— Relationships —


Me and Molly a month ago.
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Two days ago at the Vet... Sam on the left. Molly on the right... Waiting expectantly.
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This evening, Molly went to live with God. Before the vet administered the final medication, I laid on the floor and cradled her and told her how much I loved her; how blessed I was to have her in my life and that she was a lucky girl… She was going to live with God… and Goldie and James. I tried to keep my voice light and positive.

I didn’t want to scare or alarm her, but when I said “James,” her head whipped around, and she looked me in the eyes and held my gaze. I know she understood. It took my breath away.

James found Molly at the end of our ranch road, 15 miles from town. She was emaciated, and she’d been shot in the ear with a BB gun. Who does that to a dog? Before we took her in, Molly had four foster families. I know because I called the phone number on her microchip. I spoke with her last foster family… I have nothing nice to say about them or any of her foster families.

Molly was a strong horse of a girl, part Great Dane and part black Lab. After James died, I sometimes wished he’d taken her with him because I couldn’t control her. To give you an idea of how big she was, when she stood on her hind legs, front paws on the fence around our Little House, we were eye to eye. I’m 5’ 7.” That’s a lot of strong-willed dog to manage.

Molly hung on James’s every word. He was her Prince Charming, and if he was at the ranch, he was rarely out of her sight. With just a nod of his head, she did whatever he asked. Me, on the other hand… Nothing I said had any influence with her.

The spring after James died, Molly tore the ACL in her right rear knee. I took her to a specialist, and they did surgery. For months I rehabbed Molly as she walked on a leash. The first two weeks she could only go out to use the bathroom. Gradually she could take a few more steps, then a lap around the house… still on a leash. Over the next three months, she progressed to walking halfway down our dusty ranch road; then all the way down and back; then down and back several times, eventually hiking up and down our Texas Hill Country terrain. It was during this time Molly and I bonded. She became dependent on me for everything, and I learned how to manage her like James had.

I’ve known since Christmas that Molly’s time was near and always told her how loved and valued and appreciated she was; that she’s given me strength. Even today, as Molly’s strength wained with every passing hour, she wanted to be with me… to please me. Even as I guided her to the car, and helped her into the backseat, she was strong and stalwart, but when we drove through the gate… Somehow she knew it was time. She began to let go.

As I drove the five minutes to the vet, I told her how special she was. I kept turning around to look at her as she went from standing on the backseat, looking out the window, to her head drooped, posture slouched and drool streaming from the corner of her mouth. By the time we reached the vet’s office, she couldn’t sit up. We carried her from the car on a blue canvas stretcher.

Who do you know that lives to please you like your dog does? Molly had waited for me to make this decision. She’d stayed strong until she knew she could let go. I hope she knows how loved she was and that she took my heart with her.

Love, Brenda


  • Joan Perticone January 28, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Beautifully said. I am so sorry for your loss. Cherish your memories of Molly, your beloved companion.

  • Elizabeth January 28, 2017 at 5:25 am

    So sorry, Brenda <3 such a lovely tribute to a strong brave girl.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Molly survived a lot in short life, Elizabeth. You captured her perfectly: She was a strong, brave girl.

  • Jen January 28, 2017 at 6:16 am

    So sorry for your loss, Brenda. I know how hard it is to lose a dog. xoxo

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Thanks, Jen. This weekend I’ve just been “flat.” xoxox, Brenda

  • Michelle January 28, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Sweet Molly . . . . I’m so sorry for your loss. I love that she was rescued by you and James and that you gave love and strength to each other. It’s so important to give love and comfort to our fur babies at the end and you did.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Michelle, Molly and I grieved the loss of James together. We went thru a lot, together. She is missed. Thank you.

  • Kim alexis January 28, 2017 at 7:34 am

    So sorry for your loss. She sounded like a sweet girl.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Thank you, Kim. Molly was a sweet and noble soul. She could look right through you to your very core. I’ve never had a dog that wanted to connect on such a deep level. xoxox

  • Melanie Snyder January 28, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. She’s free from pain and at peace.

    • 1010 Park Place January 28, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Thank you. I hope she’s having a beautiful life right now.

    • Melanie Snyder January 28, 2017 at 8:45 am

      1010 Park Place I think you gave her a beautiful life. I know it’s so hard right now, but it does get easier.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thank you, Melanie. I know that, but it only makes it a little bit better.

  • sharon nord January 28, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Tears run down my face as I read your words. My dear sweet Flagg went over the rainbow in December after 16 years. I too held her and told her that when she arrived she would be able to hear and see and run again. She was a rescue full of quirkiness and anxiety and I loved her with all of my heart.


