As expected as it is to mourn the loss of something or someone important, there’s a secondary mourning that happens years after the original loss. It’s the sadness that comes from not being as sad anymore because so much time has passed. It’s probably guilt about moving on and not taking the time to remember, combined with the sadness of knowing that life has gone on and everything will eventually be lost. So it is with Molly.
Molly died in 2006. It’s sad that she’s gone, and sadder still that she’s been gone so many years that I don’t think about her every day anymore. So much time is moving far too quickly. But, it’s good to think about her and remember how special she was.
Here are a few of my best Molly memories:
• She pooped on my dad. When my ex and I would go to Duck football games, my dad (who lived about a mile and a half from me at the time) would come by to let Molly and Barley outside to go to the bathroom. Molly was extremely skittish, so I told my dad that if she didn’t want to go out, he shouldn’t worry about it. He could just let her stay inside and I’d take care of it when I got home. However, he didn’t listen. Determined to let her out, he cornered her and picked her up, at which time she started crapping. I don’t think he ever tried to make her go outside again, however.
• She was perfectly chubby. One of my favorite things to do with Molly was roll her on her back and roll her back and forth by rubbing her tummy. I called it Rolling the Dough and we had a song to go along with it. I’d roll, roll, roll the dough and she would kick her legs and let her tongue hang out. If I tried to stop before she was ready, she’d blow dog snot on my hand and insist we roll more dough. It was adorable. She was old and dying of cancer, but she loved to roll the dough.
• She was a princess. Barley and I have always done a lot of hiking, but Molly was old and not accustomed to a lot of exercise. Still, she always wanted to go. When she’d get tired on the trail, she’d look at me with her big eyes and I’d carry her for a while (as long as my arms would hold out, see the point made above). Then, she’d get down and walk a little more, and I’d carry her a little more, taking turns until we got back to the car. She loved to be carried. She’d put her paws and her head on my shoulder and look behind me like a baby. A lumpy, hairy baby. The best kind.
I only had Molly for about a year, though I knew her for much longer. I took her into my home, put her on a diet and exercise program, and loved her very much. I had expected to have several years with her, but by the time the vet found the cancer, it had already spread through her bladder, abdomen, and lungs; there was nothing anyone could do. So, I had to let her go. It was very hard, but I love thinking about her and remembering how special she was. It’s funny, but I never actually called her Molly very often. I called her Lady, Ladybug, The Miss, Missy, and all kinds of nicknames. In spite of everything, she was always so funny and full of affection. She loved to roll in the grass and sleep in the sunshine. I miss her.
To honor two of my favorite ladies, Miss Molly, who’s been gone a long time, and Miss Etta James, who died this week, here’s one of my all-time favorite songs.