I realize it’s been a long time since I last wrote an entry on here. It’s honestly just been too painful.
It’s been a little over three months since I said goodbye to Molly. The hardest decision and worst day of my life to date.
As Molly’s disease progressed, she began to lose control of her bladder and was having multiple accidents inside daily. She struggled to move from room to room without significant help and/or falling into furniture and onto the floor. She could no longer play with her toys, get up onto the couch by herself or go for a walk without using a wheelchair. She was starting to need assistance standing upright to eat her food and drink her water. It took a lot of her energy just to move around, so she spent a lot of her last days napping in the sun.
Despite all of these obstacles, it was incredibly hard for me to see or know that it was time. And honestly, I still struggle a lot with guilt and question whether I did it too soon or too late. Because the disease is painless (aside from all the falls) and because it doesn’t affect their minds, she still seemed mostly content and was always still very happy to see me and spend time with me.
I spent a lot of time grieving before she was even gone, and writing out lists of pros and cons to keeping her going, consulting trusted veterinarians and friends for advice, and leaned on my family who had helped me raise her and loved her as much as I did. I struggled in general with making a decision that would end a life – what gives me that right? It’s an incredible burden, and I knew it was mine alone. No one else could make this decision for me. From the research I’d done, almost everyone said it’s better to do it a week too soon than even an hour too late, and most people regretted waiting too long. Also with this disease, since they are so prone to falling/twisting their legs, I didn’t want her to have a painful accident that would force us into an emergency situation where she would be stressed at the time we put her down.
In the end, I decided to have an in-home euthanasia company come to our house to do it where she would feel comfortable and would be surrounded by people that loved her. My dad came in town and was there with me and Carter. Up until the last minutes I wasn’t sure I was ready or making the right decision, but I knew that no matter what we did she was only going to get worse and continue to struggle more and more every day. I wanted better for her, and I wanted to let her go while she still had some dignity and wasn’t completely miserable.
I don’t want to focus on the actual day we said goodbye to her, but rather on the wonderful life she had and all of the joy she brought to us. We spent her last few days doing all of her favorite things. We drove around all of her favorite parks, cooked all of her favorite foods, spent time outside with her basking in the sun, and of course smothered her with belly rubs and kisses.
She really had an amazing life, and I feel so grateful to have had her for as long as I did. She made us laugh, gave us comfort, protection and unconditional love. When I think about her now I try to focus on the times where she was running like crazy, sneaking treats and stealing toys from the neighbor kids, splashing around in the lake where she grew up, riding in the car with her head out of the window, eyes closed, taking in all the smells and sounds, sleeping soundly on her bed or more often, on the couch at night.
I miss her every single day, and pray that she is at peace. She was so very loved, and always will be.