ELYRIA – Victoria Donovan tried to compose herself long enough Wednesday to talk about her companion dog, Maggie Mae.
Her shaken state and tears made her other pets -- Colby, Shadow and Baxter -- a little jumpy, and they stayed close by her side. Or, maybe it was the obvious void Maggie Mae’s absence was having in the household. The young mixed King Cocker Spaniel has been missing since early Tuesday afternoon.
But Donovan said stolen is probably the more accurate term.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be gone long. I just needed to have some blood work done,” said Donovan, 47, of Elyria. “I came out to my car and as soon as I opened the door you should have seen the look on Shadow’s face. It was like he was saying, ‘I’m sorry, mommy’.”
Donovan said she had a Tuesday appointment at EMH Elyria Medical Center on East River Street when Maggie Mae was taken out of her car. She has since filed a police report and has searched the Lorain County Dog Kennel with hopes her dog will be returned.
“There is such a hole in our home because Maggie Mae is gone,” Donovan said. “From what I’m hearing, there are these people who will sometimes take dogs out of a person’s car because they think by doing so they can give them a better life, but they don’t know how much these dogs mean to me or the kind of life I give them.”
Donovan said she is dealing with a lot of medical problems. Doctors believe she may have advanced-stage cancer, but are waiting on test and biopsy results to confirm a diagnosis. In the meantime, she said she finds comfort in her dogs. On Wednesday, her three remaining pets stayed within arm reach and even attempted to lick away the tears that flowed as she talked about Maggie Mae.
“They just seem to give her renewed energy when she’s feeling down,” said Donovan’s son, TJ Donovan, 24. “I can tell when she’s having a bad day. She will be in bed all day and the dogs will be sleeping with her.”
Donovan said Maggie Mae is intuitive to her needs. Last week, the young pup stayed by Donovan’s side all day, and within hours she had a full-blown seizure.
“She’s so in tune with me that I know she is probably unbelievably worried, just like I am about her,” Donovan said. “Having her with me is better than taking a pain pill. Just having her here calms me.”
Tina Carey, the owner and operator of Total Canine Obedience, said she doesn’t know Donovan but can vouch for the therapeutic benefits of dogs. She has a certified search and rescue dog that is also a therapy dog.
“Dogs are very attentive to their owners,” she said. “Some dogs have the ability to sense when their owners need that extra comfort and time. That dog is probably comforting her both mentally and physically.”
Donovan asks if anyone sees Maggie Mae, they call her at (440) 361-1894.