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On Thursday night, we had to put my beautiful Molly to sleep. It all happened so quickly. Except for drinking a lot of water, she seemed perfectly healthy last week. We took her to the vet, fearing she might have Diabetes, but luckily they said she didn’t. Then three days ago, Molly suddenly was lethargic, shaking, and wouldn’t touch her food (Molly normally would never refuse food!). We brought her to the vet again, and this time they referred her to a specialist vet.

The specialist vet kept Molly over night and ran some tests. They found so much wrong in the poor little dog: failing liver, pancreatitis, and cancer spreading throughout her body. Apparently it’s common for senior dogs’ health to deteriorate this rapidly, but it completely blindsighted me. She was fine a few days ago!

Basically, they gave us no real options. Antibiotics and pain killers might treat the pancreatitis. But there was still the cancer. At almost thirteen, even if Molly did survive the highly-invasive, highly-painful surgeries, she’d probably not be strong enough to endure the post-surgery recovery. (And there was only a 25% chance the surgeries would even work.) What they were telling us was, “Your dog is going to die, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.”

More than anything, I wanted to pick her up and run out of the vet’s office. I wanted my dog home in her own bed, surrounded by her own family, to die on her own terms. But that was what I wanted, not what she wanted. Molly was obviously in a lot of pain (even with pain killers). Her breathing was labored, she could barely lift her head, and her tummy was so swollen. As much as I wished she could go home, I knew it would just prolong her pain. And that wasn’t fair to such an incredible dog.

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My Molly

After our first dog, Harris, died, I said I never wanted another dog. But then Molly came along, and she pushed her little nose into my face. And into my heart.

This is pretty much what she did to everyone. Everyone loved Molly, even people who didn’t like dogs. She was good with kids, good with grown-ups, even good with the mailman ;).

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Molly had the most incredible, energetic and happy-go-lucky personality. She watched television, played soccer, sang, talked back… someone forgot to tell her she wasn’t a human! This little dog also didn’t realize her small size; she counted among her friends a chocolate lab and a golden retriever.

She loved to play. Tug-of-war was a favorite, and she’d hold onto her end with a fierce tenacity. You could literally lift her off the floor, and she still would not let go. Molly also liked to hide her bones. It was adorable: every few seconds, she’d turn her head to make sure you weren’t following. And if you were, she’d move her prize to a new location. We often found dog bones under pillows, couches, and even inside shoes. Speaking of which, Molly also loved shoes. But only the expensive ones. In 7th grade, I proudly showed off my new Doc Martens to my friends… complete with a Molly bite mark!

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Luckily, Molly quickly grew out of the shoe-chewing phase. She really was such a well-behaved dog, never biting anyone or barking incessantly (unless we were in the pool. Molly believed it was her job to be lifeguard, and she’d bark non-stop whenever someone made a splash.)

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Molly was just so loyal and loveable and smart and perfect. We were so lucky to have her in our lives; she made us laugh and smile every single day. I can only guess that God cut her life short at twelve (the lower end of a dog’s average lifespan) because he needed her up in Heaven. Right now, she’s probably very busy, hiding dog bones amidst the clouds.

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I’m so sorry for not answering recent comments, tweets, etc…

I just don’t feel like blogging right now. If it’s a question to which you really need an answer, please feel free to ask me again tomorrow. Hopefully by then I’ll have pulled myself together somewhat.

Also, please don’t leave a comment saying, “Get over it; she’s just a dog.” Molly was not just a dog. She was a beloved member of our family, and I miss her so much. And now I’m crying again :(.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Abby says:

    So sorry to hear about Molly! Definitely a beautiful dog and a big part of your life for the past 12 years! I hope you have a great day today! :)

  2. Abby says:

    So sorry to hear about Molly! Definitely a beautiful dog and a big part of your life for the past 12 years! I hope you have a great day today! :)

  3. I am SO SO SORRY Katie! I would NEVER in a million years say Molly was ‘just a dog’- they’re just as much a part of the family as anyone! She clearly had an amazing life and the best owner any dog could have.

    I am sending you ALL MY LOVE and lots of hugs and kisses too you sweet girl.

    Love you SO MUCH friend <3

  4. I am SO SO SORRY Katie! I would NEVER in a million years say Molly was ‘just a dog’- they’re just as much a part of the family as anyone! She clearly had an amazing life and the best owner any dog could have.

    I am sending you ALL MY LOVE and lots of hugs and kisses too you sweet girl.

    Love you SO MUCH friend <3

  5. Lenna says:

    I am really sorry Katie! Dogs are not “just” dogs, they are an important part of a family!

  6. Lenna says:

    I am really sorry Katie! Dogs are not “just” dogs, they are an important part of a family!

  7. Bekah says:

    Hi Kaite,
    I know exactly how you feel, i have to actually put my cat down today :(. You will make it through. Molly sounded like an amazing dog and will always hold a place in your heart, just remember she isn’t in pain anymore.

    Bekah

  8. Bekah says:

    Hi Kaite,
    I know exactly how you feel, i have to actually put my cat down today :(. You will make it through. Molly sounded like an amazing dog and will always hold a place in your heart, just remember she isn’t in pain anymore.

