Since we opened the doors at Hilltop Children’s House Montessori in 2018, two things have been constants in the classroom: Noelle as guide, and Macy as the classroom dog.
Noelle and I got Macy in July 2018 to be our dog. She was six years old at the time, and the family she had grown up with could no longer care for her. We welcomed her into our home and into our hearts.
I was working at Franciscan University at the time. When Noelle came to the classroom during that first school year in October 2018, she brought Macy along — she didn’t want to leave her home alone for those three hours.
The fit was obvious and perfect from the first.
Macy had such a gentle spirit for children. She would let the children pet her, and sit with her. She would snuggle in on their lap, and nose-in under their arm for pets. And of course she loved treats.
She was just fine with being a classroom work — learning to brush a dog requires a number of skills that children do well to learn.
But she also would let them know when she was not pleased with what they were doing. The children learned quickly to know the signs. Macy would clearly indicate that she didn’t like what they were doing, or that she wasn’t interested in being bothered.
Then she would go to her pillow, which was her safe place.
She was such a good dog for the classroom.
She helped more than one child overcome a fear of dogs. She helped more than one child who was having a rough day.
She was as near the perfect classroom dog as we could have hoped for.
About a year ago, she developed lumps that proved to be lymphoma. We took her in for surgery to remove the first lumps we found, hoping they would not come back quickly.
They did. Within six months, we knew what we were facing.
In February we nearly lost her, but the vet put her on medication which reduced swelling and slowed the growth of the worst lumps. We had her with us at home for another five months.
Macy passed away in her sleep, at home, yesterday morning, Monday, July 17.
She was one of the sweetest and most affectionate dogs I’ve ever known. She was very obedient, despite no formal training. She was loyal and protective. And she loved her children at Hilltop Children’s House.