Utah Ice Center Makes Snow So Dying Dog Can Enjoy It One Last Time

September 29, 2021

An ice-skating center in Utah made snow to grant a family's last wish for their dying dog.

ice company snow for dying dog
Credit: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

On Sept. 24, Elijah Saltzgaber posted a call for help on social media asking if anyone has a shaved ice machine.

"Our sweet dog Maggie is passing of cancer and on Monday we want to build her one last snowbank to roll in," he said.

ice company snow for dying dog
Credit: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

The request made its way to the Salt Lake County Ice Center, a year-round, indoor ice skating facility. They quickly went to work making Maggie's dying wish come true.

"It's not always about skates and hockey pucks at County Ice Center. Today was a bitter sweet day, as we had an opportunity to help make a difference for a very special dog, Maggie," a spokesperson for the ice center wrote in a Facebook post.

"This morning we filled bins, buckets and the back of his van with the ice shavings from the rink. Maggie enjoyed her last morning with her two favorite things, snow and her owners."

ice company snow for dying dog
Credit: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

The County Ice Center shared several photos of Maggie enjoying her personal snowbank, which included a sign that read "Maggie's Snow."

Maggie's owners also shared a final goodbye video of Maggie playing in the snow made just for her.

This is what her owners wrote:

"We said goodbye to our sweet Maggie Bear this morning. We are devastated and already feel the enormous void of her absence. As difficult as the decision to end her suffering was, we are comforted in knowing she departed with grace and dignity. It was important for us to say goodbye in a calm and peaceful manner. Anyone who has gone through this knows it can often be urgent, scary, and stressful for your beloved as well as yourself. We wanted to share in one last weekend filled with paddle boarding (her favorite), food, camping, playing with her ball, more food and belly rubs. Our outing was incredibly bittersweet. Seeing her big brown eyes take in all the stimuli of nature had us doubting our decision. Could we wait another week? Another month? Ultimately, all our bargaining and second guessing led us right back to our want to free her from the pain of her cancer.

Before we departed for our last weekend with Maggie, we had a family dinner to discuss our plans. We discussed how blissfully tired our girl was after a weekend of camping, and how calm she would be for our appointment come Monday. My only lament was wanting her to experience snow one last time, as snow brought her and us so much joy. We tossed around ideas, and upon this discussion Eli put out a notice on Facebook. The response was overwhelming 💖 Salt Lake County ice center in Murray offered up their zam “snow” for pickup Monday morning.

We set our alarm for 5:30 this morning, packed up our camp in the dark, and drove somberly back to SLC. Eli met Tiffany at the rink and loaded up the van with Maggie’s snow. With the help of my mom and her partner, we unloaded the snow and made a throne for our girl to rest in one last time. We are incredibly grateful that our sweet girl spent her final moments surrounded by immense love and comfort. We are absolutely heartbroken, but have found comfort in knowing we gave her the best life and the most gracious passing. Hug your loved ones extra tight for us tonight."

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