    Bekah

  9. KatieH says:

    I’m sorry Katie. It’s not fair that they’re only with us for such a short time. We also have a Molly (sheltie mix) that is nearing the day when we’ll have to make the difficult decision you made. Take some comfort in the fact that you found each other–how lucky for you both! Thanks for sharing the pictures and story of your Molly. It’s clear she was so, so loved. I’ll light a candle for her to help her along her way.

  10. KatieH says:

    I’m sorry Katie. It’s not fair that they’re only with us for such a short time. We also have a Molly (sheltie mix) that is nearing the day when we’ll have to make the difficult decision you made. Take some comfort in the fact that you found each other–how lucky for you both! Thanks for sharing the pictures and story of your Molly. It’s clear she was so, so loved. I’ll light a candle for her to help her along her way.

  11. Maggie says:

    Hi Katie, I have only been following your blog for a short time, but I felt compelled to say something in response to this post. Dogs are amazing creatures, the way they truely do become family members. I feel for you and your sadness. Last summer my family had to put down my dog, Carmel. We had her for 13 amazing years and she had most definately a vital family member. It was a horrible process to have to put her down and leave the vet’s office without her in our arms and the healing process took a long time. I still cry occasionally when I come home from college and realize there is no white ball of energy to greet me. You should not feel pressured to “get over it” or even pull yourself together for a few days. The healing process is challenging and not something to push away.
    I’m sure you are getting hundreds of comments similar to this, but I just felt like I needed to say something.
    -Maggie

  12. Maggie says:

    Hi Katie, I have only been following your blog for a short time, but I felt compelled to say something in response to this post. Dogs are amazing creatures, the way they truely do become family members. I feel for you and your sadness. Last summer my family had to put down my dog, Carmel. We had her for 13 amazing years and she had most definately a vital family member. It was a horrible process to have to put her down and leave the vet’s office without her in our arms and the healing process took a long time. I still cry occasionally when I come home from college and realize there is no white ball of energy to greet me. You should not feel pressured to “get over it” or even pull yourself together for a few days. The healing process is challenging and not something to push away.
    I’m sure you are getting hundreds of comments similar to this, but I just felt like I needed to say something.
    -Maggie

  13. oh, sweetie, I am SO sorry. I know how you are feeling, pets are a huge part of our lives. Molly was loved member of the family; the loss is just as hard.

    sending comfort and love to you all right now, think of happy Molly times and celebrate the wonderful life you shared.

  14. oh, sweetie, I am SO sorry. I know how you are feeling, pets are a huge part of our lives. Molly was loved member of the family; the loss is just as hard.

    sending comfort and love to you all right now, think of happy Molly times and celebrate the wonderful life you shared.

  15. Mel says:

    Katie,

    So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog who looked full of love and personality. There is much to learn from dogs about how to behave towards others that we humans should note and learn. One thing is for sure, dogs never feel the need to explain or apologize for having feelings and showing them. It’s OK for you to be less than cheerful and your readers love and accept you for that so PLEASE don’t be sorry for feeling sad, regrouping and taking time to mourn your loss. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for it.

    Thanks for being such a delight to read and for sharing your life. I am often inspired by your recipes and views on life and I am glad to be one of your loyal readers!

  16. Mel says:

    Katie,

    So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog who looked full of love and personality. There is much to learn from dogs about how to behave towards others that we humans should note and learn. One thing is for sure, dogs never feel the need to explain or apologize for having feelings and showing them. It’s OK for you to be less than cheerful and your readers love and accept you for that so PLEASE don’t be sorry for feeling sad, regrouping and taking time to mourn your loss. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for it.

    Thanks for being such a delight to read and for sharing your life. I am often inspired by your recipes and views on life and I am glad to be one of your loyal readers!

  17. Melanie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Molly, Katie! We had to put our precious little Chaos down a couple of months ago and I still occasionally expect him to come running up to me when I feed our other dog. Losing pets is so hard. They are truly part of the family and the family just seems incomplete without them. Hugs to you and your family sweetie.

  18. Melanie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Molly, Katie! We had to put our precious little Chaos down a couple of months ago and I still occasionally expect him to come running up to me when I feed our other dog. Losing pets is so hard. They are truly part of the family and the family just seems incomplete without them. Hugs to you and your family sweetie.

  19. Andrea says:

    Dogs are family members. I’m so sorry you lost her, you’re right, you made a good decision by gently ending her pain. I had to make that decision with my life long dog (he was 13) a few years ago. I still miss him, we still talk about him…but the memories are good. We planted a tree in his honor, on his birthday a few years back. It’s a lime tree, so everytime we have limes from that tree, it of course reminds us of him.

    So sorry you lost your little Molly, she sounds like such a sweet, wonderful pup! Take your time to heal, get some closure… not blogging for a while won’t kill anyone, trust me! :) I’m looking forward to your return :)

  20. Andrea says:

    Dogs are family members. I’m so sorry you lost her, you’re right, you made a good decision by gently ending her pain. I had to make that decision with my life long dog (he was 13) a few years ago. I still miss him, we still talk about him…but the memories are good. We planted a tree in his honor, on his birthday a few years back. It’s a lime tree, so everytime we have limes from that tree, it of course reminds us of him.

    So sorry you lost your little Molly, she sounds like such a sweet, wonderful pup! Take your time to heal, get some closure… not blogging for a while won’t kill anyone, trust me! :) I’m looking forward to your return :)