As you may have noticed on the bottom of Molly’s picture above, I have some sad news. Our precious pup, Molly, passed away Monday, June 4, 2012 at a little after 10 AM. Hip dysplasia got the better of her and Cherie and Mary made the most difficult, but most loving decision to have her put to sleep. She could no longer run and play, could barely stand, and then only for seconds at a time, was almost completely blind, and had been clutched by a fear that could only be calmed if she could feel the loving hands of one or more of her family members petting her gently, but constantly. The vet was a very nice woman and took the time to explain that we were not only doing the right thing, but all the reasons why. She also shared her own experience in that she knows that her dog is still around on occasion due to some occurrences that could only be explained by his presence.
Molly was not alone; she had her mothers, Cherie and Mary, with her, and Steven and myself there to hug, kiss, reassure, and love her to the end. She was very brave and laid calm and peaceful through the short process and in the end, as her Mama Cherie said, “She looked so beautiful.” Molly was born on July 25, 2000 and had the best 12 years of life that any dog could have. We all spent the remainder of the day sharing many great memories of Molly, laughing and crying, and supporting each other as a family.
I have personally only known Molly for a little over a year, but I grew to love her as if I had known her my entire life. Molly was a very special puppy. It was Mary’s first Valentine’s Day gift to Cherie very early in their relationship, some 11 years ago. Molly has been there to get them both through many hard times in their lives and has given them a lot of laughs, stories to tell, and memories to cherish and treasure until the end of time. Here are bits and pieces of Molly’s amazing life and journey that have been shared with me.
Mary had recently obtained a job in the World Trade Center towers. She had not been there long when she had a doctor’s appointment and at that appointment, she learned the devastating news that she had Multiple Sclerosis. The following week, as Mary was taking some time to adjust to the news and attend follow-up appointments with her doctor, she was astonished to see on the news the events of 9/11 as they were happening. Mary and Cherie lived in an apartment in New York City just a few miles from the Towers. What they went through that day and are still dealing with today is a story for only the two of them to tell. I mention it only because, it was the medical news and then the attacks that Mary was referred to a support group. I believe it was a 12 week program that helped individuals to deal with trauma and tragedy and so new groups would join previously set groups and these groups would cycle in and out.
Though Cherie had a very well established dog walking and pet care business in which she had 300 clients and was highly sought after, she did not at that time have a dog of her own. Cherie wanted (and still does) an English Bulldog. Mary knew she wanted to get Cherie a puppy for Valentine’s Day, so she was on the look-out and one day, she saw a poster with Molly’s adorable little puppy face needing a good home. Molly’s previous owner had learned she would be put on dialysis and would no longer be able to care for Molly. Mary knew that a Boston Terrier was not an English Bulldog, but she was just too cute to pass up and so she called and arranged to go meet Molly after her group session. As Mary sat in her chair, holding the poster of Molly in her hand, and sharing the news that she was going to go pick up her new pup, a woman spoke up, one of the new group members, and said, “That is my dog you are coming to get.” This new woman was in the group to find support in coping both with her dialysis and with having to give up her puppy who was not yet a year old. In that moment, both women knew that it was what was meant to be for Molly.
Molly was, to say the least, a blessing for Cherie and is in large part, what helped Cherie cope with the life-changing tragedy of 9/11. Molly also got Cherie through another very difficult time; that of the hurricane Katrina that turned New Orleans upside down. Not only is New Orleans where Cherie was born and spent the first 40 years of her life, but her son, Steven, was living there at the time the hurricane struck, and for nearly nine months after, she was unable to get a hold of him. She was certain that her son was dead, and try as she did to find him, she could not. He did finally call her and she was relieved to hear that he was safe and sound and alive. Cherie had a lot of support through this period of time, but it was Molly’s love and devotion that helped keep her going. Molly has been there for Cherie and Mary through several death’s of family members, through many sicknesses, and the times when Cherie was near death, more than her share, Molly continued to be a constant.
Molly was a comforter, a hero, a loyal friend, and dependable companion, but she was also a champion athlete. Her favorite thing to do was to run, chasing a ball, and playing until she was stopped against her will. She could find any ball, anywhere, and she did this to a miraculous extent. Mary and Cherie have taken Molly on many trips, including a cross-country trip from New York to California. Along the way, they, of course, made many stops for gas, to eat, and to use the restroom. On one such stop, at a gas station deep in the desert, they let Molly out to potty, and before they knew it, she took off like a jack rabbit. They couldn’t imagine what she was up to, but never would have expected exactly what had taken a hold of her. Moments later, Molly returned from the dessert…with a tennis ball in her mouth! Only Molly could find a ball in the middle of the desert.
