I miss her. I miss Miss Molly. On her 9th birthday, I wrote a blog on Good Golly Miss Molly (her whole name) and that was well over six years ago. Now I had to let her go and it was so hard. But she was ready.

Molly was about four months old when she adopted me. It was love at first sight for both of us.

My oldest grandson was there at the beginning and he went with me for the end. He’s 23 now and Molly was 15, almost 16.

So many memories of that sweet puppy as she grew older. The first time she saw a swimming pool, the Lab side of my Labradoodle came through with a flying leap.

I remember looking out the window one summer day to see her jumping up to bite at the flowers hanging down from the neighbor’s crepe myrtle. It was a glorious scene as the flowers fell around her. I remember her running through snow and playing with the other animals in our house. And, I remember her barking (I couldn’t get her to stop, no matter what I tried) and counter surfing and trash dumping and doing the ornery dog things she did. I remember how they tried to frill her up at the groomer, which always left her looking at me like “why?”

She was just the ultimate shaggy love of a dog, who lived for nothing more than to love me.

Over her lifetime, I worked at jobs that kept me away from the house during the day and sometimes into the night. I wasn’t here playing with her, but she had company with my other pets. Sadly, we lost the cats to a coyote last year, so we were down to two dogs – Molly and her little sidekick, Annabel. I’ve told their stories in the other blog. Now I’m retired and home more, but not all of the time.

And then came Covid-19. We have been pretty much locked down for months and it was her dream come true. I was here with her all the time and we made the most of it. I talked to her and petted her and was here for her. I knew I wouldn’t have her much longer and this was a gift for us both. This past few months, she was still sleeping on the furniture…

…and playing outside…

…and looking at me with that look.

She was getting grayer and slower and I knew she wouldn’t last forever, but I look back now and see how fast she started really really aging. She was slower, her sight and hearing were going, and she began to lose her footing sometimes. She couldn’t jump up on the furniture and I saw her looking at the couch and realizing she couldn’t get up there anymore. I was seeing it, but not seeing it. Or not wanting to see it. She slept so hard that sometimes I touched her to see if she was still with me. And she rallied. Over and over. Last week, she was going to the kitchen for dinner and she moved fast enough for her ears to flop. I thought she might make it to her 16th birthday.

The end was really pretty quick when I look back. Her back legs started going and I realized how many times I was going outside with her just to remind her why she was there. She walked endlessly around the yard and would stand in one place, like she was trying to remember why she was there (I can relate, unfortunately).

I had to take her to the emergency vet over the weekend when she collapsed and didn’t move. I thought she was dying right there with me on the floor beside her. One of my grandsons helped me get her there, but she stood up before they took her inside (Covid rules) and was so alert that I just took her back home, where she gave a little trot as she went back in the house. She wasn’t going to die in some strange place. Not that day. She made it through Sunday and then I made the call to the vet on Monday. It was one of the longest days ever, waiting for the inevitable. I kept the house quiet and let her lie on her bed in front of the fireplace. She didn’t eat a thing all day – a first for her in her entire lifetime. She went outside and walked her endless walk and slept and I talked to her. Before we left, I put her on her leash and we walked up and down in front of the house. She actually gave a bit of a leap to get out to walk, but it was really the slowest walk we ever took. I thought of all the times she pulled me down the street, even as recently as this year, and the contrast was dramatic.

The end was peaceful. I never saw a living being so ready to just rest forever. She was tired and she went to sleep. My grandson and I had tears as we left the vet’s office. It was hard. No matter how right you know it is, how long she lived, how great her life had been, it was hard for us.

Isn’t that the way it always is? I know from all the losses in my life that we are never ever ready to lose those we love.

Good Golly Miss Molly. You were just the best.