There’s no way to truly be ready to say goodbye to your furry friend, but Elijah Saltzgaber and his family members were determined to do all they could to make their pup’s last days everything she deserved.
Maggie, also known as Maggie Bear, was dying of cancer. Ultimately, her humans decided to choose a day and time to let her go in a calm, peaceful, and painless way.
Once they chose the date, they worked hard to make Maggie’s remaining days the best ever, planning all sorts of activities that she loved.
“We wanted to share in one last weekend filled with paddle boarding (her favorite), food, camping, playing with her ball, more food, and belly rubs,” Elijah said.
As they finished planning their weekend, Elijah and his loved ones felt good about their plans… but one very important element was missing.
“My only lament was wanting her to experience snow one last time, as snow brought her and us so much joy,” he said.
They only had until Monday, but with nothing to lose, Elijah posted on Facebook asking if anyone had a shaved ice machine they could borrow.
Moved by Maggie’s story, people from all over responded with overwhelming support! Before Elijah knew it, Salt Lake County Ice Center, a year-round indoor ice-skating rink, offered to help out — free of charge!
“It’s not always about skates and hockey pucks at County Ice Center. Today was a bitter sweet day, as we had an opportunity to help make a difference for a very special dog, Maggie,” a representative of the center wrote.
This morning we filled bins, buckets, and the back of his van with the ice shavings from the rink. Maggie enjoyed her last morning with her two favorite things, snow and her owners.
To make it happen, Elijah and his family set their alarms for 5:30 a.m. that Monday. They arrived at the center, loaded up the snow made from ice shaved off the rink, and quickly made their way back so their sweet dog could enjoy the snow at her own home.
Maggie’s passing later that day was still devastating, but having the opportunity to spend such a great weekend with her while she did what she loved most made a world of difference.
“We are incredibly grateful that our sweet girl spent her final moments surrounded by immense love and comfort,” Elijah said. “We are absolutely heartbroken, but have found comfort in knowing we gave her the best life and the most gracious passing. Hug your loved ones extra tight for us tonight.”
Rest in peace, Maggie! Thank you for touching so many hearts!
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