It was an unusual request that Elijah Lee Saltzgaber of Sugar House, Utah, made on Sept. 24: He was looking for some snow, or the closest thing to it.
“Unique request,” he posted on Facebook, according to Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. “Does anyone have a shaved ice machine they have put away for the season?”
The reason for his question — and the events that followed — have had hundreds of people in tears.
Saltzgaber had a dog named Maggie who was dying of cancer. They’d made the tough call to have her put down on Sept. 27, but wanted her to enjoy “one last snow bank to roll in.”
“I am hoping for about 10-20 gallons of ice I think but am thankful for anything we can get,” Saltzgaber’s post continued.
“Saying goodbye to her monday around noon so willing to pay and pickup monday morning … Maggie and both of us thank you deeply for reading this.”
Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation heard the call, and they answered. The staff at the county’s ice arena, which provides a venue for ice hockey leagues and figure skating, was in a position to help.
“WARNING: Tearjerker,” they shared on Sept. 27. “This weekend, a resident contacted our Salt Lake County Ice Center seeking a little snow for their dying dog, Maggie, to play in one last time.
“Today, our staff shaved some extra ice, loaded it into bins and buckets, and the owner took the snow home, to Maggie’s backyard, where she enjoyed it with her family.
“Sending our love and condolences to Maggie’s family. We appreciate the unique privilege of providing her a little heaven on earth.”
Thanks to the magic that the ice center worked, Maggie and her humans got to enjoy one last snow day in September. The photos the couple shared of Maggie in her very own snowbank are heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time and illustrate just how much the gentle giant was loved.
The post from Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation has been shared over 15,000 times. Hundreds have commented to commend both parties involved in the act of kindness and to reassure the owners that Maggie is now enjoying the biggest snowbank ever — pain-free — in doggie heaven.
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