writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

Maggie J. Starling

Maggie Starling
Legacy, Founder, CEO
Wild Dingo
Maggie Starling
August 18, 1993-November 23, 2007

Nicknames: Margret, Mary Margret, Mary, Mags, Maggie, The Dingo

Founding CEO, Margaret J. Starling brought over 14 years of experience in being demanding and generally disagreeable--perfect attributes for a CEO of a start-up company.

Her daily responsibilities included lounging, patrolling the territory for unusual individuals and adventures with her employee. Maggie was an avid adventure enthusiast, enjoying long daily walks, duck/cat/squirrel/skunk-chasing, kayak rides and trips to the pet store. She prided herself on agility and her own moral code. Anybody lucky enough to have met or known Maggie was well aware of where they stood with her. Maggie often claimed, “I'm not evil. I'm just misunderstood!”

Maggie began her adventures with Wild Dingo as a means to get what she "really" wanted: more walks, more bones, more squeaky toys, and more attention. But the truth is, Wild Dingo became daily lessons to the secrets of happiness. Wild Dingo is Maggie's legacy.

Maggie sported many disguises to keep paparazzi at bay. So well known, she was often behind glasses and other disguises.


In 2001 I began consulting. I had just got married and inherited my husband's dogs, Maggie, and Moosh (the yellow Labrador).

To say that these two dogs were a handful would be an understatement. Maggie was 9 years old and never attended obedience school. Being an untrained dingo (who later graduated obedience school with honors), we had to be careful of her around strangers, as we were never sure of her behavior. Moosh, on the other hand, was the antithesis to Maggie's mischievousness. Overall he was an obedient and loving dog and one was only endangered from his bad breath when he greeted you. Still, he did whatever Maggie instructed him to do, which often got him into as much trouble as her.

At 40 lbs, Maggie was bigger than life and a whole lot of trouble. Mr. Wild Dingo and I would often use her as a threat in our disputes. "If you do that, then you get the dingo," was often said to end an argument. We knew the other meant business with the threat of imposing the dingo on the other. The source of her trouble was really just a lack of training and good communication with her humans. Once she graduated training, she became the picture of perfect behavior and our arguments would often end in, "if you do that, then I get the dingo!"

One spring afternoon, I was busily typing on my computer, working on a client's communications plan in my office. Like a bull, Maggie came charging into my office, forcefully scratching at the door demanding to be let out. Moosh wasn't far behind. Still unfamiliar with their habits and communications, I naively assumed that Maggie had to use the “ladies room.” We didn't have a doggie door at the time so I stopped my project and opened the door. Within 90 seconds after returning to my desk, I discovered her reason for haste. The odor infiltrated every nook and cranny of the office and soon I was slammed with a full-on arsenal of a skunk bomb. Needless to say, I was not pleased as I was on deadline and didn't know the first thing to do to fix the situation. (I didn't exactly have gallons of tomato juice lying around.)I saw through the glass door that Maggie was foaming at the mouth, most likely from the skunk bomb hitting her in the face. Moosh, on the other hand, was clean. Poor Moosh! He was begging at the door to come in, frantic, fearful and disgusted by the smell. He managed to escape unscathed and for once in his entire life, he wanted to get away from his beloved Maggie. I wasn't born yesterday and knew that once that door opened, Maggie would find her way inside. Eventually, the smell subsided and I went outside to bathe Maggie.

That day, I realized that Maggie's officious behavior would make her the perfect boss. No matter if her decisions were right or wrong, Maggie was capable of getting what she wanted and charging forward to get it. It always amazed me how she often would strategize, three or four moves ahead of Moosh, like a chess player, in order to get his toy away from him without brute force. Yes! She was bossy and strategic—perfect leadership qualities.

That afternoon, I wrote a press release about the incident and sent it out to a few friends and colleagues who were familiar with the terrible twosome. Wild Dingo was born. Maggie stepped up to the position of CEO and naturally, Moosh, the more charming of the two, became a customer service representative and co-founder. Since I was the only one who did any work and obeyed Maggie's demands, I became "the employee." But things got better. I was eventually promoted to "manager" of Wild Dingo. I try to maintain Maggie's legacy with all our dogs and future Wild Dingo employees.

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