Maggie entered the world into complete darkness, destined to never see the light of day. For she was born with a genetic condition called micropthalmia (or “little eyes”), and in her case no eye spheres at all. When her siblings opened their eyes, Maggies fluttered open to eye sockets. And at that moment her breeder made the decision that I am so thankful for: To surrender her into rescue. Because with that, her little life as the underdog changed and she was on her way to the life of a wonder dog.
She was taken into rescue by French Bulldog Village, an organization devoted to saving French bulldogs, and placed in the loving care of her foster mama, Cindy. With Cindy, Maggie knew nothing but unconditional love, and she had an incredible “childhood” in North Carolina from the time she was surrendered at a few weeks to 8 months old. But, as with most foster stories, the time was coming to get her into her forever home, and Maggie’s life was about to change one more time.
This is where our paths crossed, as Maggie’s light shone so bright it metaphorically blinded me through my iPhone when I saw her picture on Instagram, and I stopped scrolling. That’s the moment I knew, instantly, that she was mine.
I had tragically lost my two Frenchie girls (my heart dog Anise at age three to spinal cord cancer and my baby Clover at nine months old to intestinal torsion) and to say I was struggling is an understatement. It was eating me up inside that I couldn’t save them, and I knew that the only way I was ever going to be okay was if I could help someone, save someone, as a tribute to my girls’ memories. So I, for the first time in my life, started looking at rescues. But never in a million years did I think I was the right person to adopt a dog with a disability. And never could I have imagined that I would - or how much she would save me.
I saw Maggie on French Bulldog Village’s Instagram - and the rest is history. Because everything in our adoption story went so smoothly, like a dream. Like it was meant to be. When we were selected to adopt her, I was like, THANK YOU, now when can I come get my girl?! We hopped on a flight from Calgary to Toronto, then Toronto to Raleigh, and then drove four hours to get her. And we did the same thing to get her home the next day - Maggie in a Baby Bjorn so I had my hands free for my carry-on luggage. The distance meant nothing to me, because I was going to pick up my girl!
The moment I met her, it was like she was always destined to be mine, and I was ecstatic. I had written a list of names for her but when I met her, she was indeed a Magnolia (which the rescue had so perfectly called her). That first night together, I looked up the meaning behind Magnolia, just to make sure I didn’t want to call her one of the names I had prepared. And it means dignity and innocence. Needless to say, the name had to stay. Because she was, in the first moment I met her to now, the literal representation of these words.
We have learned each other over the last almost two years, and have become inseparable as I became her eyes and she came to understand that I would see for her. She loves life so fully, and expresses such genuine joy and happiness over every little thing. She loves to swim so much that we call her the MerMags; she follows my voice in the ocean as we go swimming out together (she in her lifejacket). She loves to hike in the Rocky Mountains where we live and, while it takes longer with Maggie, it is worth every moment to slow things down and experience it with her. She loves to play fetch and we put a bell inside her ball so she can hear it - and she chases it for hours! And she loves everybody she meets, human and dog, so completely that it makes my heart full.
Watching Maggie navigate the world blind, but face every challenge with bravery and confidence, has taught me so much. She is truly a shining light, and I always say she may have no eyes but she sees with her heart - and boy does she “see” all the beauty around her, and feel the love and compassion people show her (and I do my best to shield her from the rare not-so-nice people).
I am so grateful for her and the gift that she is - and all the gifts that she has brought me.
Orsha, Maggie’s mom.
Here is what Maggie's Mom, Orsha, writes about our Magnolia Evolve Collar and Maggie's sparkly FurMaid overly and why they are special to her. We are so very honored.
"Maggie wears the “Magnolia” EVOLVE base collar that Sleepy Holow created for us in a stunning iridescent pearly white leather with custom created magnolia flowers on. This collar represents dignity and innocence, just like the magnolia flower. It is a beautiful daily reminder of just how special our pups are, and the gifts they teach us. The shiny pearl finish represents the fact that despite being blind, Maggie shines so brightly.
Maggie also wears the EVOLVE FurMaid overlay on top of the EVOLVE base collar on days where is embraces her nickname MerMags! This is an ultra-glittery piece that we chose to have hand painted in a lilac, teal and pink ombre with a sparkly wash on top. It has mermaid scales individually hand stamped onto it and is a literal embodiment of the MerMags and her love of life!"
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