A dog who loved outdoor adventures with her family in Utah got one last moment in the snow thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Maggie didn’t have much time. Wondering how they could give their beloved dog a kind and joyful farewell, her family asked people in their community if they could help make a wish come true for their dying dog. Could someone make some snow for Maggie to enjoy one last time?
“Does anyone have a shaved ice machine they saved for this season?” Maggie’s father, Elija Lee Saltzgaber, posted on Facebook. “Our sweet dog is passing from cancer and we want to build her one last snowbank to roll around in… I think I’m expecting about 10-20 gallons of ice, but I’m grateful for anything we can get. We say goodbye to her on Monday around noon, so willing to pay and pick up Monday morning… Maggie and I both thank you deeply for reading this.”
They also contacted the Salt Lake City County Ice Center.
The ice skating center was happy to help and made a point of making an extra-large pile of snow for the sick dog. They also made sure to put up a sign that said “Maggie’s Snow” to make sure it was untouched for the canine.
“This weekend, a resident contacted our Salt Lake County Ice Center in search of some snow for her dying dog, Maggie, to play in for the last time,” Parks & Recreation said. “Today, our staff shaved off some extra ice, put it in cans and buckets, and the owner took the snow home to Maggie’s backyard, where she enjoyed it with her family.”
When Monday came, Maggie’s family shared a video of Maggie enjoying her personal snowbank before saying goodbye.
While Maggie played with a tennis ball and picked up some of her favorite treats, Maggie’s parents toasted the dog that was so dear to them.
“We said goodbye to our sweet Maggie Bear this morning. We are devastated and already feeling the enormous void of her absence. As difficult as the decision to end her suffering was, we are comforted to know that she departed with grace and dignity. It was important for us to say goodbye with calm and reassurance. Anyone who has been through this knows that it can often be urgent, scary, and stressful for your loved one and for you.
“We wanted to share one last weekend filled with paddle boarding (his favorite), food, camping, playing with the ball, more food, and belly massages. Our ride was incredibly bittersweet. Seeing his big brown eyes taking in all the stimuli of nature made us doubt our decision. Can we wait another week? Another month? Ultimately, all our negotiations and assumptions led us back to our desire to free her from the pain of cancer. “
“Before we left for our last weekend with Maggie, we had a family dinner to discuss our plans.”
“We discussed how our girl was happily tired after a weekend of camping and how calm she would be for our meeting on Monday. My only regret was wanting her to experience the snow one last time, as snow brought so much joy to her and to us. We exchanged ideas and, about this discussion, Eli posted on Facebook. The response was overwhelming. The Salt Lake County Ice Center in Murray offered their ‘snow’ zampara collection on Monday morning.”
“We set our alarm for 5:30 this morning, packed up our camp in the dark, and drove somberly back to SLC. Eli met Tiffany at the rink and loaded the van with Maggie’s snow. With the help of my mom and her partner, we unloaded the snow and made a throne for our little girl to rest one last time. We are extremely grateful that our sweet girl spent her final moments surrounded by immense love and comfort. We are absolutely heartbroken, but find comfort in knowing that we gave her the best life and the most graceful passing. Hug your loved ones tighter for us tonight. “
Upon hearing the news, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation expressed their condolences.
“Sending our love and condolences to Maggie’s family. We are grateful for the unique privilege of providing her with a little paradise on earth.”