It's never easy to put a dog down and today we had to let Molly go. She came to us a few years ago after a terribly abusive life as a breeder poodle. She had been caged and bred and abused for all her adult life. All 6 pounds of her. We rescued her with the intention of just fostering for a while and I remember driving her home and watching the fleas crawl over her sparse hair. I thought to myself that she was lucky but I knew from other rescues that we were the lucky ones.
My wife, who has a sense about these things, looked over at me and said "I think we should keep this one". That made it six dogs in our house which, if you love critters like we do, isn't really so much. What's one more warm body to cuddle with; one more personality to fill a big house; one more of "our own". I don't have to tell you that hearts never fill up, they fill in. There's always room.
Molly was the smallest and the bravest. We called her the "Regulator". When the other dogs were having a little TOO much fun, Molly would jump down from her perch at the top of the sofa and bark at each dog until they found their manners. Molly ran the fastest in (or on) the deepest snow and always managed to wiggle her way on to someone's lap just as desert was being served. None of us....none.....would turn her away. She was the only one of our dogs that actually WANTED to meet the feral barn cats and probably would have put them in place if she had too. My son would take her out to the barn and put her in his lap where she would wag her tail eagerly hoping to see a cat and make a new friend. She had probably grown up around cats and liked them.
A few months ago she developed a lump on her neck. The wonderful vet we see so much knew right away that it was not going to be easy. We had it removed but it came back with a vengeance. In the last few weeks she had trouble swallowing and breathing. She managed to put on a great effort this past Sunday when company came over and broke bread with our family. We didn't have to say that it was probably a goodbye supper for her visiting friends. She was a champ, quietly sitting on each lap while they petted her bony back and sides.
Molly's weight dropped to barely four pounds and today she was clearly struggling all the time. She was restless but exhausted. It was time. The vet gave her something to relax her and she rested her head in my hand. The resident cat there jumped on the table and meowed as Molly looked over with a twinkle in her eye. Then, she was gone.
We took Molly home laid her to rest next to the barn and under the big, flat rock that the cats like to rest on. The cancer had ravaged her and it hurt us to see what she had lived through. Yet it was clear that nothing in her disease had touched her heart, her soul nor her spirit which now lives on in all of us.
I know that many of you have pets and love them as I do Molly. So, be grateful you have them, understand how grateful they are to have you and keep my Molly in your hearts for a little while.