Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebration of Life

Kelly and Molly at Slate Creek Campground, May 2009.

I should be packing and organizing and studying. Instead I'm moping. We lost Molly today, the sweet and mild red mongrel chow mix Morgan adopted while going to college in Casper 14 years ago. A bout of diarrhea and vomiting lead to a diagnosis of kidney failure, and when flushing her system didn't improve her numbers, Morg and Kelly had to make the tough decision to let her go. It would make no sense to have her laying in a kennel at the animal hospital, hooked up to an IV. It was quick and easy. And it's okay.

She had been through a lot, our Red Dog, having been down to three legs for eight months now, and having been through half a dozen surgeries on that bad leg over the last several years. And that's hard on a dog that was born to run. I think our favorite memories will be of her bounding through the sagebrush and galloping alongside the pickup on dirt roads, but she was also so nice to have just crashed in her favorite place along the couch. Such a good, beautiful dog is always an ornament to a living room carpet, as much as to human hearts.

She was utterly devoted to Morgan, having chosen her. If Morgan was home, Molly was never more than a few feet away from her, even after it got hard for her to maneuver with just three legs. We have always said she was Morgan's canine soulmate, and Sud used to say that she loved Morgan, and just tolerated everyone else. I like to think that she loved me, too, and I know she loved Kelly and Mom and June.

Losing a pet is a different thing, but it's just as hard as losing people. Having been accustomed to her presence in the house for 14 years, the hole she leaves is going to be very obvious, even with three other dogs. Maybe because of the three other dogs. Since her leg was removed I had gotten into the habit, when I arrived at the house, of beating off the two boisterous, slobbering Labs, holding Rosie the wriggling spaniel mix off with one foot, hooking my arm around Molly's rib cage to support her front half, and gently roughing her up good with scratching and petting and a soft head butt or two. Then I could move on to the other three. She was always special.


Anonymous mister anchovy said...

Dogs have a way of insinuating themselves into our lives in really profound ways. It's hard to say good-bye to a great canine friend.

I also want to congratulate you on your new job!!

February 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

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