Thursday, January 14, 2010

Goodbye to a Good Friend

Dear friends and visitors,

I wanted to share with you a sad event in the life of our family.

Today, a short while before writing this, I, along with my wife Jennifer, had to put our little dog Maggie to sleep. She had been suffering for a long time with a collapsing trachea, a condition common in small white dogs. We had taken her twice to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to help us decide how to treat her. We considered surgery, but opted instead for a less invasive treatment with special medicine, processed by this top-notch veterinary hospital. It worked for a few years and we were thrilled with how she was doing on what, to us, was a miracle drug.

However, just this last week, she began to gasp for air almost constantly. She wouldn't eat and, when she did drink water, she would spit it up. She was miserable and listless; her sleep, (which was all she was doing), would be interrupted with frequent coughing spasms. It was awful---and upsetting!

We took her almost every day to her wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Woody, at the Animal Health Clinic in Franklin, Tennessee. He-- and we-- tried everything we could to help her. She got shots, pills, steroids, and all kinds of medicine; but it eventually became clear that Maggie was suffering greatly, without any hope of relief.

Dr. Woody told us to consider a thought in the heartbreaking process of deciding what to do. He advised us to ask ourselves this question: are you doing all these things "for her--- or to her."

After one tortuous night for our dog, (which was also emotionally excruciating for us), we knew what we had to do.

We brought her in to what had become her second home, due to our many travels. They love her there; and we were greatly comforted to know that her last moments would been spent with folks who had shared so much of her little life.

They were almost as upset as we were to see her go; but go she did.

The other day at the clinic, after discussing, at length, Maggie's dwindling options, I asked---whimsically: "Well, Dr. Woody, do dogs go to heaven?"

He said, thoughtfully, "I'll answer you with a paraphrase from Will Rogers: 'I don't know if dogs go to heaven but, wherever they go, that's where I want to be!'"

My wife, Jennifer, my daughter, Misha, and I, mourn the loss of our good, good friend, Maggie Mae Goetz. She was a Bichon Frise who would have been 14 years old on January 29, 2010.

We first said hello to her when she was two; shared with her twelve wonderful years; and said goodbye to her today, January 14, 2010.

Thanks for listening.

Love and Shalom,


  1. Gosh Marty, that killed me. My heart goes out to you. Sandy and I have a beagle now entering her "golden" years, and we think about this scenario now and then. Thanks for sharing this. We understand...

    Don Godwin (

  2. Dear Marty and family, i feel so so sorry, its make cry cause i know that its so hard, i felt that many times... God give you peace and i think that dogs or cats or sparrows, go to heaven cause the God word says that Luk 12:6 "Aren't five sparrows sold for two cents? God doesn't forget any of them. They never forget His cration...God bless you so much.

  3. That was beautiful, Marty. I experienced the heartache myself just a month ago with my 16 year old Ariel. Maybe the two dogs are romping happily together in green pastures by still waters........and maybe we will see them again. I believe we will.

    Love and shalom to you and your family.

  4. Dear Marty and Jennifer, We are so sorry for this loss and will continue to keep you in our prayers for the comfort of The Lord to fill you. I believe pets go to heaven because the Bible speaks of animals in the new heaven and new earth. Jodi Errickson Tada thinks so too, because as she puts it, "That would be just like God to delight us like that". I'm paraphrasing, but the sentiment is the same.
    John, Lisa and Andrew Elliott
    Raleigh, NC

  5. Do dogs go to heaven? I see it this way, if God created them, He must have loved them. If they brought us joy, they must have pleased Him. He said let all that has breath praise Him. They certainly have breath. He promised that He would grant us the desires of our heart. If our desire is to someday be reunited with our small companions, what a small thing for the King of the universe to do. I know I am expecting to see my buddies again. I am so sorry for your pain. Shalom

  6. Oh Marty, I am so sorry. That is one of the hardest things in our lives, to say good-bye to our loyal pets. There are two bull terriers buried on our old land in Ohio, safe and sound. And yes, I believe there are dogs in the heavenly kingdom. As your brother Mike says, 'this dog is better than most people I know!' Praying for you all with love, Heidi and Mike

  7. My poodle Higgins has the same thing and I keep wondering when I will have to let go. I can hardly stand the coughing bouts he has. I just ignore them and hope for the best.


