Meet Mike and Maggie Mae
Posted by Jennifer Petre on June 23, 2011
Army Veteran Mike Hopp has been patiently waiting for his Stiggys Dog for almost 8 months. At the time we received his initial application we were already beginning our first training class. We could only take 4 dogs through it, and Mike was the 5th person to receive one. I know this was hard for Mike, as I heard from him almost weekly. His excitement watching the other dogs and Veterans go through the program only made his rise. Mike had asked if he could come down and train, spend sometime with the Veterans and Dogs to get a feel of it. Gladly Mike came down for a few weekends and nights, working and training with the dogs that weren’t his.
Finally months later, we were ready to start looking for this next training class of dogs. Again, with only the room to take 4 more dogs on, Donna and I were on the hunt. Within two weeks we had the four dogs that we felt ready for training. Donna and I had an idea which dogs were better for what Veteran (based on interviews, family, lifestyle) but we still needed more time to get to know the dogs, and have the Veterans work with them, to have our final outcome. Mike was very anxious at this point, calling almost daily wondering when he can start training with his dog. Then life threw us a curve ball, and we had some important decisions to make. Donna and I received an urgent message from a case worker and a Veteran in need. Confidentially I cant tell you the whole story but it changed everything. We had a meeting with our current Veterans, explained a little about our situation, and we all agreed to have this new Veteran join this class. Unfortunately that meant, someone in their class would have to go back on the waiting list…..
The conversation with Mike ended something like this…”Jen, I would want you to do the same for me, no problem, I can wait a little longer for the sake of another Brother”…. Well Donna and I also felt that since we have spent time already training and working with Mike, and he lived close, so we opted for another route. Mike was going to be a first, and we were going to take on another dog to train in this session, but the dog would go immediately home with Mike and his training would have to be from afar, while traveling weekly to us. Mike Hopp jumped at that opportunity!
For the next 2 weeks we searched for the perfect dog for Mike and for this situation. During one weekend training, I took Mike on a trip to Michigan Humane Society in Westland. We recently meet with them and are talking about working with them to adopt different dogs that fit our profile. I explained to Mike the whole way there, NOT to get attached to any dog, we were just LOOKING! HA! We spent all day meeting and spending time with 5 different dogs. Mike feel instantly in love with one Maggie Mae, as we walked by her room, she sat by the door, her sad eyes looking straight into Mikes. Mike knelt down, Maggie’s tail wagged, but they stayed staring at each other for a few minutes. “I really like Her” …..
It took a week, phone calls daily from Mike whispering ‘Maggie Mae’ into my phone. I called Mike and told him we got the OK to adopt Maggie from the Michigan Humane Society. From the moment Maggie Mae and Mike walked together out of the building, the have been inseparable! Tears of joy poured out as I watched them drive away. I know then this was the perfect match….
Here is some highlights of their first week:
‘I brought Maggie home, we played with the kids in the yard, then we all went in a took a nap. Me and the Kids with Maggie Mae in the middle!! We slept together on the bed, until Maggie Mae’s snoring woke us all up!
“I cant tell you how motivating she is, even when I don’t want to go out, I know I have her as a responsibility. I get right out of bed to take her for a walk. I haven’t walked outside, around our neighborhood (in years). Now I walk proud, me and my Maggie Mae”
To see them together is inspiring. They have boned quickly and are almost ready to take their Canine Good Citizen test! Mike is so motivated to making this work, and Maggie is so motivated to loving Mike. This couldn’t have turned out better! It was a long road to wait, and sometimes things don’t seem to work out at a moment for a reason, and this is an example; Mike and Maggie Mae were meant for each other!
*I want everyone to know that the reason we were able to place Mike and Maggie Mae was because of the donations we received. We were able to get the food, crate, collar, leash and training tools needed for Mike. THIS IS ALL BECAUSE OF OUR FANS!!! Your donations and support made this possible!!!!!!