This past Tuesday morning, I was awakened by a phone call. My parents were calling with the news that they had decided to put Molly to sleep.
Molly, as those who read this blog's earliest posts may remember, was the world's biggest golden retriever. Just last month we celebrated her seventh birthday. (Any excuse for a cake...) In recent weeks, it's become more and more difficult to get her to go outside to do what she needed to do, because her legs were in so much pain. She's been sleeping downstairs on the sofa with Mom because she couldn't go up to bed anymore. Ultimately it was determined that her back knees were shot, and by the time the heartbreaking decision had been reached, she was no longer capable of standing. Knee replacement was an option but a bad one, and even if it all went according to plan she'd still be in pain for the rest of her life. So mercy was applied instead.
Molly was a naughty puppy. She didn't mean to be; she was just big and playful and goofy. As the dogsitter-in-chief, I had my share of growing pains with her. I distinctly remember sitting at Mom's one day with the laptop on my knees and a golden retriever puppy teething on my arm while I typed.
"Run for your lives," I told my friends, "it's Dogzilla!"
As she got older, though, she became a really very good dog. She liked to wash Sheela's ears for her. She loved "babies" (stuffed animals) and would carry them around for days, washing them and cuddling with them. She also loved big towels, and we could trick her into coming inside by asking "What happened to you!?" and giving her a rubdown with a towel, telling her that "Now you're gonna be all right!" Oh, and snow - she loved to play in the snow.
The end was a little confusing to her, partly because she was on so many painkillers. All she knew was that everyone had come to see her, she was having a party. That wasn't too unusual, really, and it made her happy. I couldn't be there at the very end, but Mom said she went with a smile on her face. (Dogs smile, you know.)
So dogsitting just became a lot simpler. Mom's house just became emptier. Our lives just became emptier.
But I believe there's a heaven for animals. And I believe there are a lot of stuffed animals and towels up there. And she's gonna be all right.
March 2004 - April 2011