    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:45 am

      I’m sorry Sharon. Rescues come with a different kind vulnerability that dogs raised in a one owner, happy home don’t have. I think that’s one of the reasons they capture our hearts so deeply, don’t you? xoxox

  • Celia M. January 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Tears are streaming down my face as I write this … I can’t imagine what you are feeling. Mr. G. had to let Stella (a 12 year old yellow lab – she came with him ) go a year ago this month … she was only in my life 8 years … but she much like Molly held on to the very end wanting to please. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced and the decision was not mine to be made. I cant imagine when the time comes for one of the Yorkies … as I will be given the decision … Dolce is going to 8 this year and Gabbana will be 5 on the 31st this month… I love them (as I did Stella) with all my being…

    My friend sending you hugs, positive energy, and prayers that both you and Sam (because I know he will be missing her .. Dolce still looks for Stella when we go to the country house) find peace in the memories and time you shared with Molly … and that you find comfort in each other…know too that Molly remains in spirit with you. XO

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Oh Celia, I’m sorry you know what this pain is like… People who don’t have dogs don’t understand that they’re not “like family.” The ARE family, and we grieve their loss and take comfort from our memories and that they’re out of pain. xoxox

  • holly boyle January 28, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I am so sorry at the news of your loss. Our fur babies are sources of joy and love each time you come through the door. You have given her the gift of freedom from illness and that kindness sent her home to James. xx-hb

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Holly, I hope James was there to meet her, along with Goldie… She had a sincerity in her eyes and a deep longing to connect and be loved. I can only hope I gave her even a little bit of what she needed, because she gave everything to me. Everything…. xoxox

  • Laureen Satabe January 28, 2017 at 10:12 am

    You know I send my love and hugs, prayers and support to you at this terribly difficult time. She knew how much you loved her and trusted you to be with her as her life ended. Remember the love and joy and good times; it will make it easier to bear. I know you will give Sam all your love as you both grieve. You will be there for one another. My heart breaks for you my friend.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:53 am

      This has been a tough weekend, Laureen. Yesterday I drank wine, ate pizza and either veged on the couch or stayed next to Sam on the floor. At night, he paces from one room to the other, looking for her…. It’s heartbreaking to watch. Love you, Brenda

  • Nancy Stordahl January 28, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Hi Brenda,
    Your love for Molly shine through in your words. I’m sorry. Thank you for sharing about your sweet girl. xx

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Thank you, Nancy. I know you’ve loved and lost dogs and know what this pain is like. xoxox

  • Doreen McGettigan January 28, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I am so sorry Brenda. I believe Molly and James will always have you within their sight. Hugs.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

      That’s a comforting though, Doreen. Thank you. I hope it’s true. xoxox

  • Cathy Chester January 28, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I am deeply sorry, Brenda. What a gentle, loving, smart and precious dog Molly was. I know she’s with James and they’re smiling and watching over you. I hope you adopt a new pup.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Thank you, Cathy. Sam’s dealing with his own health issues. In the midst of Molly’s problems, Sam had a seizure Wednesday night, so I’m worried about him. He’s the one who really owned my heart. He, too, was abused, and Molly and Goldie would push him aside because he was smaller and not the Alpha dog. I don’t want to do anything that will make him jealous or feel insecure. We’ll see how things progress. xoxox

  • Barbara January 28, 2017 at 11:21 am

    It’s the hardest thing to do, let them go, but watching them suffer is harder. She and James are together and at peace now. Hug your other dog and savor the memories. Then rescue another one to love.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:10 am

      I’ve never had a dog who wasn’t a rescue. Some have abandonment issues, others have been terribly abused, but they all have an incredible ability to love and be loved. That was Molly. Not sure when I’ll get another dog as Sam is old and had a seizure this week… in the midst of everything with Molly. For now, all my love is for Sam. Thank you, sweet friend. xoxox, Brenda

  • Joanna January 28, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I know how hard it is to let go of our much loved dog. You will have a few teary eyed days / weeks to come, but then, fond memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Thank you, Joanna. Prayers are gratefully accepted.

  • Susan Young January 28, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    My heartfelt condolences to you.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Thank you Susan. I appreciate you stopping by. It was very thoughtful.

  • Cindy Graf January 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I’m certain Molly ran right to James’ loving embrace. What a wonderful
    Thing it must have been for both of them❤️Sending you love and comfort Brenda

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:15 am

      I hope so, Cindy! He was her Prince Charming, and he adored her. Thank you. xoxox

  • Rose Mary Chavarria January 28, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    I know that pain! I am praying for you.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:16 am

      I’m sorry you know what this pain feels like. I’m also grateful for your prayers. Thank you, Rose Mary.

