Ice rink helps dying dog enjoy one last 'snow day'
[Oct 11, 2021: John Franchi]
An act of kindness helped a pair of Utah dog owners check the last box off their dog’s final bucket list.
Marianna Wilson and Elijah Saltzgaber dreaded the day when they would have to say goodbye to their pet “Maggie.”
The 11-year-old pup was diagnosed with cancer in July.
Knowing her time on earth was getting short, Maggie’s owners composed a bucket list of things to do to make the most of Maggie’s final days.
“We made the decision to take her camping and paddleboarding to get her blissfully tired,” Wilson said.
Maggie also served as the couple’s ring bearer during their wedding ceremony, but one final item on her bucket list seemed impossible this time of year — snow.
“She would just frolic and sled on her back like a little toboggan,” Wilson said.
Maggie loved the snow.
“We hoped she’d make it to wintertime, but she didn't,” Wilson said.
Wilson and Saltzgaber brainstormed to figure out how they could produce snow in September in Utah.
“Somebody suggested ice skating rinks,” Saltzgaber said.
He called the Salt Lake County Ice Center and was connected with the facility’s director, Tiffany King.
“I said, ‘I think we can help out,'” King said.
The center collected ice shavings from its Zamboni machine — pounds and pounds of snow delivered to Maggie’s yard — so she could spend one more day in the element she loved.
“To see people from all walks of life come together for our dog, it’s amazing,” Wilson said.
Maggie’s story has gone viral on social media.
So far, people from as far away as Europe have reached out to share condolences and express how they feel connected to the love Wilson and Saltzgaber have for their pet — all because some September "snow" allowed them to say goodbye to their dog in the most special way.
“The small acts of service can make such a big difference,” King said.
“She touched us, and now she gets to touch so many other people. That's the best way for her memory to live on,” Wilson said.
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