Sweet Tweets

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Little Miss Molly Bear

A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if your rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?
- from "Marley and Me"

From a detached perspective I find it slightly amazing how we take animals into our homes and hearts and they become an integral part of our families. We receive such joy and pleasure from their little furry face meeting us at the door, greeting us with yips and running in circles every single day. They don't have an "off" day. Ever. They love nothing more than to be with you, play with you, cuddle with you, and are perfectly happy to keep you company while you do nothing interesting at all. 

Molly is my family's dog, and she came into our family back in 2003. Mom decided one day that we needed to go ahead and get a dog since we had lost my childhood dog about 3 years earlier. I was fresh out of college, working my first professional job while still living at home, saving up for going out on my own. So I was there when we picked her up from the breeder, for the puppy-breath, when she was so little she could fit in my robe pocket, for vets visits and house-breaking, middle-of-the-night crying and general cuteness.

When she was very little she hated to be apart from us and in her crate during the evening. One night I woke up and couldn't figure out why I was awake. Then I heard a pitiful little howl and opened my door to find that Molly's cage had magically appeared in front of my door. I was groggy and weak-willed at that moment and reached down to let her out and bring her into bed with me. I never questioned why her cage was where it wasn't supposed to be. Before I could get her out my brother and father leapt out into the hallway and yelled at me to STOP! before I could harm their training efforts. Turns out that they were up all night dealing with her incessant crying and decided to bring me in on the fun since I was sleeping soundly. But they didn't want me undoing all of their work at letting her "cry it out."

In her favorite spot - Dad's lap
When I moved into my own apartment a year later, it was hard leaving her behind...but it always made it that much better to drive up the highway to have a little teddy bear of a dog running razoo's in the living room just because I had shown up.

In 2005 my mom and dad moved to Pennsylvania with a job transfer. Shortly after, Dad got very sick and was battling cancer. The decision was made for me to take Molly and keep her with me until things got better. Thankfully they did, and Dad is now 5+ years cancer free.

That year I had with Molly was so sweet and fun - she was my buddy, my constant companion, the one who was there to greet me after bad dates, to crawl on top of my clean clothes and in my vacated sheets to get cozy, to keep my kitchen floor clean, to walk around Chastain park, to go catatonic (or dog-atonic) whenever I put a sweater on her, to cuddle on the couch when I missed my family, when I went through the drama of a company lay-off, to start my day off right with an excited full-body wiggle and wagging of the tail followed by burrowing into my bed when she realized I was finally FINALLY! awake.

She is a source of joy, entertainment and fun for my family. She and Dad have their games of keep-away and "golf." Just say the word golf around that dog and she goes nutty. It consists of Dad chipping and driving in an empty school yard while she sprints around chasing after the golf balls and exploring the same tract of land where she has already sniffed every inch.

Every morning she and my Dad share a routine.  They wake up early and she cozies up in his lap during his quiet time.  Then it's time to make the coffee and toast the bread...and she always asks –and expects– to get a few of those tasty toast corners and will remind Dad of that if he seems to be holding back.  (I don't know what it is, but Molly loves bread. And hates carrots. Will give them a couple chomps and then spit them out. Unfortunately she doesn't have the same sense when it comes to chocolate.)  Then she races upstairs as the advance party to go say "good morning" as my Dad starts going up the stairs bearing coffee and breakfast for my Mom.  She zooms into the bathroom to check-in, say hi and then sit patiently, hoping for even more toast.

Though it embarrasses Mom to no end, Molly likes to sit in a chair at the end of the table while Mom and Dad have a meal.  She doesn't make a peep, she just wants to be a part of the action.

She loves to sit in your lap when she's riding in the car with you. This was easier when she was a baby and she would circle up in a tight ball on my lap and not even touch the steering wheel.

a rare moment of truce with Kaiser...
She's not a fan a doggie sweaters, baths, hair dryers (after the bath), Brad's dog Kaiser, going out when it's cold and raining, and whatever lives under the back deck.

She is the baby of the family. And she got sick.

A year ago she started having seizures. And after a few scary nights of seizures all night long, they finally came under control with medication. But her body stopped making red blood cells.  Completely. And she didn't responded to medication to help her body regain its lost ground. The vet tried to switch her epilepsy meds to see if that will help, but my parents were told that it was fatal and to enjoy their final days with her.

We said goodbye to sweet Molly in May, but every time I returned to this post to finish it, I would well up with tears and couldn't bring myself to think about her.

And as silly as we feel for being grown adults so attached to a little animal...losing Molly ripped our hearts out. We didn't want her to be in pain. A year ago we cried and told the Lord that we wanted more time with her, that we weren't ready to say goodbye to our sweet little girl. And thankfully, we had over a year more of her cuddly self in our family. We didn't want to put her through unrealistic measures to try to keep her here. But we just couldn't imagine what life would be like without her at the house.

And is different.  It is quieter...less playful...just...less. It was difficult to go home and not have her beside herself running in circles that at long last I had walked through the door again.

I hurt the most for my parents who have lost such a sweet and loving companion. Who should have had twice as much time as they had with her.

It's hard for me to imagine that as one of our most precious earthly treasures that our Lord wouldn't give her to us as a heavenly treasure when we finally go home to be with him...but that is just a hopeful wish of what I want to be true and not based on anything in Scripture.

Sweet little Miss Molly, fun little Molly Bear...I love and miss you so much. You were a furry gift from God that we got to enjoy for too short a time.

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