Our Molly

Published: September 10, 2015

Two weeks ago, on August 27, my husband and I said goodbye to Molly. I adopted Molly from BREW ten years ago, two days after my college graduation. Initially, she seemed terrified of everything when. The first time I met her, she sat stock still while I petted her. At first I thought she was scared of me and wasn't enjoying it, so I stopped. When I did, she shifted ever-so-slightly and leaned about half an inch toward me. I started petting her again, and every time I stopped, she did the same thing.

Over the ten years I spent with her, Molly developed from a fearful, skittish creature into an affectionate and extremely friendly companion. She loved everyone she met, and they loved her. Friends of mine who disliked dogs before they met her were converted by her sweet disposition. No one in the world could meet her without loving her, and she wouldn't let you leave without knowing you'd made a new friend.

When you adopt a dog at 21, you often don't know what you're getting yourself into, and that was certainly true for me. I didn't know how to train a dog or what it really meant to rescue an animal, but to Molly, none of that mattered. All she wanted was someone to love her and feed her, and if I was ever sad or stressed, she would automatically curl up beside me and lick my face to try to make it better. Molly was kind, and through her example, she taught me how to love better, even in her death.

Molly was diagnosed with lymphoma in March, but even with that diagnosis she had five good months in which she was happy and mostly healthy. Her decline was swift, and we are fortunate that she didn't have to suffer much. In the last night, though, it was clear she was uncomfortable and we knew we would probably have to say goodbye in the morning. Even as she was hurting, she devoted herself to caring for us. As my husband and I talked through the difficult decision we knew we'd have to make, we were tearful. Seeing this, Molly, who was struggling to get up, pushed herself closer and nuzzled us, letting us know it would be okay. I have never met a more compassionate creature -- animal or human -- than Molly.

It feels inadequate to say that I loved her and that I miss her, because love means something different to me than it did before Molly was in my life and because the ache of her absence feels so immense and so strong. But I did love her, and I do miss her, and both of those things will always be true. Goodbye, Molly. Thank you for ten tremendous years.

11 Responses

  1. Tom

    So sorry for your loss. I lost my Beagle girl Penny just before her 16th birthday. This was 15 months ago and the pain and sadness are as raw and apparent as the day I said good bye. I will never be the same but we all have to go on. Penny also taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Molly. Grieving is a very personal thing but in the years to come you will only remember all the joy Molly brought you and all the wonderful things you did together. Your Molly was no doubt as beautiful on the inside as her picture and she will always be with you in spirit until the day she crosses the Rainbow Bridge to be with you again. When the time is right please get another Beagle , it will help although no two Beagles are the same ,you will love your new child as much as you did Molly but just in a slightly different way which is fine. I have 2 Beagles now, number 14 and 15 and I have loved each one of them with all my heart. May God be with you and help you in your time of sorrow.

    • Thanks, Ann. We recently adopted a little terrier mix, Hercules, from our local SPCA. We still miss and grieve Molly, but our new furball is a great comfort (it helps that he’s a Grade A snuggler). Give your beagles a hug from us.

  3. We said goodbye yesterday afternoon….Chloe was our world. It was the hardest thing we every had to do… The vert came to our home so Chloe could be at true peace wrapped in her Chicago Bears Blanket we kissed her and stay right with her…I have slept in 3 nights the loss is so great and you wonder …..Will it ever be the same again??? Her bowl still has her food in it this morning … I just can’t bring myself to take it away… I pray for peace but most of all that we made the right decision..She had cancer.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Lisa. We had a lot of trouble sleeping, the first few days especially. I think we watched five movies in three days just so we could distract ourselves. I’m sure you made the right decision for your Chloe — you obviously loved her, and if your decision was motivated by love and compassion, it was the right one.

  4. When I read about your Molly it made sad for you. My beloved beagle Bella was diagnosed with lymphoma in May and I just lost her 4 days ago, on September 7. She would have been 9 in December. She was an affectionate, loving dog who is dearly missed.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. Our dogs are such wonderful companions, and such integral parts of our lives and our families. Keep your memories close and Bella will always be with you.

  5. My heart goes out to you. I put down my Libby down in April 2013 and I just put down my another beagle booda down in July this year … Molly will be in your heart forever .

    • Oh Lani, I’m so sorry. But you’re absolutely right — our animals stay with us. I will think of you and your Libby and Booda.

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sounds like Molly was a blessing for you – and you for her. Dogs are amazing. She is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • She was the absolute best — perfection covered in fur. Thanks for your comments.

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