Monday, August 18, 2008

Molly our Dog 12/15/94 - 8/17/08

We put our beloved dog, Molly, to sleep yesterday.

It was a very difficult decision, but a decision that we had been contemplating for quite a while. We have made at least four separate appointments over the course of the past six months, and have canceled them all, at the very last minute.

When Charlie brought Molly in to the vet yesterday morning, and the vet subscribed another new medication, my husband almost brought Molly home again. But as he was preparing to leave with the prescription in hand, he considered what her life would be like - and what our lives would be like - and he went back inside to have her euthanized.

It absolutely broke his heart, but Charlie stayed with her, holding her head in his hands, until the very end. Ultimately, Charlie and I agreed that the quality of life is more important than the quantity. But what made the choice so excruciating for us, was that although Molly had a long list of health issues, she greeted us almost every day, with a small spring in her step. Sometimes, she would struggle to stand up, but once she was up, she would wag her tail and if dogs could smile, I'm convinced, she was smiling at us.

Today, we are kicking ourselves over whether or not we made the right decision. I can hardly breathe, it hurts so bad. Her name was Molybdenite. But I called her Molly McButter.

She was a sweet and gentle dog.


She was wonderful with the children, and she was our loyal companion.


But we just couldn't do it anymore. We couldn't spend a full day several times a year, pulling our garage apart to clean it from top to bottom, only to have it be dogified within a week. And we couldn't do the medications and clean ups that were required to keep her comfortable.

We didn't want her in the house because adding another being in to the mix - a being that sheds and doesn't have full function of their bladder (and doesn't wear a diaper) - is not something we wanted to deal with, particularly since we have three little children and a baby that crawls on his hands and knees and is forever putting his hands in his mouth.

At almost 14-years old, Molly's health would have continued to deteriorate and we didn't want it to get to a point where she couldn't stand up - or eat - or wag her tail. Yet, we feel guilty that we couldn't carve out the time in our lives to give Molly a better life. We feel guilty that once our children were born, we stopped taking her to the beach and camping. And we feel really guilty that we wanted our garage and side yard back. We need that space, now more than ever.

This ends a chapter in life for us. For the past 15 years, even before we were married, we have owned a dog. Our dogs were our babies, before we had babies.

But sadly, once our babies arrived, our dogs became dogs. We feel like if our circumstances were different, maybe we could have kept her longer. Maybe if we lived in a different home where we had a large yard where she could run free. It is our hope, our deepest prayer, that our little Molly is now running free with Monty.

I really miss my girl.

57 comments:

  1. Aww, I'm so sorry. That's a tough decision to make, but it sounds like it was the right one. You have great memories of her. And I bet the kids will remember her fondly too. Rest in Peace Molly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really feel for you and understand how your hurting. One of our dogs died last month and the other isn't far behind. Currently in the same dilema you were yesterday. I think it is the enthusiasim and tail wagging that has us so indesive. Hugs to you

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sorry about Molly! hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
  4. R.I.P. Molly.

    Hugs and Kisses to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww, Jen I'm so sorry. I don't comment on here much...but this post made me cry. I have always had dogs and have had to make that decision more times that I care to recall. Its just like loosing a member of your family. We intentionally got a puppy last September because we know our older dog is getting..well..older. We are worried about how the boys will take it when her time comes and hope that having another dog will help them through it (and us too).

    Molly sounded like such a sweet dog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I can totally relate to having your first babies being dogs. Ours was a sweet chocolate lab named Bandit. He was our only child for 5 years before we had our first DD. After having our triplets he was demoted to outdoor, screened in porch dog. He passed away from a stroke in May of 2007. The girls are already asking if they can have a new dog when daddy gets home from Iraq... I just don't think I'm ready yet, and I know I won't ever have the same love for a dog that I did for Bandit. So sad.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so very sorry. I know how pets become part of your family - your life.
    No matter when you made this decision, you would be second guessing yourself. It was the right decision. If you had let her die on her own, she could have had many weeks or months of misery. You made this decision because you loved her, as well as for the ones you mentioned.
    I'll be thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was with you the day you brought Monty home and I remember when you brought Molly home, too! You guys are the best dog owners - I've seen it first hand! You have made the right, though tough, decision. I wish other dog owners were as humane as you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, I'm so sorry. She sounds like she was a sweetie. I know how tough it is to have to have a dog put down but you made the right decision.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, Jen. Please don't second guess yourself. You made a humane decision. Molly sounds like she a good life and you gave her peace.