Another one of Molly’s favorite trips to take was to go see Angie, one of the family’s dearest friends, in New Orleans. Angie’s house is set on two acres and Molly couldn’t be happier than when she was chasing one of her many balls all over Angie’s large property. It is a rare treat when these ladies, Mary, Cherie, and Angie, can get together, sitting on Angie’s porch, drinking coffee and just enjoying each other’s company and long conversations. As they sat talking, Molly would chase the ball, return it to the porch and be at the ready for the next big throw.
On one of these occasions, time passed without notice, and someone realized that Molly had been running for hours and hours and should probably come in for a rest. After hiding the ball from Molly’s sight, they were able to get a hold of her and bring her inside. She drank long and was sure to get plenty to satisfy her thirst, immediately followed by peeing on the very spot she stood, on Angie’s floor. She then hopped up on the bed and with little strength left in her tiny, muscular legs, collapsed from exhaustion. As she rolled over on her back, everyone noticed that Molly’s belly was red and covered with red ant bites. Molly had proved, yet again, that nothing would keep her from having fun and chasing her ball; not hunger, or thirst, not exhaustion or pain, and not any amount of time. So much exercise Molly got on that trip that she lost nearly half of her body weight.
Molly’s love for her family was boundless, but the one person she was most excited to see was another dear friend of the family, Marlene, in New York City. Marlene is allergic, but risked any and all consequences when she hugged and petted and kissed Molly. Molly would get so animated when she saw Marlene that she would nearly have a coronary trying to escape from the car to get to her. Molly not only loved those in her life, but was deeply loved by many.
Cherie, being the fabulous cook that she is, has spent a lot of hours in the kitchen. Molly was always right there by her side waiting for any morsel of food to be dropped, spilled, or flown to the floor. She was also given many pots and pans to lick prior to their making it to the sink to be washed. During dinner, Molly would sit very still and quiet and stare at us while we ate. Her eyes would bulge out of her face and ears perked straight up, waiting for anyone of us to take our last bite, as she knew the plate would then be hers to lick spotless. Molly never begged, but occasionally gave a quick bark as a reminder if, for some reason, we were not paying attention or forget to set our plate under her nose. She was such a good girl!
Molly was a proud puppy. She has marched with her mamas in the New York City Pride Parade, wearing her Pride rainbow, frilly collar and held her head high, marching along as if she were a celebrity on a runway. Often during this 10 mile march, she would be offered water, but would refuse to drink it in front of her fans. It would be much later, once the crowd had begun to fade away, that she would finally indulge and quench her thirst with a rainbow, Italian ice. She was quite the Princess that way.
The Pride Parade was not the only place Molly would strut her stuff for the crowds. As I have mentioned, she has spent time in New Orleans, and she has shared in the festivities of Mardi Gras. Here, she would wear her pink tutu, and was the center of attention. Mary said she was a major chick magnet, as dozens of strippers would flock out to the street to ooo and ahh, pet and admire, and in some cases take pictures of Molly.
There are many more beautiful, fun, and happy memories to be shared about Molly, but her moms want to write some of these themselves. Once finished, I will share what they have written with you here, but for now, I will share one last memory of Molly that I was a part of. Last Christmas, Molly was on Cherie and Mary’s bed, Jingle Bells was being sung on the television and I sat beside Molly and began to sing along, but in a dog howl kind of way. Molly joined in and howled with me. She has been known to bark, but never has she howled until this moment. From that night on, whenever I would enter the room where she was, she immediately began to howl, letting me know that she wanted me to sing with her. Cherie, especially, was not amused and would thank me with sarcasm for teaching her this new noise. Cherie’s gratitude always made us laugh. I am going to miss that precious little pup!
I find comfort thinking of Molly joining Manhattan (my kitten whom I lost a little over a year ago) on the Rainbow Bridge. I can see Molly running, chasing many balls, tongue hanging out and a smile on her face, blissfully passing the time until one of us comes to retrieve her. We love you Molly, so very much, and we will see you again!
- Proud Molly Marching at Pride (onemindmanydetours.wordpress.com)
- Just Me, #11 (onemindmanydetours.wordpress.com)