Earl and I were forced this week to make the decision we had been dreading. We had to put our beloved Molly down. We’ve known for quite a while that this day was coming, but we had tried our best to keep it at bay. We’ve had Molly for ten years since she was eight weeks old. I know you’ve read a lot about our other fur baby, Lily, the last year with her myriad of medical issues, but I hadn’t written much about Molly.
I always referred to Molly as my “angel exchange” dog. Molly was born on my birthday, just hours before our first Lab, Lucy, died of Lymphoma. When I found there had been a litter born that day, I felt as if I had been given a sign; that as Lucy went up to doggy heaven, that her sister was on her way down to take her place in our lives and hearts.
Molly began having problems with arthritis in her elbows about two years ago. For a while, it was mostly manageable with a medication called Previcox and an occasional cortisone shot. She was having problems walking on our tile floor so to combat that, I had floor rugs throughout the house in all the directions she normally walked. My son insisted that we needed to buy her gripper socks to help her walk and it did, a little.
But, this last year, it became a serious problem. We’d taken her to the vet and he told us basically her knee joint was “bone on bone” and there was really nothing we could do but help alleviate her discomfort. She began having more and more difficulty getting around and we were fearful as far back as July that we were going to have to let her go. We were able to get her on more medications that seemed to stabilize her. She definitely wasn’t getting better, but she was getting around.
We were looking forward to going on vacation to the resort we had gone to the last two summers and knew that the rooms we were getting, literally right at the lake’s edge, did have a steep downhill path that also included a small number of stairs. To help with this, I bought her a tactical vest that comes with a handle on her back which let us help her up and down the stairs.
Since July she had been gradually going downhill. She had gotten to where she was almost completely unable to negotiate the one step from our patio onto the deck. She would stand in the doorway and rock back and forth until she had enough momentum to bring her front leg forward.
Earlier this week, Earl came to me and said he thought the time was very near that we would have to make the decision to let Molly go, but the next day, she seemed to rally and we thought we’d gotten a reprieve.
On Friday morning she fell in the hallway while going out to the yard. Earl got her up and helped her outside and then helped her again to get on the deck. However, that is as far as she got. She was unable to walk into the house. Earl left for work and I was able to lift her rear end enough to get her into the house and into the kitchen. That’s where she stayed. She was completely unable to stand. The decision had been made for us.
We had to take her on a gurney into the vet’s office where they left us in a room with her for a while. Earl had given her a pain pill about an hour earlier and it seemed to have kicked in as she had stopped whimpering. Just as a test, he stood up and said “come on, Molly, lets go home” and you know that wonderful dog tried her damnest to stand and walk with him, but she could not. What a wonderful blessing this dog has been to us. She is the epidemy of “man’s best friend” and she was truly Earl’s best friend. Molly adored him.