We lost Molly on Wednesday, just a few weeks before her 17 birthday. We knew the end was coming, but we were hoping she’d hang out just long enough. We got her as a tiny puppy, small enough to sit in my hand, when I was going through repeated miscarriages and then a long bout of infertility; she was our first baby.
And my, she was a character! There was the incident when we had an architect to visit, and quietly and silently she took every item out of her bag, from phone to keys to hankies and carried them downstairs to a pile in the sitting room. Another time, when Bella was being potty trained and we were laying a patio in the garden so Molly couldn’t be let out – this was the time when she was very funny about where she did her business – we took her for a walk, but nothing. So we closed all the doors and expected a disaster. In the morning we came down to find a perfect poo – in Bella’s potty! During one lot of building renovations we had to live in Brighton for two weeks – and ended up buying Molly a square of fake grass to persuade her to wee! Although her favourite thing to wee on was discarded cigarette wrappers…she’d scour the common for them, then perform a dextrous three legged expulsion of both satisfaction and disgust. She also had a deep held hatred of pigeons, particularly in her garden – all we had to say was ‘is there?’ and she would hurl herself through the dog flap to charge out to see off the infernal infidels.
When I finally became pregnant with Bella, Pauline, a local elderly lady started walking her to help me out – in those months, my world became very small in an attempt to hold onto the pregnancy – Pauline and Molly became as thick as thieves – Pauline would drop in at any time saying, ‘I just wondered if Molly would like a walk,’ and very often, on a Sunday, they would get the bus to the London Oratory and go to High Latin Mass together. One priest once made a fuss, but never again, the other Fathers rallied around and even the Bishop said no, God cared for all animals, and promptly blessed her!
In later years, when Pauline became housebound, I would walk the kids to school, drop Molly off at Paulines, so they could spend the day together, then do the reverse at the end of the day, taking Pauline her shopping. Pauline is in a home now, still going strong, she knows Molly hasn’t been in the best of health, but I haven’t broken the news to her yet. It’s something I dread.
Our hope was that she would pass away in the garden, under her favourite tree; we had reached the point where quite often we were checking to see if she was still breathing. Then this week, she developed a bladder problem, and we knew the time had come. It is such a horrible call to make, you know it is a greater act of love to make it. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Particularly, as she did with us – rally when she got to the vets, she even went for a little walk, had a good sniff around…except we never got to the vets as such because of Coronavirus; they had to come out to the car with us staying 2 metres away. They gave her a strong sedative, and John carried her in the street, with me stroking, until she slipped into a deep sleep. Then we laid her on her red towel on her bed in the boot of the car, still stroking her. The vet came back out, and very gently asked if it was OK if they took her now. She wrapped her up like a baby and carried her away to give her the final overdose of anaesthetic inside: The Coronavirus has long tentacles.
The house has felt very strange without her. We knew this was coming, but the end happened far quicker than I think I was prepared for. Her bed, her bowl, her collar, the sound she made across the floor, the constant bumping and tumbling as she made her way around. But somehow we are getting little messages and reminders. The above picture is a still from our online sketchbook art session last night – and there’s Molly on her shoulder.
This is a screen shot from my copy of The Times homes supplement today.
She’s gone. But not forgotten.
Laters, Kate x