Ed Rendell writes sad tribute after dog Maggie dies

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Maggie, a rescued Golden Retriever adopted by Ed Rendell while he was Pennsylvania governor, died Friday.

Rendell made the announcement on Facebook and penned a tribute to Maggie and dogs in general.

When Rendell separated from his wife in 2011, Maggie “was my rock, my constant companion,” he wrote.

“There were many a night that Maggie and I sat on the couch together sharing a pizza and watching baseball, basketball, football or Love Actually (Maggie saw that at least 8 or 9 times). The first couple of years were, as you would expect, very difficult for me but Maggie got me through it,” he wrote.

Rendell adopted Maggie in 2007. She was a breeder dog on an Amish farm and had lived her first 2½ years in a rabbit hutch. After she gave birth to a still-born litter, the breeder sold her to a rescue group.

The group knew Rendell had recently lost another Golden Retriever, Mandy, and contacted the governor.

“We met Maggie shortly thereafter with our dog Ginger and we saw a scrawny, 42 pound Golden whose growth had been stunted by living in the rabbit hutch. But Maggie was remarkable. She wasn’t scared from her experience, she wasn’t bitter she wasn’t angry,” he wrote.

Maggie and Ginger were fixtures in the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg and in the Capitol, appearing with the governor at rallies and bill signings.

Ginger, also a Golden Retriever, died in 2015, Rendell said in a brief telephone interview late Friday afternoon.

The day after Christmas last year, Rendell adopted Royal from the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue.

Maggie “was a great mentor dog” for Royal, a 7-year-old breeder dog also from an Amish farm, he said.

On Thursday night, Rendell had Maggie checked by a veterinarian after she experienced trouble breathing and keeping her food down, he said. An X-ray revealed a mass in her lungs and Rendell took Maggie to the hospital at Penn Vet.

She was stabilized in an oxygen chamber and later placed on a ventilator. It was discovered she had cancer in her liver, stomach, and lungs, Rendell said.

On his Facebook post, Rendell wrote: “I lived on this earth for over 73 years and as a trained lawyer, the most persuasive empirical evidence I have found about the existence of God is that someone must have done something to create that special bond between dog and human. It exists for us with virtually no other animal and I can’t believe it was just an accident. If God did that, we thank Her but God made one mistake, she should have made the lifespan of humans and dogs the same so that we wouldn’t lose them so soon, so very very soon.”

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