No one better than Maizey
exemplified
the hospitality
we hoped our guests experienced
at Turtle Rock Farm. She never met
a stranger she didn’t want to pet her.
She would raise that right foot
to gently get your attention,
to silently ask for your hand on her head
and then stand—interminably—to receive
your warm pats and scratches.
When her son Joe was still alive,
she would offer him the same
kindness,
licking his ears.

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We don’t know how old she was.
She was dropped at the farm
before Ann or I moved back. We think
she was somewhere between 15 and 18 years old.
She grew grayer with each year
and  a few years ago
we noticed she had become stone deaf.
Eventually, she went blind in her right eye.
Three years ago,
she didn’t hear the electric cart
she was sleeping under
begin to move
and received a deep wound
that put her in Frank’s vet clinic
for most of that very hot summer.
But she did recover. That winter
I enticed her into the house
for the first time
and that has been her home base
ever since.

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By then, she wasn’t leading our long walks
across the prairie,
but she still went along,
barking for me to wait
when I got too far ahead of her.
She still strolled around
the fields on her own
and whenever my car
went north and turned into Ann’s driveway
she would walk that half mile,
trotting, tail wagging, until she made her way.
She developed some dementia,
which made her confused about where
she was, sometimes. And one day a few months ago
her legs didn’t work anymore. I carried her
in and out of the house that day, and
the next day, she surprised us,
back to her regular self. She was a trooper.
She loved her life on the farm.
But Tuesday she took a turn,
couldn’t walk again,
and died last night.

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Maizey brought love to the world,
insistently.
Simply, she was love.
Now, that’s up to us.
Thank you, dear Maizey.

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