad put his arms around me and talked about a place called the Rainbow Bridge. He said it was a wonderful place where I would wait on everyone to join me on the other side. He said my heart would be whole again, my leg would no longer be broken, I would be with my beloved Paloma and Jerry Murray, I would still get ice cream, and although I would have to be patient, I would be reunited with everyone again.  I just can't figure out why he was crying. I was tired, my body was breaking down and I told Mom and Dad that it was time. Again, thanks to everyone who loved and supported me. I love you all and I will see you at the Bridge.

Love Forever,
Maggie Belle


July 31, 2016

Final Entry written by Russ Anderson ...

Magnolia Belle went to the Bridge peacefully on July 28, 2016, wrapped in Mom and Dad's loving arms, while licking the salty tears off their faces. Maggie was a very special girl who touched the heart of everyone who came into contact with her. We, at Grey Haven, know that she left huge paw prints on our hearts and will be sorely missed. There is a saying that basically states that one falls in love with and bonds with a Greyhound the first time you get your arms around them. Here is a picture of Dad with his arms around Maggie the morning after she arrived at Grey Haven.


Maggie725


At one point, we almost lost her, but after months of treatment, it seemed she had turned the corner and was proclaimed our "Christmas Miracle". It was not to be.

After a devistating diagnosis of Chagas Disease, we knew Maggie was going to die. We thought we could give some meaning to her life by using her story to spread the word about the danger and spreading menace of Chagas (it is zoonotic). We think her message was received and hope that some good will be the end result.

Meanwhile, Maggie became an important and vital member of Grey Haven. Although we knew her time was limited, we didn't want to believe it, and were certainly not ready to give her up. The harsh reality became evident last week and we knew it was time to let Maggie don her forever wings and wait on us on the other side.

We will cherish the time we had with Maggie. As the pain mutes we will be able to remember the essence of a courageous and loving little girl, smile at her antics, and treasure the memories that were all too abreviated.

On reflection, Maggie really was our "Christmas Miracle".


 

 

Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.
 

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Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please consider a donation to help GAF with Maggie's rising vet bills.

Your gifts are
tax deductible.

 

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