  9. Dear Marty, Jennifer and Misha, We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God's peace be in your hearts.

    Kevin & Monica Smith

  10. Sorry to hear about this, Marty and Jennifer. Sad losing a loved pet.

  11. That is a beautiful story and Maggie Mae had the best home in this world. You are such a loving family.
    I only wish all dogs were treated so well.
    And yes Yeshua is now comforting little Maggie Mae and she is waiting for your family to reunite again...

  12. May the Lord Grant you his comfort and peace. Yes, you'll be seeing Maggie again. - Chad Bergstrom

  13. Dear Marty and family,
    There's something special about a dog's love that we never forget. I lost my lab retriever Sarah a few years ago after 11 years. Probably the most sensitive and honest book I ever read that helped me cope was John Grogan's "Marley & Me." Just know you are not alone in your grief.
    Susan Kalan

  14. marty and family - I also have a bishon frise and my heart goes out to you - they truly are part of the family - there are horses in heaven otherwise the Lord Yeshua will not come back on the white horse in revelation! God doesn't fotget the animals - that's what I believe anyway - praying for you...

  15. We had two of the same kind and one died 3 days before Christmas 08 and the other one 3 months before - Candi and Nicki. They were both around 14 years old. They were so treasured, we flew them from overseas many years ago when we came to live in the USA- we could not imagine being without them. During their life time , our Lord healed them from various diseases even once when Candy was poisoned by eating something thrown in our garden! Our Father cares for them and hears our prayers, even for our beloved dogs. We do have 2 Boston Terriers today and our home will never be without a dog! Praise be to the Lord for blessing humans with dogs!

  16. I am so sorry abut Maggie. I know how u feel. We had to put our Winston to sleep do to a bad infection on top of being a diabetic dog. He was 8 yrs old. The doctor never saw a bad infection in this type of dog before (Rotty)! These infections occur usually in small dogs. WE put him to sleep a couple of weeks before Christmas. My husband loves rottys. We had 3 already and they have passed on.
    God Bless u and your family.

  17. So sorry Marty! We have a few pets ourselves and a couple are getting up there in years. At some point you realize you will probably outlive them and enjoy your time that much more. What a good, long life she had with such a loving family!

    Angela Prichard

  18. Death is only welcome when the body cannot sustain life any more...animal or human, death is totally un-natural and against all in our living being...that is why Yeshua made it as harmless as possible - she is only asleep, only a resting period until eternal life can be granted at last. I don't know if our pets and animals go to heaven either; but I have told G-d many times when I have seen a squirrel or deer killed by the road that if it is possible let this animal be on my property in the Earth Made NEW. So if you see this place filled with deer and squirrels there, you will know that is my place.

    Listened to your concert in Canada for the first time tonight - what a spiritual feast it was...Write a song for your dear little doggie, and remember her Creator cried too, right along with you. Nicole Carlson

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for your precious loss. We just adopted a sweet little pomeranian named Princess she is 2 years old. When I was 12 my best friend Misty (a sheltie) got killed in front of me by a UPS truck and I have never been able to love or bond with an animal since then. Just receintly the Lord has healed me and I have opened up my heart to love again. It breaks my heart to hear your story. I know how much you must love Maggie. I'm so affraid to lose my new precious little girl someday. My grandma said it's better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all, so I'm going to love her with all I have until the day she dies......and I believe with all of my heart that our precious Lord has our animals waiting for us as just icing on the beautiful cake included in all He has prepared for us!!!!

  20. I so know your grief as on January 16, 2010, I had to put my best friend, Angel (13 year old Chihuahua) to sleep. I still miss her so much it physically hurts. My love...

  21. Dear Marty, Jenny, Misha,
    So sorry to hear about Maggie. We, too, had a little Bichon, Bridgette. She was such a cutie. When the time came for us to say goodbye (due to her diabetes/kidney failure) we were devastated. Now we have another little buddy, Elliott, and he is so special. It feels good to have such a friend.
    When The Almighty restores all things, I'm sure it will include His creatures! They give us so much joy, and are too wonderful not to be part of His plan.

    Love and Shalom, Tracy Swanson

  22. You all did so much for her.
    She'll be there when ou get to the other side.
    Pets are gifts from G-d. Forever & always.