Those of you who have been following along here since nearly the beginning, know Molly’s story. How, abandoned to the streets at the age of twelve, she landed in a high-kill shelter, schedule for euthanization because of her very wretched physical condition.
Then, a series of small miracles orchestrated by some mighty wonderful women turned the world around for Molly, gave her a second chance, and we were the lucky recipients of that chance. Now, we were in the middle of the house renovation, living in a single back room with five dogs (three of them maremmas) and the idea of taking on another was, well, crazy. But you see, there was something about Molly; something about the look of hope we thought we saw shining from her even through the great burden of pain and infection she carried.
We wanted to be the ones to make the difference for her, in whatever way was possible. Shannon, who worked at the Shelter, showed such great kindness to Molly in making the connections that would free her, even opening the Shelter up on a Sunday for us to get her, knowing she might not otherwise make it through the night unattended.
Molly was so desperately sick, with raging ear, eye, skin, and urinary tract infections that we were compelled to drive with the windows down for the trip home.
We bathed her twice, once before and again after, painstakingly clipping her matted coat off her sorry little body.
And out of that mess appeared this, the Molly we came to know; the Molly who had held that look of hope, patiently waiting for someone to recognized she was in there.
That was almost three years ago. It was dicey in the beginning, but Molly kept surprising all of us. One by one, we cleared hurdles and eventually, there came a time when we didn’t even think of Molly as an invalid; old, maybe, but healthy and happy. Oh, that was the best feeling!
Everyone fell in love with her and Molly loved everyone. There are so many Molly stories, I could fill a book! I could certainly spend the rest of this post regaling you with tales of her sweetness and silliness, but that would only be to delay what is the inevitable story I must tell.
Molly passed away today. Old age had been catching up to her at an increasingly rapid pace. The foster puppy sparked new life in Molly, but he left us this last Sunday, and that caused us to notice a growing cluster of concerns about her state of mind and physical health. It was creeping, creeping up on her and suddenly it declared itself. Some time during the night, Molly had a neurological event. I awoke to her splayed on the floor in a mess, no longer able to control her hind quarters. And she looked up at me, with her Molly eyes and said, remember your promise.
You see, our promise to Molly in the beginning was that she would die feeling fully loved and cared for, even if that meant having only three days with her. Our promise was to be there for her, to help make the right decision, to walk with her to the very last step of it and wrap her in love and tenderness to her last breath on this earth. Our hearts have exploded a thousand times over with the happiness and joy of having her in our lives for nearly three years, not three days. But a promise is a promise, especially one as sacred as this, and now it was time to keep it.
I weep for Gordy that he was not here. We could have waited until he flew home, but he was firm about doing what was right for Molly. My beloved sister, Kim, has been home sick with a bad virus, but she roused herself like the warrior she is and came with us to the vet to set Molly free. Our best beloved vet, the one who was caretaker of Molly through her entire journey, shifted her schedule to be the one to honor Molly at her departure.
Molly was such a bundle of love and joy. And now Molly has left us and the gaping hole in my heart is gushing tears of choking grief. Truly, we were blessed to have her become a part of us. I want to leave you with one last picture of Molly. It isn’t the best shot, but it tells a delightful story. After meals, Molly loved to rub her face along the entire length of the sectional couch. We keep dog covers on the couch which drape over and Molly’s persistence is that the face rubbing is only effective on the couch, which requires great head maneuvering to get and stay under the covers. I caught her teaching Ryder, the foster pup, her technique. I swear she was smiling at him when he got it right. I want to believe she is smiling on all of us now, pain-free, playing like a puppy, the essence of love. Because that was Molly.