Sergeant Margie

My “fuzzy son”, Sergeant Margie was my male Pomapoo (half Pomeranian, half Poodle). He was given to me as a gift in 2003, a few months after my mother, Margie Jagusch-Hanson died of breast cancer.

The friend who gifted him to me wasn’t very savvy when it came to sexing animals, and presented him to me as an 8-week old puppy saying, “Here’s Margie. She can act as a kind of reminder that your mom is always with you.”

The sentiment was beautiful and the puppy was darling, but within a few seconds I could tell that “Margie” had a penis. Boy. Not girl. D’oh!

I was going to keep the name “Margie” anyway because, well, he doesn’t know it’s a woman’s name. But when I took him to the vet for his puppy vaccinations, his doctor jokingly said, “No. You can’t call him that. He’ll have gender issues. He needs something more butch, like… Sergeant Margie, or something. ” And the name SERGEANT MARGIE stuck.

He was born on or around Thanksgiving Day 2002, so I celebrate his birthday on November 22nd.

As you can see, when he was a puppy, his hair was all a dark maroon-red and his eyes were blue. But as he aged, Sergeant’s Margie’s poodle hair came in, eventually replacing the red Pomeranian hair altogether, and his eyes turned amber. Here are some photos of him in his first year:

Ever a comfort and companion, Sergeant Margie saw me through my bout with breast cancer in 2003 (I was diagnosed within a few months of my Mom dying from the same thing), and also saw me through the endometrioid cancer I had in 2018.

Surviving Being Bitten by a Spider

In 2005, I rushed Sergeant Margie to a 24-hour vet clinic in the early morning hours when I found him suffering from what I at first thought was some kind of seizure.

I had let him out with my other dogs to go potty, and when he didn’t come back with the others, I went out to look for him. I found him in the garage, his whole body contorted into a knot. I immediately called the vet’s office to tell them I was bringing him in, and got him there in about 30 minutes.

By the time we reached the hospital, dark bruising was starting to show up just above one eye, and the vet determined that he must have been bitten by a spider, but testing would have to be done to figure out what kind. It was eventually determined to be the bite of a Brown Recluse Spider (which is VERY rare in California).

Sergeant Margie was in the ICU for three days, and it cost me every dollar in my savings account to get him the treatment he needed, but he’s a tough little dude and survived the bite.

The bite caused necrosis in his upper eyelid. Luckily, he didn’t lose the eye. And the poison caused bruising down one side of his face, down his chest and down to the toes of one of his front legs.

What was odd was: where the poison went through his body, it caused all of his fur to fall out. And when the fur came back, it came back his “puppy red” at first, and then grew out white again. So, he looked like a 50-50 Bar for a while.

The only thing that saved him was the fact that I’d gotten him to his doctor so quickly.

Surviving the Attack of the Evil DA

Sergeant Margie also saw me through a horrible period in 2008-2009 when I filed a complaint with the FBI and the State Attorney General about the District Attorney who oversaw the county I lived in at that time. I believed, and still believe, that the DA was part of a mortgage scam-ring that cheated people out of their homes (including mine). The FBI jumped on the complaint, and working with them, we found other people that had been scammed by the same group all over the country.

In what I believe was blatant retaliation for the complaint I filed, however, the District Attorney confiscated all of my pets claiming I was abusing them. The only reason why I was able to save Sergeant Margie was that I flatly refused to let him go when Animal Control came to the house to take my pets away. It was like “Sophie’s Choice”: they forced me to choose which of my children to save from the gas chamber.

By 2009, all of the charges against me were dropped when the DA’s office admitted there was NO EVIDENCE to support the abuse claim… and it was discovered that the Animal Control workers had actually falsified reports.

As for my complaint about the scam-ring: Thanks to the FBI, all of the ring leaders in the scam were arrested and put into prison. Unfortunately, the DA himself didn’t go to prison — although I certainly believe he should have. Nevertheless, he still lost his job that very same year when he was voted out of office.

Since Then…

Since that sad time, Sergeant Margie and I moved to Sacramento County where we were very happy. For many years, he went with me to work almost every day and accompanied me on my weekly nature walks.

Eventually, around late 2014, he got too arthritic to go out in the field with me anymore, but he came along on walks in the park or on our auto-tour nature adventures.

Since my new cancer diagnosis in 2018, Sergeant Margie was at home with me, and was a constant source of comfort.

Sergeant Margie Forever

Sergeant Margie continued to be a deep well of joy in my life until he died on October 1, 2019 at the age of 17 years.

I’m so glad the Universe protected him
and left him in my care.

RIP, my beautiful boy.

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist

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