Her death was a sudden thing. She went outside, then came back in and lay down on the floor by my desk. A few minutes later she began making noises like she was going to vomit.
These things happen when you own a dog, so no biggie.
I told her to go outside and, (obedient dog that she was), she got up and staggered towards the living room before collapsing in the hallway. Within a half hour, she was dead.
We tried to get her to a vet in time. To his credit, the vet did all he could do. He put her on oxygen, gave her a number of shots, but it was too late. Later, he informed us that his guess was that when Molly was originally outside she may have bitten at a wasp and was stung inside her throat. She went into anaphylactic shock, her lungs quickly filled with liquid, and that was all she wrote.
It was the only time I can remember crying over an animal. We were raised to believe that animals were animals and people were people –the same emotional attachments should not apply.
Since we don’t have a lot of property around our house we had the vet dispose of the body and my wife, two daughters and I buried her favorite toy in the back yard as a way to have some kind of closure.
The loss of Molly came during what was one of the worst years of my life. There were other losses, a motorcycle accident, and more that I won’t go into here.
I swore I wouldn’t get another dog for a long, long while. I didn’t want to discredit the loss of Molly that way. I didn’t want to invest time and emotion in another pet that soon. I made a vow that I wouldn’t even consider another dog for at least a year.
And then, eight months later, we met Maggie.
One of the first things she did was dig up the toy we had buried in memory of Molly.
And because she was a puppy, her ears flopped over, making her look a little less than smart.
She stays within her boundaries, but still likes to keep an eye on what’s going on in the neighborhood.
She’s used to receiving a Meaty Bone and having her dog run cleaned just as soon as I get home.
And she can be lovey.
After all, she’s just a dog, right?