Saturday, July 12, 2008

In Requiem Molly

I woke up this morning to a text from my mom saying, "we're taking molly to the vet now". I knew what that meant, that Molly, our family's beloved yellow lab of 13 years, had taken a turn for the worse in the night and couldn't make today's car trip to Austin so we could see her one last time. I knew my mom wouldn't make that decision unless it was necessary- unless Molly was truly suffering and it was only selfishness on our part to make her wait until Monday just so we could say goodbye. I cried as JP and Landon came in to cuddle with me, JP thinking of the day his childhood black lab died, and Landon smiling and wriggling between us.

To describe Molly as a family dog isn't accurate - she never thought of herself as one and only barely endured interactions with the other dogs who said hello during our walks on the greenbelt. She'd look up at us with big eyes and implore, "why do they always sniff me? how long do I have to stand here?" Little dogs one-tenth her size would chase her- she had absolutely no idea how big she was, it was almost embarrassing when a little pouffy dog smaller than her head would have her running away at full speed, tail tucked between her legs. She vastly preferred people and was sure she was one. Her loves were her family, water and swimming, long family bike rides, family car trips (she'd sit on the back seat with my brother and get up and walk through the van to check on everyone with a little nose push every 30 minutes or so), camping trips, the lake house, scrambled eggs, and baked beans. We were spoiled with how well behaved she was. We never needed a leash- she always stuck close by and had no interest in other people or dogs. She was beloved by our friends, extended family, and neighbors and was just a solidly "good" dog. Her fur has been matted with tears from all three of us over the years- break ups, disappointments, the perceived meanness of our parents, and the fact that growing up just makes life harder and more complicated all sent us to Molly's solid, furry body and she'd sit up and endure all the hugging and sobbing like the best friend she was.

Up until the investigation the absolute worst day of my life occurred during spring break in 8th grade when I was out walking Molly, sans leash of course, and she took off after a squirrel across the street right as a car came racing around the corner. The car ran directly over her, as I watched in horror. Our wonderful vet took her in with little optimism, she had a shattered hip and possibly other injuries, but thanks to God and his skill she made a full recovery. He wouldn't even charge us for all the work and always called her his "miracle dog". He's the one who told my mom on Wednesday that her refusal to eat and drink was her way of telling us she was done, that the pain was too much and it was time to let go, and because he's the one who said it, we accepted it with little resistance.

My parents are still driving over with our furniture for Landon's little birthday celebration tonight. It feels subdued, but it will be nice to be together. We've been blessed in having almost no experience with death - all four of our grandparents are alive and healthy and the only other pet we've lost was a cat my mom got in college who lived to be over 20. It's going to devastate my little brother - Molly was his very special friend. But she lived a long time for her breed and her injuries and no dog could have had a happier, more love-filled life. She had summers of car trips and camping, weekends of running around the lake house lot, chasing off birds that dared land on her property, and nights being petted and coddled by all five of us. We're going to bury her ashes under her favorite pine tree at the lake. She will be missed acutely and remembered fondly.

Rest in peace, Molly.

17 comments:

  1. Oh babe, how sad. I can't even imagine how upset I'll be when G dies. But it sounds like Molly was a pretty lucky girl to get a family like yours!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is awful. But at least she lived a good long life. We had to put down our cat last year at Thanksgiving. That was pretty depressing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We lost two cats, ages 9 and 14, two days apart, 3 weeks ago, so I understand how you feel. Molly obviously had a great life with your family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Molly had a really good life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry for your family's loss!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aww - I reiterate the thoughts of many and join in saying I'm sorry for your loss. It's terrible to lose a member of the family . . . because that's what the four-legged ones are! It sounds like Molly was no exception to that rule.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We are going through something similar over at The Family Whistle. My thoughts are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm soo sorry! I completely understand your pain and I'm so so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I feel sorry for you.I also have 2 cat so that i can understand what u feel.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am very, very sorry. . . we lost two cats & a dog last fall, two of whom had been with us for 13 years, so I feel what you're going through. (((Hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's so sad. I love my black lab Jake so much and I just cry and cry when I think of him dying. It will tear me apart. I'm sorry. {{hugs}}

    ReplyDelete
  13. This makes me want to cry. I am so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm sorry about Molly. :( We had to put our black lab Beatrice down last year. We planted a tree for her and spread some ashes under it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so sorry! :( Sounds like she had a wonderful wonderful life with you as her family. I had to put down my cat of 10 yrs in September and there are days that I wake up and forget that he's gone.

    ReplyDelete