Molly came to us on November 22, 2003. She was rescued during the middle of the previous night from a severely abusive living situation where she lived outside, chained to a cement block. Her Home was made of 2 more cement blocks with a piece of ply wood fitted over the top. Her food, table scraps, were tossed on the ground. The same place where she pooed and peed.
She was delivered to us with a big pink ribbon tied around her neck and a brown paper sack filled with mats that my friend had clipped from Molly’s body. We all fell head-over-heals in love with her, especially Sam who was her soul-mate right from the beginning. My mother who was living with us at the time named her and spent hours massaging her as she herself was dying of lung cancer.
Molly was scared, ate as though she’d never been fed before and slept with us that first night. We discovered she had heartworm. She mostly walked on three legs and found she needed both hind knees repaired so that she could walk and sit normally. She was not spayed. We attacked the heartworm first, then the knees, then the spaying, though now I regret that she never had a chance to have a litter of pups with Sam. They would have been the world’s most perfect dogs.
We think she was a Maltese mix, perhaps a Malti-poo, meaning half Maltese, half Poodle. She knew how to set your heart to beating very fast with love and how to sneak around and get the cat food when you thought you were looking, but apparently weren’t. She loved everyone, showed no signs of anger or victim behavior. And she was great with kids. When Noah, our grandson, was very small and grabby, he one day took hold of her leg, looking as though he might try to pick her up that way. Molly gently took his hand in her mouth and removed it from her leg, as I watched on in awe.
She constantly licked and cleaned Sam’s ears and eyes and anything that might hurt. When she sat in your lap she would clean every inch of skin that was not covered by clothing. She would have made an amazing mother.
This past Sunday, at around ten years of age, after being sick on and off for several weeks, she passed, leaving this family totally bereft.
She had been doing well on Saturday, wagging her tail whenever she looked at me, went for her walks and ate well. On Sunday her breathing became labored and she couldn’t walk. We took her to the local emergency vet where she died on her own, as we hovered over her. She was taken by a tumor on her spleen that suddenly split open on Sunday. There was nothing to be done for her. Sam came into the room after she died, sniffed at her, looked at her then sat down as if to say, “Yes, I knew she was dying.” He is doing well, played with me this morning and later I watched Lily, our tuxedo cat, love him from head to toe as he slept on the floor. He is very clingy though and does not want to be alone. I know how he feels.
In my grief this morning, I was suddenly made aware that it is no mistake that Molly was sent to me and that my tendency to bring home abused animals is part of their and my own healing. Molly and all of the others who have passed, those still living, and those yet to come are my teachers, who have taught me how to parent myself and to find the light behind every cloud.