there's a molly-shaped hole in my heart that i fear will never heal.
my molly finally gave up the fight on saturday afternoon, a few hours before the vet was scheduled to arrive for that house call. she was really struggling the day before, not wanting to move, laying in her bed trying her hardest to get comfy without much success. every so often she would let out a moan, which broke our hearts to hear because there wasn't anything we could do to help her. and i took her for her last dose of fluids, because the vet had suggested that it was best to try and keep her somewhat comfortable until the time came. during that last visit they also put the catheter in place that would help to administer the sedation drugs and that final injection, and the sight of it made my stomach turn because all of a sudden it was really real.
we'd taken some silly pictures with her the day before that, trying to soak up as much time with her as we could.
stevie came over to say hello too, and it was so sad to watch her just look at him instead of jumping up and yelling at him like she always did before.
later that evening, she got up one last time to take a slow walk around the house she'd called home for most of her life. stevie was so excited to see her up and about, but she still didn't react other than to just stare at him as he came up to her.
the last day of her life was a busy one for us, as per usual. the bean and i had a girl scout event to attend for a good chunk of the morning, and i got up early to get some things done and to spend some extra time with her before we had to leave. she was laying in her bed right where we'd left her the night before, and her moaning and twitching was more frequent than the day before. all i could do was pet her and tell her how much i loved her, and i whispered to her that it was okay to let go. her breathing was labored, and i knew that we'd made the right decision in asking the vet for his assistance.
after we got home, we went straight to her to give her more love and every so often her hind legs would start moving as if she were trying to run towards...something. she'd arch her back and crane her neck like there was something just beyond her reach, and it was heartbreaking. the old lady came then, having left work early to spend time with us, and then we had to run out for one more errand before the vet arrived at 4:00.
but it was not to be. as we were heading back with one more stop before coming home, the hub called. because i was driving, he was on the car's speaker and he just sounded...off. it was when i asked him if everything was okay and he gave an evasive answer that my heart started pounding and my stomach dropped and i just knew she was gone. i pulled into a nearby parking lot, got out of the car and called him back.
"did she die?"
[pause] "yeah, she did."
"were you with her?"
"yeah, i was."
"do you want me to take her to the animal hospital?"
"no. can you wait? i just want to touch her one more time."
i took a deep breath, got back into the car and then that's when i lost it. i tried really hard to keep my face straight and pull it together for the drive home, but it didn't work. i buried my face in my hands and then i heard the old lady unbuckle her seat belt, open her door and she came over to me and pulled me into her arms while we sobbed together. the poor bean was so confused because it just didn't occur to her that it could have happened in the short time we were gone. i couldn't even answer her through the crying...it was the kind of heaving, sobbing crying that you feel down in the bottom of your stomach, hitting your heart and punching you in the throat on the way out, leaving you breathless until the next sob comes through. i tried to catch my breath and told the old lady that we needed to go and hug her sister, and i had her stay back there with her while i attempted to drive us home.
we weren't far, but it was the hardest, longest drive home ever. i couldn't stop crying, and i could hear the girls in the back seat. out of the three of us, the bean was probably the only one who was in any sort of condition to be behind the wheel...heh. she was also the one who was trying to comfort us, telling us the things that we'd told her when she was sobbing earlier in the week after learning that the vet was coming to the house.
and she was the one who accompanied the hub to the animal hospital when he finally took molly out of the house for the very last time. we had a big family group hug, and i stroked my sweet dog's fur one last time and said goodbye as she left us forever.
knowing that it would be a really tough afternoon, the hub had suggested that we get out of the house and find something to do to distract us from our sadness and grief for a few hours. i guess it comes as no surprise that we went to the happiest place on earth to try and lift our spirits for a bit.
it didn't work, by the way. we tried our best, and enjoyed our family time, but i know that for me and the old lady, molly was forefront in our minds the entire evening. she was our christmas gift back in 2004, when she was a mere 3 months old, and we'd been campaigning for a dog for months before that.
the hub was who she'd met first, and it was obvious every day that she loved him the most. it seems fitting that he was by her side as she took her last breath.
she was there to watch the old lady turn from a little girl to a teen, transitioning into the woman she is today.
because molly was there before she was even born, i think the bean kind of thought of her as always in the background...sort of like furniture. heh. she loved her fiercely, of course.
and for me - well, she was my faithful companion. sure, she could be a pain in the ass sometimes, but i couldn't imagine life without her. she was always here for me no matter what, and in the last few months would join me in the sewing room as i worked, curled up on a blanket. she was the first pet i ever had that hung around for so long, and i just never really thought she would ever be gone. stupid, i know, but it's the truth.
and she endured all sorts of silly shenanigans, from christmas sweaters to halloween costumes to hair bows, mouse ears, leg warmers and fun bandanas.
the bean prays for her every night, hoping that she's happy and running around free, playing with other dearly departed doggies and eating lots of cut-up chicken. i still see her around every corner, hearing her toenails clicking on the floor, seeing her scamper into our room to do her morning stretches, falling over onto her back to let me pet her and tell her how much i love her. and the old lady says she can still smell her in the corner of the room where she would sleep every night. the hub is rather stoic, as is his way, but he misses her too. he says the house is too quiet now, and it is. not that molly was a noisy, barky kind of dog, but we always knew she was here.
stevie was here yesterday and went straight to molly's corner, looking for his friend and hoping she'd get up to play with him. when he realized she really wasn't there, he stood straight up at one point, crying and whimpering for a few minutes. we kept looking for what he was staring at, seeing nothing, but some wishful thinking had us convinced that maybe he'd seen molly come home.
after all, she will always be here. at least i'd like to think so. and even if she isn't here physically, she'll always be with us in our hearts and our memories. there'll never be another dog like her. i miss her so much, and i'm so thankful that she shared our lives for so long.
thank you, molly. i'll love you forever.