My mother first got Molly about three months after I had left for college.  I questioned at the time whether or not it was “too soon”, since we had lost not one, not two, but THREE of our dogs the previous year.  Our three cocker spaniels Rudy, Bear, and Linus (the Grumpy Old Men, as we called them) had all passed away either due to age or health issues.  Was it really right to get a new dog so shortly after that had happened?

Molly was half-Labrador, half Huskie (Lab in the front, Huskie in the back as I would say).  She had white fur with little spots of brown that’d get darker as her coat would get thick in the winter, making her look like a burnt marshmallow.  She had flat ears like a Labrador, but they’d perk up sharp like a Huskie when she was excited or interested in something.  She was what an ex of mine described as “a talker”, because she’d not so much bark as do this musical howl in your direction when she wanted attention.  We called her “Molly Woo Woo” after the sound, and she was sharp enough to respond to you with co-ordinated Woo Woo’s if you had a conversation with her.  A “talker” indeed.

I still remember when I first met Molly.  My mother was picking me up from the airport when I had come home for spring break during my first semester away.  Already I saw Molly peering at me through the window in the back seat, probably thinking to herself “Who’s this new person?”.  I got in the front passenger seat and just as I had sat down and fastened my seat belt, she climbed over and plopped down right in my lap.  And she wouldn’t budge until we had driven all the way home from O’Hare airport.

…Yea, we got along pretty quick.

That was six years ago.  During that time, Molly was inseparable from either my mother or my step-dad Angelo.  Molly would even come with my mother to her job and hang out with her in the office all day, and would sit home bummed when my mother changed jobs and couldn’t do that anymore.  She’d look at Angelo adoringly every time he gave her a piece of lunch meat or a frozen meatball when they’d come back from her walks.  They grew so attached to her I nicknamed her “Little Sister“, who later became a character in “Oh Goodie!”

Molly was a sweetheart.  Molly was the best.  Molly…was taken from us far too early.

…Molly passed away today.  I came upstairs from working to find her under the kitchen table laying in a puddle of her own urine.  When I tried to get her to move or find out what had happened, she refused to budge.  She was drooling and breathing heavily in a way that wasn’t like her at all.  When we managed to get her to the vet, he told us that she had a cancerous tumor in her spleen.  Any surgery would only prolong her life by months, not years.

I excused myself from the room, unable to sit through this again after having seen the boys go.  It devastated them, but my mother and Angelo were with her at the end.  She was up and lucid the last time I saw her, which is how I want to remember her.

I lost my little sister tonight.