Maggie was tortured and hurt but she continues to be loving and trusting of humans in spite of all the trauma.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of animal abuse that some readers may find distressing
Maggie's been through a lot in her life, having been horribly abused by people, and yet she has nothing but love to give. Maggie, a mixed breed dog, was used as target practice, brutally tortured, and lost her eyes as a result but is now a therapy dog, healing others. When British dog behaviorist Kasey Carlin arrived at Heathrow Airport to meet Maggie, she expected to see a dog haunted by trauma and scared of humans but she was surprised. “There’s this little blond dog kicking her feet up high,” said Carlin, reported TODAY. “The first thing she does when she meets anybody is she runs into them and rubs her body on them like a cat does. My brain couldn’t even process it. She’s just so friendly.”
“They used a BB gun and used her as target practice. They had tied her up and shot her. She has about 200 pellets from her nose to her chest and some in her shoulders, but they’re all concentrated in her face,” said Carlin. “Then they pulled her eyes out. She had a broken jaw. They started cutting off her ears before somebody intervened. And she was heavily pregnant at the time.” None of Maggie's puppies survived.
Maggie was 5-years-old at the time she was put up for adoption and was called Angie then. Carlin often fostered dogs but she had just adopted a dog with behavioral issues and decided against fostering Maggie. As days passed on, she realized nobody wanted to adopt Maggie and it became apparent that she would end up in kennels. Carlin had to do something about it. “She had six days before she was due to fly and nowhere to go, and they were going to have to delay the flight, or she was going to have to go in kennels, but I couldn’t let a poor little blind dog go in kennels,” recalled Carlin.
Carlin's original plan was always to foster Maggie for a while, especially considering Mishka, the dog she adopted, was aggressive to other dogs. Carlin was patient with Mishka and soon they became best friends. As time passed, she realized letting go of Maggie was never an option. She was now part of her family. She was incredibly friendly with other people but she was still having nightmares in her sleep. “She’d be in dreams, and she’d wake me up screaming. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a dog scream, but it is horrific,” said Carlin, tearing up. Carlin always comforted her every time Maggie had a bad dream. With time, her nightmares are also going away. "She had one maybe six months ago. She’s happy now,” said Carlin.
Maggie, who loves meeting people, made the perfect therapy dog. “She just wants to love everyone,” said Carlin. She often meets with seniors with dementia, but has also spread joy and love to police officers, firefighters, and schoolchildren. Maggie completely trusts Carlin and runs towards her when she calls. “She doesn’t know what’s in front of her, but she’ll just run unless I tell her to stop, or turn left, or turn right,” said Carlin. “Think how scary that would be. I wouldn’t do that for anybody, but she does. She just gets on with it. She’s literally bulletproof.”
Maggie is also an Instagram celebrity with almost 500k followers. Her popularity online has helped to raise more than $55,000 for dog charities. Maggie has also inspired Carlon to write a book titled The Miraculous Life of Maggie the Wunderdog. Maggie also encourages and inspires others to adopt dogs with disabilities. “Every dog is a good dog. You just have to work with them, understand their limits, respect those limits and build that bond. Then they’re good dogs," said Carlin.