    Losing a pet just sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about Molly. And I'm sorry for the heartbreak that you, your husband, and your kids are feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Im so sorry for your loss, but so glad that you had her in your life for so long.

    ReplyDelete
  13. so sorry jen! hope you can get past the second guessing yourself. you did the right thing. {{hugs}}

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, Jen, I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry. I understand. My sweet Henry, RIP, was laid to rest Labor Day weekend three years ago. I still get verklempt thinking of him.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh Jen, I'm so sorry. We have our own Molly, and I can't imagine what that would feel like. Dogs bring so much joy to life, and you guys are a great family. You loved her and took great care of her.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh I am so very sorry about Molly. It is never an easy decision. My heart breaks for you.
    It took me a while to get over my childhood dog that i put to sleep when I was 19 but it was time. I tell myself that everyday. If only they could live forever.
    Remember the good memories. the rainbow bridge poem helped me a lot.
    (HUGS)

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Rainbow bridge poem will make you cry - be warned!! I lost our Molly dog almost 2 years ago - and still picture myself tripping over her and her drooling over me eating something. Hope the kids are taking it well...

    Maureen

    ReplyDelete
  18. You did the right thing. It had to be a horrible decision but at least the pain is gone.
    My german shepherd made the decision for me, I let her out one morning and she limped off into the woods and never came back. She had been ailing for a couple of years and was miserable too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is very sad, I know. We have a yellow lab who is 8. We are foster to adopting two little girls and I have to admit since they came into our lives our dog has taken a bit of a back seat. I can only imagine how hard it must have been with 4 kids running around. That your Molly lived to be 14 is great for a larger dog. I am sure based on having read your blog through a link someone posted on Carolyn's boards, that your dog was very loved and it looks like from the pics that your dog enjoyed your children too. I am sure you and your husband are devastated, but you have some great memories of your sweet dog. She lived a great life it looks like.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and sorry for the recent comments, etc. you have had. Just wanted to let you know my kids are older (4 &6) but I enjoyed reading your blog during the first weeks we had them when I had time to give me a laugh and let me know that if you can do it, so can I.

    Hang in there and rest in peace Molly.

    Molly

    ReplyDelete
  20. You made the right decision. What a hard one, though. If it makes you feel any better, and makes me sound horrible, I honestly think I was more distraught over the death of my dog than some family members. Because a dog is a part of the family.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hugs to all of you -- what a hard, hard thing to have to do.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Making the right decision never means that it is the easy decision. We remember you today as you grieve for your Molly. She is much happier now. As I prepare for my nest to be empty tomorrow, I am so thankful I have my dog with me to help ease that pain. They truly are love that money can buy!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Charlie made the correct decision for the family. It's an awful decison to make and although I know euthanasia is a politcal issue ... as a pet lover myself I emphatically believe it's our JOB . If we love our pets we have to love them enough to say goodbye when the time is right. Bye Molly say hello to Cosmo and Tigger and Sherlock for me.
    Hugs Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am so sorry for your loss. I know what it's like to have to make that choice for a family pet. I've had to do it a number of times myself and it never gets any easier. You made the right & humane choice. Quality of life to animals is what it's all about and when they no longer have that they really do suffer whether it be emotionally or physically. The reality of it is that if they were in the wild nature would have it's way of ending the suffering for them and as domesticated pets it is now up to us to be responsible and ensure they don't suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. So sorry for you and your family. I hope remembering the many wonderful times you shared with Molly will bring you peace during this sad and difficult time.

    When my 19-year-old cat died in 2001, my veterinarian sent a card with The Rainbow Bridge passage enclosed. It gave me comfort as I grieved for my beloved Callie, and I've since passed it along to family and friends over the last seven years. I hope it helps ease the ache in your heart a little.

    The Rainbow Bridge, Author Unknown

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jen, I am so terribly sorry for you loss. I remember when Monty passed away and I was heartbroken for you then. I always loved that you had Monty and Molly because our three dogs were Mugsy, Maggie and Max. I felt a common bond with the "m" dog names.

    All three of ours became ill for different reasons and we had to make that terrible decision three times over an 18-month period. It is heartwrenching. I am thinking of you and Charlie. May the memories of Molly bring you peace.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Losing a pet is such a difficult thing, especially one who's been with you through so much. My condolences. Molly was a beauty, but I'm sure she's at peace now.

