We had to say goodbye to our sweet Molly yesterday. We knew this day was coming, but that never makes it any easier. We could tell she really wasn't feeling well last weekend when we were home in Jacksonville, but she started declining rapidly early this week. By yesterday morning, she had not eaten anything since early Wednesday and was having labored breathing. When she wouldn't even take a Pupperoni, I knew it was time.
We adopted Molly from The Jacksonville Humane Society in December 2009. We had to foster her first because she had a broken leg, but once her leg was fully healed, she was fully ours. JHS staff's best guess was that she had been thrown out of a moving car because she had quite a bit of road rash along with her broken leg, but none of the internal injuries you'd likely see in a dog that had been hit by a car. Until her very last days, she was always very selective in who she trusted and rarely trusted men. A few years after adopting her, I learned by her ID number paperwork that she actually started her journey to us at Jacksonville's Animal Care Protective Services, my long time volunteer home, and then had been transferred over to JHS.
The girls and I had actually selected another dog from JHS, but when Benny came in with us to meet that dog, Molly had been placed in the kennel just below the other dog. And she was quiet. That was the key for Benny. All the other dogs were barking, but Molly was just quietly laying their watching us. Now granted, she was injured and scared, so truly, that's likely the real reason she was quiet, but that didn't matter. But lo and behold, once Molly was home with us, feeling better and settling in, we learned that she was actually quite the gifted talker ... and singer ... and howler. Isabelle was two when we adopted Molly, and they became fast friends. Isabelle was the perfect big sister, even staying downstairs with her when she realized Molly could not navigate the stairs with her cast. They were inseparable from the beginning. Molly remained shy and hesitant around strangers her whole life, and she followed Isabelle's lead in just about everything except that - Izzy never met a stranger. But once Molly decided you were okay, she loved you with her whole little wiggly body and her helicopter tail.
Molly's grief when Isabelle passed was really something to see. Along with our own grief of losing 'Belle, watching Molly grieve her was even more heartbreaking. I knew in my heart that she would not last long without her, and sure enough, she only lasted about six months. She was already really spoiled, but we ramped that up when Izzy passed and then ramped it up even more when we got her leukemia diagnosis. Benny got a little poetic with us in a text yesterday, saying she came into our lives knowing the hate of another human but left this world knowing so much love from us. I can only take solace in knowing that she's back with her best pal now, and she and Isabelle are running around with no pain, chasing bunnies and butterflies and teaching all the other dogs how to sing and howl with abandon. Run free, sweet Molly. We are blessed to have been your family. We love you so very much.
My thanks again to the amazing Dr. Diana Brown at Bradfordville Animal Hospital, who helped Molly make her way to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for us. We've lost three furry family members in the last year and a half - Pete, July 30, 2020; Isabelle, August 26, 2021, and Molly yesterday - and Dr. Brown was with us for the passing of each. I'm glad that Olivia chose to go with me and Molly yesterday because I knew Dr. Brown would help her feel better, and that she did. She is a gifted vet. There have been very few times in my life that I have not had a dog by my side. I know we'll welcome a new one or two home at some point, but for now, having lost two so close together, our hearts need to mend a little bit first. Our cats Zoey and June are going to be getting a lot of extra love. Jester June will love this; the magnificent Queen Zoey, not so much.