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Family Makes A Snow Mountain In Their Garden So Their Dog Can Play In It One Last Time

Maggie is a sweet St. Bernard/Newfoundland mix who was destined to live on a snowy mountain. She has always sought out the coolest spot in the home to snooze or hang out since she was a puppy. When her parents decided to take her on a family excursion for the weekend, the cute little puppy had been unwell for a few months.

They took her camping, paddling, and spoiling her with stomach rubs and her favorite foods. Maggie’s family recalls her returning ‘happy exhausted,’ but her parents also wanted to give her the chance to enjoy feeling the snow between her paws, something she had always done.

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

Maggie’s parents quickly planned how to use the time they had left when Maggie and her family got the devastating cancer news. Maggie had been accompanying Elijah and his wife on all of their outdoor outings for the past three years.

In the winter, she went skiing, and in the summer, she rode her mother’s paddle board.

Maggie’s mother, Marianna Wilson, says:

“She would lie on her back and tumble in the snow as a 120-pound dog.” It was so much delight to watch a dog enjoy himself so much in the snow.”

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

Mariana continued:

“I can’t remember when she wasn’t my shadow since our life centered around her, and our vacations revolved around her.” From the minute we wake up till we go to our beds. And we didn’t take it lightly; we were determined to give her the life she deserved, and in the process, we enhanced our own lives ».

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

Maggie’s family planned a whole camping vacation with her when it was time to say goodbye. Maggie had always struggled from the heat, and she appeared more sensitive to rising temperatures since her cancer diagnosis, so they knew snow was absent.

Elijah recalls:

“‘Man, those snow machines,’ I thought. If we had to rent one of them, I’m curious how much snow they could shovel.’ So I put something up on the internet, and that’s when he began flipping out.”

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

According to Elijah, the community response was overwhelming, with hundreds of individuals providing recommendations and even volunteering to bring their own personal snow cone machines and have a snow-making party. One person even volunteered to use a hammer to assist them shatter ice blocks.

Several restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops also volunteered to empty their coolers and give Maggie all of their ice cubes.

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

Elijah tried to coordinate with everyone who provided ideas in his article while preparing for his last weekend camping trip with Maggie. He observed several remarks about receiving excellent quality snow from the ice rink at that moment, so he sent messages at two of his local ice rinks, and Tiffany King of the Salt Lake County Ice Center responded the next day.

Elijah relates:

“He greeted us as we emerged from the woods on Monday morning and had everything ready. She and Jimmy, the Zamboni driver, had completed two circuits around the course, one more than they typically do. They’d also created a massive snowdrift outdoors.”

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

Only a third of the snow could fit in Elijah’s pickup as he headed to the ice rink. Maggie and his wife couldn’t believe their eyes when he arrived home.

Mariana recalls:

“I can’t even describe how overwhelming and emotional it was when he backed up on Monday morning and we opened the van doors.” I started sobbing, he started crying, my mother started crying, and Maggie was like, ‘What’s up, guys?’

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber

Maggie quickly realized that this mound of snow was created specifically for her. Her mother said she took some and presented it to her, and the cute puppy ate it without hesitation. On a shade tarp, the family transferred what was in the vehicle to a corner of the backyard.

Maggie’s parents chose to play with the snow while she was still unsure of what was going on, and she hopped on the snow mountain, looking absolutely at ease and comfortable to the point of falling asleep.

Image/ Elijah Lee Saltzgaber