Goodbye, Molly

May 14, 2008

Dear Molly,

I saw you for the last time last night. You looked the same as usual, except that your eyes seemed a little glazed, and you couldn’t get up to greet me. You tried, but due to a stroke, an aneurysm, or some other explanation, your back legs just wouldn’t work anymore. So I came to you.

I remember when we got you. You were a stray, found by a friend who couldn’t keep you. According to the vet, you were about four or five years old at the time. I was 14 and I loved you immediately. You were smooth and soft and sweet. For years I tried to make you love me the best. I always thought that if I were stranded on a desert island and could only have one thing with me, I would pick you.

Not long after, we took in another stray dog named Max. He was a wild one, but lovable. He was a bad influence on you. The two of you together liked to barrel through the front door any chance you got, then run around the neighborhood until we chased you down and trapped you. One morning when I was in high school I was the last person to leave in the morning. My ride to school arrived, I was loaded down with bags to carry, and I accidentally allowed you to escape. In my rush I let you go because you had always come back before.

It wasn’t the best decision I ever made, because when I got home from school that day there was a message on our answering machine from an irate neighbor which said, “Your DOGS just KILLED my CAT…AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT!!!” I can still hear the words in my mind today. You and Max didn’t know you were hurting the poor cat, you just wanted to play. I thought we were going to have to get rid of you after that, but my dad was too much of a softie.

Another time I came home from school and I was met with a broken window and huge pools of blood all over the carpet. I followed the trail up the stairs, all over the couch, to my brother’s bed where you were, weak and trembling. You had gotten so excited at something outside that you had broken through the window and cut an artery. It was a scary time, but we got you fixed up. And after a lot of scrubbing, the carpet looked somewhat clean as well.

Max died a few years ago, and since then you have reverted to your calm, sweet self. Not that you weren’t always sweet even with him around, but when you were alone we could leave the front door open and you would come back whenever we called. My dad always said that just petting you lowered his blood pressure. You had a fun life with Max, and when he went I think part of you went too. Since then you liked to lie on your couch, lie on your bed, occasionally look out the window under the piano, sunbathe by the patio, and not much else.

Despite your frail appearance, you kept hanging in there. We were even able to take you on a drive to South Carolina the Christmas before last, to meet your cousins. In recent days, when I brought Cleo over to visit it was like you didn’t know what to do with this new crazy little thing running around. I think part of you wanted to play like you used to, and you always seemed more active around her. But you didn’t quite have the energy or the stamina, and you would eventually just plop back down with a look of wisdom.

Every time I visit my parents, which is often, I look forward to seeing your head pop up behind the sofa. I look forward to the thump thump of your tail when you see me. I even look forward to the tapping of your nails on the wooden floor as you move from your bed to your couch and back. I’m sure I will still look and listen for these things the next time I visit. It will take me some time to realize that you’re gone.

You were with us for twelve years. You were much older than dogs of your size usually live. So when I got the call last night that you weren’t doing well, I wasn’t surprised, but I was deeply saddened. I knew I had to see you one more time. David drove me over to visit, and as soon as we got to the house, I curled up with you on your bed. I scratched your belly because it always did itch you, but now your paralyzed legs couldn’t scratch it. I kissed you behind your ears, which was always my favorite spot. I whispered for only you to hear, “I love you, Molly. You’re the best there ever was.” Then we left.

This morning, my parents did the hardest thing for a pet owner to do, but it was time. They stayed with you while you went to sleep for the last time, and cried their eyes out. You were a part of our family. We all loved you very much.

I already miss you. Goodbye, sweet girl.


Posted in: personal

Comments on Goodbye, Molly

  1. 1

    From Mom:


  2. 2

    From Megan:

    I’m so sorry, Kathleen. That always hurts so badly. I wish I could be there with you like I was when Max died. :( I’m thinking about you, and I love you very much.

  3. 3

    From Tabaitha:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how much Molly meant to your family. She was such a sweet girl!

  4. 4

    From Molly, you will be missed!:

    […] Our puppy of over 14 years had to be put down yesterday. I don’t do well with this kind of thing—I’m never exactly sure how to express my feelings. But my sister does. And she did a perfect job of capturing Mollypuppy’s life. […]

  5. 5

    From Katy:

    Sniffle. I’m sitting in my office bawling my eyes out. I’m so sorry Kathleen.

  6. 6

    From Emily A:

    That made me cry, Kathleen. I hope you are doing okay.

  7. 7

    From dad:

    Dear Kathleen,

    That was a beautiful tribute. It had me crying again, right before work too. I had to go compose myself before heading out the work. No worries, she’s running with Max and Magic now and soon we’ll have rescued another dog we can smother with love.


  8. 8

    From Christine:

    What a touching tribute to such a loved member of your family. I’m in tears now just reading it, and can just sense how special Molly was to all of you. So sorry about your loss!

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