  • Tomi Rues January 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

    What a nicely written piece. It is genuine and heartfelt and left me with tears in my eyes. We had a black lab with Great Dane mixed in. He was also attached to my husband. I was heartbroken when he got ill and we had to put him down. I couldn’t bear to be with him when the time came. My husband took him to the vet. I wish I could do it all over again and be there. Thanks for sharing your story.l

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      Thank you, Tomi. It’s painful whether you’re there, or not, when you let them go. Just as long as someone who loves them, and who they trust, is there beside them. None of us want to die alone.

  • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Thank you, Tomi. It’s painful whether you’re there, or not, when you let them go. Just as long as someone who loves them, and who they trust, is there beside them. None of us want to die alone.

  • Ellen Graf January 29, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Never fun to say goodbye

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      No. It’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever do. Thank you.

  • Esther Zimmer January 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Brenda, I’ve got tears streaming down my face as I type. What a beautiful tribute to Molly, it must have been so difficult to write. Losing a pet is akin to losing a friend or family member, although not everyone understands that. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I’m sending you love, I know it takes some time for the pain to subside, please go easy on yourself and I hope you can take some comfort knowing you gave Molly a wonderful home and so much love. Essie xx

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you, sweet friend. Love and a sense of home works both ways. She gave those to me as well. The house has been empty this weekend without her. I talk to her and imagine she’s standing beside me. xoxox, B

  • Rena McDaniel January 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Oh, Brenda, I hope you are okay. It’s very hard to deal with the loss of a pet. They become like children and it is heartbreaking. My Jack was killed several years ago and I still miss him every single day. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you, Rena. Have you thought of finding another dog? Sam’s still with me, but ironically, he had a seizure or a little stroke the day before Molly died. I can’t think about another dog. Sam is a sweet little soul. I wouldn’t do anything to make him feel like he’s not the most important thing in my life. xoxox

  • Pat Nolan January 29, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    All dogs go to heaven……to sit on the lap of God…….

  • 1010ParkPlace January 29, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I love than thought, Pat. Thank you, thank you!

  • Wendy Fairman January 31, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    The hardest part of owning a pet but the last greatest gift you could give her. My sympathies on your loss…

    • 1010ParkPlace February 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      That’s a wonderful way to look at it, Wendy…. “The last greatest gift.” Thank you:) Brenda

  • Marie Trimboli January 31, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Sorry for your loss

    • 1010ParkPlace February 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you, Marie. I appreciate that you stopped by and told me that.

  • Ann Works February 1, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Linda Works ,I know you can identify. Sorry for your loss of Destiny. You were a wonderful Master.

  • Katherines Corner February 5, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    she knows …xo

  • 1010parkplace February 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Oh, Katherine… thank you! I hope so with all my heart. xoxox, Brenda

  • Terri February 7, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Dear Brenda, I waited until I had a still and quiet moment to write to you. I am so very sorry for the loss of your Molly. I cried with you and think of you often. I lost my Micah six months ago. Be good to you, I was unprepared for the weight of my grief. It got really dark and messy. Micah knew my story, he knew Justin. Anyway, thinking of you and wishing you gentle moments.

    PS: I said no more dogs, we still have my surviving son’s husky staying with us. But we may be looking at a rescue this Saturday. A little three-year old girl. There are a million reasons for us not to adopt, but we sent in our application.

    • 1010ParkPlace February 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Hi Terri, I just found your sweet response. It’s ironic because Sam–my last living family member–is struggling as I write this. The vet doesn’t think he’ll survive the next few days. Out of all of my dogs, Sam is hands down my favorite. You write about being unprepared for the weight of your grief… I’m steeling myself… Sam’s seen me through breast cancer, through James, our three moves in the last year and the loss of Goldie and Molly. You know what this kind of supportive relationship and loss feels like. I’m sorry… Have you adopted another? Oh, God, this is hard… xoxox, Brenda

  • Terry February 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Brenda, I just found your blog today with the Fierce 50 campaign. The first post I read was about Molly. Tears are running down my face and I just read your comment to Terri and I see that Sam is failing. Know that I am praying for you and your precious last living family member. We have a 15 yr old chihuahua that is showing his age and I can’t imagine life without him. Hugs and prayers from Terry in Tyler.

    • 1010ParkPlace March 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Terry,
      Just as I’m posting my blog about losing Sam, I found your sweet note on my blog about Molly. So many prayers were said, including yours, and I believe it gave me an added month with Sam and for that, I am so grateful. Thank you. I’m sorry your sweet dog is coming to the end of his days. I know how you feel. Please keep me posted.
      Sending love and a prayer to you, fellow Texas girl.
      xoxox, Brenda

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