Molly, 2001-2011

Miss Impy Molly !!

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.

Lily, Sam and Molly

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26 Responses to Molly, 2001-2011

  1. Brenda Neil says:

    Our thoughts are with you as you grieve the loss of Molly. I remember her on our visits to your home and Ben always talked about her. Hugs to all of the living beings in your home.

    Brenda and Ben

  2. Joan, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love and hugs to your family.

  3. Patricia says:

    Thanks for the tears and the sweet feelings in my whole body as I am surrounded by three cats. Something about the purity and love of and for animals, that moves heart.

  4. Susan says:

    Oh, Joan! I’m so sorry for the loss of this special little being. She was such a lovey dove. It’s hard to think next time I see you in Charlottesville she won’t be there to greet me in person. Gobs of special hugs to all of you, including the other furry four foots in the house.

  5. Gail Livingston says:

    Oh, Joan, my heart grieves with you and your family. Our animal friends who are given to us for such a short time are here for very special reasons. No better example of being present to the moment has ever existed. I am especially touched and hurting with you because I learned last night that my little 12-year-old Papillion has a very low red blood count. We learned last week that his heart is very enlarged. But still, every morning he greets me with abounding joy as if it were the first morning of our relationship. Flapjack has a big heart, altho now we wish it weren’t so physically big. We don’t know the cause of the low red cell count yet, but we know he has many genetics issues. I fixed both his knees two years ago. I will cherish every moment we have with Flapjack, especially since I inherited him from my cousin who died 6 years ago of lung cancer. Courage, my friend, did not the Buddha say, “May all beings be liberated from suffering”?
    Hugs and tears,

  6. Mark says:

    That made me cry, Mom.

  7. jzrart says:

    I was crying through the whole writing of it.

  8. Lisa Rough says:

    oh Mom…. how do these critters weasel their way into our hearts so deeply? They show us how to love, even while knowing that one day, we’ll have to say goodbye. I love you and miss Molly. Sending lots of hugs, as I invite Sebastian up onto my lap.

  9. patti stark says:

    We’re all crying – So sorry, Joan and Bill – you are brave to write about it so soon, but I have enjoyed what everyone else had to say too – we who rescue our pets are a special lot – bless us, and bless your precious, Molly – she’s flying with Muppet!

  10. jzrart says:

    Thanks Patti. Writing about it is part of my grieving process, and by sharing it I begin to heal the large hole in my heart.

  11. Maria Cockrell says:

    Hi Joan, I’m so sorry for your loss. Molly was certainly a classy canine. She will be missed. Much love. Maria

  12. Sharon says:

    Oh my gosh, what a loving tribute to a dear friend. I had no idea what she had been rescued from. I read your email as I was driving out to find out what happened to my brother who passed away on the 28th. We are still not sure what happened. I think of the grief we all feel and the difference of pets and people. While Molly gave you unquestioned loyalty and love, my brother gave us a lot of anxiety and fear. I never stopped loving him but I am sad to say I had lost my hope for his recovery. May Molly and Bob be at peace. Will speak to you soon.
    Love, Sharon

  13. jzrart says:

    Sharon, I’m so sorry. It seems to always be emotionally problematic when someone who was a family member yet very difficult dies. I’m sure he is in a much better place. I hope Bob is at peace and that your grief will turn bring you pearls of wisdom. Love you, my friend.

  14. shirleyhs says:

    What a touching story, Joan. I know how you loved Molly. No love is ever wasted and never really disappears even in grief. May you feel the Everlasting Arms around you now.

  15. kara says:

    Joan, I’m very sorry for the loss of Molly. You wrote such a sweet tribute about her and that little face just brings tears to my eyes because I can just feel her sweet spirit even though I never had the pleasure to meet her. I’m sending you and your family (including Sam and Lily) much tenderness and prayers as you grieve.

  16. jzrart says:

    Kara, Thank you so much for your note. I’m glad to say we’re doing pretty well at the moment. Sam seems to relish being an only dog and of course has dominion over the cats. Molly was always the boss, telling everyone else what to do. I think this is his time in the sun!!

  17. Becca says:

    I’m so so sorry..I’m grieving with you.

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