I haven’t posted a weekly round up in a few weeks. First our family went on vacation. Once we returned, our dog, Molly, started showing signs of failing health, and we lost her last week. We’ve all been mourning our sweet puppy in the mean time. Maybe next week I will return to the weekly round ups, or I may just keep tracking on Instagram. Today, though, I wanted to talk a bit about Molly.
Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. – Agnes Sligh Turnbull.
This house has been so quiet without her. I keep imagining her where she should be, a bit like a ghost following me around. Coming in the garage door, she’s waiting on me just inside. I take the trash out, and find her cleaning the trash can lid while I was out. I’m reminded of the fact our trash can even has a lid is because she would otherwise eat her way through the trash if it had been left open! She waits outside the bathroom door while I shower. Anytime I get up, she watches me for a second to see if I settle in one place, and then follows me around, room to room. Laying down right in front of the couch where I sit. Trying to put us to bed an hour or two before we’re ready. It’s all just a bit lonely, now.
I’ve also spent quite a bit of time reminiscing. Sweet Molly came to us when she was a tiny puppy. That tiny puppy grew into an 80 lb bundle of energy! Also, puppies like to chew. A lot. Especially lab mixes. Our first house had nice cedar plank siding. She thought that would be a nice chew toy. Our deck had painted white lattice work under pinning. That under pinning apparently wasn’t her style, because she tore it down. She learned how to tunnel under the chain link fence at that house as well. Taking care of a puppy was a learning experience for us for sure. Speaking of that deck- she would run out of our back door full speed, and launch herself over the steps and into the grass with a single leap. She never much liked fetch. You could throw a ball, and she’d take a leap off of that deck to catch it. She would bring it back to you once or twice, but then she’d run out there, put her mouth on it to prove she knew where it was, then come back to you without it. So much for being a retriever. 🙂
She was great with the kids! I never once saw her show any sign of aggression towards them. Even in her later years when she was arthritic, she put up with the kids antics.
She was also quite sociable. She greeted anyone who came to our door with enthusiasm. She loved greeting the neighbors if she saw them outside. Thankfully she was usually in the house or fenced in yard. One day, though, I let her out and didn’t see a new neighbor working in her flower bed. Molly ran straight to her, thereby introducing us. I can’t imagine how scary it is to see 80 lbs. of an unknown dog barreling toward you. Of course, she just wanted pets, and this neighbor turned out to be a good dog person, so all turned out well!
Our vets office loved Molly, too. I know it’s their job to love our pets, but their bond with Molly went beyond that.
I flipped through photos last week as well. In the past couple of years, Molly has gradually lost weight. She was around 60 lbs on her last day. This weight loss wasn’t the good kind, though. Her muscles were atrophying in her back end due to arthritis, and potentially some nerve damage of some sort. This loss was gradual enough that I didn’t necessarily notice as it was happening. But looking back at pictures of a younger, more agile Molly, it was obvious that she was more substantial, especially in her back end.
I’ve dealt with a fair amount of guilt, too. What if I’d done X or Y differently type thinking. I know it is fruitless to do this type of thinking, and I’ve largely moved past that. At least for the moment. But, as I said a few paragraphs up that taking care of a puppy was a learning experience, taking care of a senior pup was a learning experience also. I know that Molly lived a relatively long life, we provided her with comfort, and she was a happy, sweet dog. Maybe that shows we didn’t do a half bad job as puppy parents.
We grieve. But we also rejoice for the many years and memories we shared. If you have memories of Molly you’d like to share, please include them in the comments.