Monday, January 31, 2022

                       TRIBUTE TO OUR PRECIOUS MAGGIE

August 12, 2010 – January 25, 2022


By Rev Protodeacon George Anthony Haloulakos

We have commended our precious pet Maggie into the loving embrace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We had to alleviate Maggie's suffering from Degenerative Myelopathy – a debilitating illness exactly like ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in our precious pets with the same impact as ALS has on humans. I did a prayer service while assisting the two veterinarians and kissed Maggie more than several times to help her on a heavenward journey. All of this took place at home as we utilized a truly amazing service called PAWS INTO GRACE.

She will be cremated and her cremains will be hand delivered to us in a special urn made of Acacia wood with the inscription:

Our Precious Maggie

Aug 12, 2010 - Jan 25, 2022

We are also getting a special paw print to go with it. Believe it or not, Maggie departed this life at the same hour as Mom & Dad, and three years to the month of my father's passing! In some ways I feel as if I am reliving it all over again. I am so grateful that God placed this special pet in our lives as Maggie impacted so many in the course of her ministry here on Earth. With this in mind, I would like to share lessons I learned from Maggie.

Lead a Christ Centered Life: Maggie lived her life in the way Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ teaches us to be. Each day this Pembroke Welsh Corgi showed love, peace, patience, joy, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. In this way, Maggie exemplified that the love from a pet is a reflection of God's love – it is unconditional!

Bearing One's Burdens While Helping Others: Maggie was a registered service animal for more than 10 years and impacted the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people in the venues she served. She did this despite having to endure major hip surgery as a 6-month old puppy and then foot surgery when she was 3-years old. Maggie's own experience with health challenges enabled her to establish deep connections with everyone she encountered, even in the most casual circumstances. As a working dog, Maggie was able to give comfort to others as a:

Teaching Assistant at UC San Diego Extension – From 2010 – 2020, Maggie accompanied me to the main campus and satellite learning centers four days a week. For four to six hours each of those days she provided comfort to students both in and out of the classroom. During breaks from class we would walk about campus drawing crowds of students as Maggie would allow everyone to give hugs, pets and kisses plus posing for lots of pictures that ended up in multiple social media networks.

Therapy Dog at Le Bleu Chateau Assisted Living & Memory Care Center – From 2011 - 2018, Maggie helped minister to the elderly, memory care and those afflicted with major illnesses such as cancer patients. Maggie provided a steadfast, vigilant presence to alleviate the loneliness and isolation of those stricken with such conditions. In this same capacity Maggie helped my parents into that Long Day's Journey Into Night and thereby enabled yours truly (along with my wife Sharon) to fulfill the sacred duties associated with such a monumental task.

Grief Comfort at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills: Maggie was a regular at Forest Lawn from 2018 – early 2020. Maggie was involved with every aspect associated with the passing of Mom and Dad including keeping vigil at the graveside services for both. She not only provided grief comfort to those in attendance for those memorial services, but on recurring visits to Forest Lawn Maggie would allow everyone (staff, visitors, clients, et al) to give hugs and pets while receiving kisses, thereby assuaging the grief of all those she encountered.

Grace and Composure in the Face of Adversity: In her final weeks here on Earth, Maggie found comfort and joy in receiving laser treatment and water therapy to help her live her Best Possible Life. At our home Maggie was able to enjoy beautiful sunsets each day and stargazing at night while surrounded by love and her favorite toys. As a man of faith I believe Maggie was already planning if not contemplating the next phase of her journey. We had placed her on home hospice care the week prior to her peaceful departure from this life.

Maggie completed her mission here on Earth with dignity and integrity. Our precious Maggie is now reunited with Mom and Dad while in the loving embrace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, forever our furry angel.