saying goodbye

This week was a sad one here at The Arthur Clan.

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My very first pet that I could call my own was a miniature black poodle named Molly.  Eighteen years ago, before Bill and I had even officially tied the knot, I began begging and pleading with him to let us get our very own dog as we began our married life together.

Just weeks after our wedding he surprised me by driving me to a breeder where we picked out our first pet…tiny, absolutely adorable Molly.

She lived with us happily through three moves to three different states until we moved back to Ohio eleven years ago.  By that time I was a sleep-deprived, completely exhausted mom and Molly was a stressed-out, middle-aged dog who didn’t particularly care to be harassed by the bunch of little ones who were now running around our house.

To my eternal gratitude, my parents offered to adopt Molly and she once again became a happy dog in the calm, quiet, child-free environment that she needed.  We still saw Molly often when we visited and also took care of her whenever my parents needed to go out of town.  When Weslea became a bit older, she designated herself as Molly’s full-time caregiver every time she came to visit and it was lovely to see the two of them bond as the years passed by.

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By this time Molly had now lived with my parents longer than she had lived with me.  They absolutely loved and adored Molly and she reciprocated those feelings wholeheartedly.

She was 18 years old though…practically ancient in dog years.  For months she had been sleeping at least 23 hours a day, was almost completely deaf and blind, she had experienced times of fairly terrifying seizures, had many moments when my parents knew she was in pain, and she had lost control of a lot of her bodily functions.  After waiting over a year for Molly to pass quietly in her sleep my parents came to the agonizing decision that it was time to put Molly to sleep.

Friday found me sitting in a vet’s office with my mom and dad where we all cried together as the doctor injected the drugs that would help her pass peacefully out of the life of pain that she was currently living.  The only word for that hour we spent together is heartbreaking.

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Yesterday Molly was buried on our property in a quiet little ceremony that was poignant for our entire family.  Bill spent quite some time digging her grave in the back part of our yard.  On his own Will fashioned a cross to place over her burial spot.  Weslea found a beautiful poem and read it during the little service.  Tears were shed. And saying goodbye was so much harder than we could have imagined.

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Beyond The Rainbow

(Read by Weslea Arthur)

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that’s trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful — lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I’m alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
‘Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we’re never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

By Cate Guyan © 1995

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