    Summerwind03

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. We had to put my cat to sleep a few months ago and I'm still amazed at how deeply it affected me. I knew it was going to be hard, but it was much more difficult than I had prepared myself. He too represented so much more than a pet. He was my connection to my prekid, prehusband life. I still really miss him. I'm sure Molly felt how loved she was and is enjoying her new energy in a better place. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm sorry about Molly. It hurts putting a pet to sleep even when you know it's the right thing.

    Hugs to all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh Jenna. I am so sorry about Molly. She was such a good dog. I have great memories of her and Monty! Lord, how many times did she chew the cable off that house! And Monty 'marking' the grocery bags of those people going to the beach! Great antics as young dogs but always sweet & loving through their lives.

    We lost Polly in Nov. to pancreatic cancer. We didn't do any of the dramtic stuff, but kept her comfortable until it was time. She was pretty good and then all of the sudden she was horrible. The vet said it would be that way, that we would know it was time. As I drove to the vet for the last time, she howled in pain. When I got her there, she was out of her mind in pain. They gave her morphine right away for the pain and then the 'shot'. I held her as she fell into God's hands, where she was at peace again. I have to be honest, I wish we had put her to sleep earlier than we did.

    You question if you did the right thing with Molly... I think you did. You're good, really good, at listening to your intution and I would bet you saved her from undue pain.


    Take care,
    Michelle M.

    ReplyDelete
  31. To echo everyone's comment... I am really sorry for your loss. Dogs are wonderful creatures that give you unconditional love... all they ask for in return is a little love back. I truly believe that no matter how much you think you neglected them when the kids came, they were happy just the same. Things weren't the same for them anymore but they still had food, shelter, a pat on the head and a place in your world. I applaud you for your decision to have her put down. It takes a much stronger and loving person to make the decision than to let them languish in pain. I am crying for Molly and for your family. {hugs}

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh Jen, I'm so sorry for your loss. That is one of the hardest decisions to make, but you made it because you loved Molly so much. The greatest gift of love is letting go even when it hurts more than you think you can possibly handle. She was a lucky girl and I have no doubt that her and Monty will be waiting together at Rainbow Bridge for the day ya'll are all reunited.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am SOO sorry for your loss. I know there are no words that I can say to comfort you - I also had to make that decision for my Sadie-lady last year after she was my "baby before babies" for many many years. You DID make the right decision. I hope you'll find comfort in that soon!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am so sorry that your precious Molly is no longer with you. We are dealing with a long goodbye of our sweet Maltese. It is so hard to come to the end of that relationship. I am sorry that you are hurting. Praying for you!
    JoAnn

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm so sorry. I went through a similar situation in 11/04. I put my baby, Bailey kitty down at the age of 3 1/2. He had several health problems and had emergency surgeries. I woke up one night and went to sleep on the couch. There I noticed he couldn't move his arms and legs. And his eyes were going back and forth in his head. He wasn't responding to me. I held him because I thought he was having a seizure. I later brought him into the emergency hospital and they told me they'd have to do all these expensive tests. My vet had already suspected Central Vestibular Disorder and now I knew thats what he had. I held him in my arms as he took his final breath. That was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life and I still get emotional about it.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I haven't been a reader for very long, but I went back and looked at some of your posts about Molly. She seems to have lived a very full life, in which she was loved. You have to remember that she is in a better place now, one where she no longer feels pain, and has the energy of a puppy. I'm sure that she is watching over all of you in doggy heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm so sorry you guys were faced with such a hard decision. I think Charlie did the right thing. Quality of life IS important. Hugs to all of you.

    RIP Molly!

    ReplyDelete
  38. So sorry for your loss. I've been there before and unfortunately, I'm about to experience it again soon.

    My biggest complaint about dogs is that their live spans are not long enough. Of course, some people would say that as humans we get the benefit of experiencing many different dog relationships throughout ours lives. And that's hard to argue with because I've never met a dog I didn't like. And I've been in love with all the dogs I've owned.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers. But not Molly, because she doesn't need them any more. She's happy and whole again.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Jen I am so sorry for your entire family, I am sure that was one of the hardest things Charlie had to do. Please don't waste time second guessing the decision that was made, just try to concentrate on the good times that Molly gave your family. You can tell by the pictures that she had a wonderful life and was very loved.
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm so sorry for your loss. What an agonizing decision. But it sounds like she had a long, happy life.

