13 Jan A Moment for Molly…and More
While I’m really getting into our latest book, Open, by Andre Agassi, it’s Free-For-All-Friday and today finds me making tribute to a few of my friends and the faithful companions they’ve recently lost.
Life is funny, isn’t it? The way it comes in waves. Over the past week, not just one, but three of my friends are grieving the loss of their beloved pets. Come with me as I share some sentiments.
I will never forget saying so long to our dog, Jake. He was our first baby and we, a newly wed couple, were enthralled. He was gorgeous; part Doberman, part Lab, and full-on ferociously loyal and loving. He was my running partner, protector of the household, humble servant, gentleman to the end. My husband wanted to put Jake to sleep himself, gently administering relief from the cancerous pain. We should be so kind to people, Paul says. But when I returned from Abu Dhabi to Canada, where Jake was staying with my in-laws, I found our dog suffering, and my family made the decision. Jake could not wait for Paul to return to Canada. It was time for our dog to go home.
It was a gift to see him run and dance the day he departed. As though he wanted to leave me with the memory of his exuberance for life, he got his second wind that afternoon as we stopped by a lake for one last walk. And while the memory of him taking his last breath in my arms, haunts me still (I was not prepared for how quickly he would go), I am grateful for the gift of being with him.
And now, as I write this, I hear our beloved Maxine–another SPCA treasure–outside my door, barking to come in and sit at my feet while I write. I think I’ll go get her, but I leave you with LOL member, Vikki’s exquisitely written tribute to her faithful friend, Molly. And below that, a link to a fellow journalist’s column–Dale Bass’s piece for Austin–and finally, a loving “Zo” to my dear friend, Trish, who also said good-bye to a member of her family: Zoe, the fiercely independent, international cat, adopted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and lovingly raised a “Cross-Cultural Canadian” in Vancouver.
Wishing all my friends peace from your pain with warm memories of your companions.
On Wednesday, January 11, 2012 our black Cocker/Springer spaniel ran through my feet out the door for the last time. Molly would have been 12 this April and was in physical condition that put the humans of our household to shame. In the second half of her short life it became her habit to run out of the yard and gallivant through the neighborhood. Her favorite past time was rolling in dead fish and encrusting her ears with burs. She would fun free for about an hour and then return home, to a frantic and furious family. But in the last year she lost her hearing and was rapidly losing her sight. It was always our fear that she would be hit by a car and last night our fear became a reality. My husband heard the car and the thud. He found our stubborn old girl near our street. We lost her on the way to the vet but we both feel that the better part of her life left her body on impact.
I was never owning a dog. I am not a dog person. But I was no match for Molly. After the passive-aggressive campaign by my husband and children for a dog, one day we visited a pet shop near our house “for a look”. There was a litter of smallish breed puppies in a kennel. All rambunctious, barking and high energy… except one. Molly sat in the corner all quiet and demure looking up at me with her soulful black eyes. I picked her up, she nuzzled my neck and I firmly responded “we’ll call her Molly”.
Over the years we shared a love-hate relationship. She was obsessed with food. Many a time when the kids were toddlers, she would jump up on the chair and steal a sandwich. Water called her name. Any patch and she was in it, no matter if I stood on my head and screamed. She was strong willed and pretty much did whatever she wanted. When she wanted attention, she demanded it. But she was adorable and I couldn’t deny it.
A year ago the campaign started again and we came home with a new puppy, Henry. I still don’t know how this happens. Molly was not impressed. This creature was clearly infringing and she let him know. Ironically, Henry gave Molly a second life. More walks, swims and treats than ever before. When we went out and put Henry in his kennel, we would come home to find Molly sleeping right beside it. Who did she think she was kidding?
Molly loved our son, Kayde. When he left our home, she slept in his empty room for weeks. When he came to visit, she was always at his side, leaning into his hand. Our daughter is inconsolable. She doesn’t know how Molly died (please don’t share with her). The thought that our dog died in her sleep is devastating enough for her young heart.
At the vet when we were saying our goodbyes and rubbing our girl, strangely, it was the burs matted in her big curly ears that made us feel better. Molly left this world doing exactly what she pleased.
A girl after my own heart.