Every once in a while someone enters your life whose spirit completely changes you. That was Molly. I remember when I first met her – out of the room of people, she knew I was the one most hesitant about meeting her. She didn`t let that stop her. She bounded confidently right over to me, sat beside me and placed her paw right on my arm – she then covered me in sloppy wet kisses. Sitting in the puppy love room at the River St. Humane Society in Toronto, a lifetime bond was forged in that split second. She needed my hubby and I as much as we needed her. Only we didn’t know it.
Molly was found by the Humane Society wandering the streets on Christmas day in December of 2000. At that time, my hubby and I were boyfriend and girlfriend, renting an apartment in a really bad neighbourhood in Toronto (Jane & Finch). Hubby was working nights and I was alone in our scary apartment in a really bad part of Toronto. I was lonely and wanted a lap cat to sit with me and to keep me company while he worked. A week after New Year’s I noticed an ad in the paper by the Humane Society – they were having a “sale” on all of the pets they had. We arrived early and had to wait in line to go see the cats. They finally let us in, and I looked over every cat – I finally decided on the “perfect” cat and then pulled a number so we could be interviewed by the staff to determine if we meet the qualifications to be responsible pet owners. We waited 2 hours and finally it was our turn. The cat I wanted had been chosen by the couple ahead of us in the queue I didn’t want just any other cat, so we went home.
Two weeks later I convinced hubby to go back to the Humane Society to look again. This time we grabbed a number as soon as we arrived, that way we wouldn’t have to wait so long to be interviewed. He had no interets in getting a cat, so he went off to observe the dogs while I looked over the cats. I didn’t find one that met my “criteria”. I met hubby in the hallway between the cats & dogs. Hubby says to me “If you can figure out what dog I like, then I want to adopt it”.
I went in and observed all of the dogs. There were yappy pomeranians, a pit bull and several others. In the far corner there was a dog licking the fingers of some kids who were sticking their fingers into her crate. It was a female, one year old rottweiler. She was spunky, but quiet and enjoyed the kids. I confidently left the room and met my hubby in the hall, “It’s the 1 year old rottweiler, the one they call Molly”. I was right. We then spent 20 min deliberating over whether we should adopt the dog or not – a dog in an apartment? Were we too young to adopt a pet? (I was 24, he was 26). Were we responsible enough?
Then our number was called. It was our turn to be interviewed.
We satisfied all of the criteria for adopting a dog. Then we got to meet the Molly.
I was apprehensive about meeting her. She was a large balck dog and I had never spent any time around dogs. I had a cat for 18 yrs growing up, but never a dog. I chose the chair furthest from the door, hoping that the staff would bring Molly to my husband first. They brought Molly in and let her off of the leash. She bounded straight towards me, placed a paw on my arm and promptly covered me in sloppy wet kisses. We didn’t chose her – she chose me.
After stopping at a pet store for essential dog supplies, hubby and I brought Molly home to our apartment. She sniffed her way around, then curled up on our couch with us to watch a movie. It was like she’d always lived with us.
Over time we developed a routine with Molly and I learned to love having a dog. Especially when I figured out that she was the most enthusiastic running partner you could ever have. Back in those days I ran before work. After a few weeks Molly would wake me up to run even before my alarm went off. She was a young pup and had energy to spare – no run was too long for her, well except maybe the one 15K run I took her on. She learned quickly after that to save some energy ’cause she never knew if we were doing a short run or a long training run. She even learned to share my water bottle with me. Yes – we shared. She was my best friend.
Hubby and I were drifting apart when we adopted Molly. He was working nights, and I was working two jobs. I was also running before work and lifting weights after work. We rarely saw each other. We had no common purpose. Except Molly. We had to work together to make sure she got her walks in and wasn’t left alone too long. We also knew we needed to save for a house so she could have a yard to play in. She taught us to slow down and to stop and sniff everything – poles, fire hydrants, trees etc…
The years went on. Molly helped me train for 9 half marathons, and 3 full marathons. Hubby and I bought a house, we got married, and started a family. Molly loved our children as much as we did:
This past year Molly turned 10. I took her running with me while I was training for a half marathon this winter & spring. She didn’t have her old stamina, so I took her around the block twice, then dropped her off at home while I continued for the rest of my run. Over the summer she slowed down more and more. She started having blood in her urine that wasn’t cured with antibiotics – a sign that she had a tumour in her bladder. There wasn’t much we could do – she was too old to endure surgery. So we kept her comfortable and loved her as much as we could.
This week she wouldn’t eat. I put some oil on her food and she ate it. That was Wednesday. Later that night she threw it all up. Thursday night I let her out into the backyard to chase squirrels, chipmunks and birds along the fence. She wouldn’t come in when I called her. We eventually lured her in by jingling her leash. She came hopping in quickly – she couldn’t use her rear right leg, but she was in great spirits. We didn’t think much of it – she was always hurting herself chasing the wildlife in our fairly large yard. Friday morning she didn’t get up to go outside when we called her. She could barely walk – she had very little control of her limbs, but she went out and peed. We made her some hot dog to try and encourage her to eat, but she turned her nose up at it. Hubby said, “I think she’s had a stroke”. Friday was my last day of work before maternity leave so I couldn’t stay home with her. We all went to work and daycare. When we came home She was worse. She couldn’t walk at all, she hadn’t touched her hot dog. After the kids went to bed Hubby and I sat with her. We cried and told her how mch we loved her. How we were so happy with how she had turned our lives around. How much we enjoyed the moments we spent with her. She became agitated. I couldn’t watch so I left her cuddling with hubby. Fifteen minutes later he came upstairs bawling. She breathed her last breath with her best friend at her side.
Rest in peace, Molly. I will always love you and am looking forward to running with you again one day.