    -Christine

    ReplyDelete
  41. I just went throught this 2 months ago, but with a 15 yr old cat. We knew for a few weeks that it was getting close to time. His daughter and him were always side by side. Besides my male family members he has been the longest man to stay in my life.

    I knew it was time and I am sure that Charlie could tell as well. Don't doubt your decision, it was a good one. Sometimes we hold on too long because we know we will miss them. Quality of life is the key and you could tell Molly was loved and cared for.

    It will take awhile, but his memory will live on. Sending well wishes to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It is so painful to lose your beloved pet. I've been there: on both sides of that decision. One cat, we had put to sleep and held her as she passed. I felt terrible. Another cat, we let her pass to the next life on her own, at home. I felt terrible then, too. It's not easy no matter which way you go: but stop fretting as soon as you can. She is in peace now!

    ReplyDelete
  43. So sorry! It's never an easy decision. I've had to do the same thing just last year with one of my cats.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm so sorry...its not fair. Rest in Peace, Molly and Monty

    ReplyDelete
  45. Jen, I'm so sorry. It's such a rough decision - and one you can't help second guessing. We made the same one with our first baby, Hunter, our dog who was 11 1/2 - a year and a half ago. She was mine pre husband and kids - and alone with DH and I for almost eight years before kids... I still miss her every day and can't think about her without tearing up. Selfishly you never want to let them go, but I try to take comfort in the fact that she's no longer in pain...You made the right choice for Molly - it's just not always easy to accept. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi!

    Sorry but i couldn't help crying while i was reading your story. I lost one of my dogs two years ago in a tragic way...i know how hard it is to lose one of our best friends...and feel that (maybe) we could have done better....i think that's the way things go naturally. Normally we have done everything we can...but we always thinks it wasn't enough.
    Time will help you like it helped me. Trust and be strong.
    Many kisses

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yes, Molly was a great dog. I will miss her when we walk also.
    MOM

    ReplyDelete
  48. Jen, I'm so very sorry the time came for you all to have to make such a difficult decision. We had our black lab, Casey, for 12 years, and us having to do what you just did, tore our heart out. If only we humans didn't have to make these decisions.
    In honor of Molly, I wore my black dog sweatshirt tonight. ^.^
    Good memories will live on in your hearts.
    hugs

    ReplyDelete
  49. Copious tears running down my cheeks. I know exactly how you you. Our Max (14) was recently diagnosed with cancer. He's on chemo right now. Is it the right thing? We don't know but he seems to be doing well. He also is our baby, we have no kids just Max and the cats Sophie, Ted & Alex.

    RIP Molly and enjoy your time with Monty, running the fields, jumping in all the water you want, coming into the house and shaking afterward. You were very loved.

    Hugs to you Jen, Charlie, and the amazing ones. It's sucky to learn such hard lessons at such a young age! But think of all the wonderful times you had with Molly and all the great lessons you learned about respect for other creatures on our planet.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Maybe it's time to visit the Rainbow Bridge. Google it, if you are really missing her. Take alodda tissues with ya, though! :O

    It's *ALOT* more than a poem! Google it!!! :O

    ~Cindy! :|

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh, Jen, that's such a hard decision to make. It's so tough to lose a pet under any circumstances!

    I'm sure she's running around happy in doggy heaven right now. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  52. So sorry to read about Molly. We also have dogs who were spoiled rotten before our children, but have since gotten the short end of the stick. It's a hard balance sometimes. I'm sure she is with Monty...

    ReplyDelete
  53. So sorry to hear about Molly...I think you are right about the quantity versus quality. But it doesn't make you miss her any less. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh, Jenna. I'm know this was difficult for you. I don't know what to say, exactly, but that I've got happy memories of Molly in my heart, too. She was so gentle with your beloved children, and with their friends. A lovely dog, your Molly. And a very loved one, too.

    -Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  55. Your post made me cry! Our black lab looks identical to Molly (they all look alike, don't they?) and I can only imagine how I will feel when our dog is no longer with us. Try not to feel guilty, although I'm sure you will, but she had a great life with you and your family and putting her to sleep now BEFORE she was in constant pain and suffering was the best thing. Here's to all the happy memories your baby Molly brought you!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am so sorry to hear of Molly's passing. It sounds like you made the right decision and that Molly is at peace.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Oh my gosh how sad! I remember them both as little puppies. Soo cute. They both had great long lives.
    Thinking of you,
    xo,
    ans

    ReplyDelete