Butterflies in the Rain: How One Special Dog Taught Me About Love & Loss

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butterfliesinrain

I struggled with the decision. The butterfly danced around me as I nervously made the call to adopt a young Golden Retriever from a few towns over. I wonder if I?ll ever stop counting the time since she?s been gone, the same way I counted her birthdays. . When she started slowing down, sleeping in, hesitating to jump onto the bed at night, her joints arthritic from years of bounding down the stairs and leaping high into the air for a favorite stuffed toy, I would lie beside her, stroking those velvety ears with tears in my eyes at the mere thought of someday being without her, silently begging for more feeder time. That?s the one. Molly had bitten the boy, right on the backside. A song came through the radio at that exact moment, the most perfect possible moment of confirmation ? Nirvana?s Kiss Molly?s Lips. In times of intense sorrow, she was the one that always comforted me. Required fields are marked * Comment * Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The book can be purchased by . And she, mine. How could someone abandon a dog so stunningly beautiful? The shelter didn?t agree with her, she was terrified, trembling, trying to make herself as small as possible. About an hour later, a police officer came to the door and issued a summons. Butterflies in the Rain, by Brandy Arnold The shelter had named her ?Beauty? and she most certainly was. And then coming right back in. Molly had appointed herself my protector. The day I met her, she was crouched in the furthest end of her kennel at the shelter. That?s when I spotted a Monarch butterfly, vivid and beautiful against the afternoon?s dreary sky, fluttering about as if this were a warm, sunny day. It was the one and only time I?d ever come home from the veterinarian?s office without her. The first few months of pet-parenthood were amazing ? that very special kind of amazing you get when you bring a 6-month old, never-before-trained, teething puppy into your home. When I finally arrived and anxiously approached the front door, there it was ? my butterfly. For two weeks, she was to remain indoors at all times, aside from the three times a day I could take her outside tethered to me by a 6-foot leash to go to the bathroom. As the days turned to weeks, then months, it seemed that butterfly was always around me. It was my only criteria for a new furry friend. Was it too soon? Would it be a disservice to Molly? Would I secretly wish the new dog was her? Could I possibly love another dog as much? I?d always found comfort in running my fingers through Molly?s long, thick fur. I realized quickly that the most state-of-the-art sound machine couldn?t compete with the soothing sounds of her gentle snore and that no medicine in the world could heal like her soft chin resting on my leg. Moments later I heard a frighteningly wicked bark from her that I?d never heard before. How would I survive losing her, without her? I made my way to the back porch and collapsed into a chair, looking out at her yard, where no less than a thousand of her chew bones were still buried. I let her outside, shut the door, and went back to work. She couldn?t be walked, she couldn?t bask in the sun, she couldn?t chase squirrels. And with that, I promised that I would kiss Molly?s lips, every single day of the rest of her life. ? In Dogs We Trust: Tales of Unconditional Love, Inspiration, and Sacrifice is an anthology collection of true and touching stories from renowned authors, pet parents, poets, and animal activists from around the country. And coming right back in. ? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I was absolutely lost. And in return, she only wanted love, belly rubs, and the occasional windows-down ride around town dribbling drool down the entire passenger side of my car. One hundred and four miles away from home, she was dancing around in the nighttime sky. I replaced wall-to-wall carpeting with wall-to-wall tile when she decided she loved the backyard far too much to potty there. She spent the entire ride home trembling on the floorboard of the car, cramming her 50-pound body into the tiny space designed for a pair of feet and not much else. Every night ended with her by my side, a part of her warm body touching me, if even just a paw stretched across the mattress to rest upon my ankle. Every morning began with the swipe of her black and pink dotted tongue across my cheek. All proceeds benefit service dog and veteran charities. I decided in that 15-minute ride home to rename her Molly. Normally in these moments, I?d just prop the back door open and give her free-reign. And I did. Curated by Veteran Traveler Lon Hodge who, alongside his , travel the country educating and advocating for both service dogs and for veterans. I knew immediately, despite the fact that she wouldn?t make eye contact, or greet me, and shirked away from my touch. In times of intense pain or sorrow, extreme happiness or joy, I?d always secretly give a quick glance around to find her. She had aged so gracefully, had never lost her vibrant spirit. And, she had to be evaluated by an animal control officer who would determine if she was ?vicious. All my plans of finding a smallish, short-haired dog flew swiftly out the window. And going right back out. Whether I was alone at home, at a park with friends, or sipping coffee at an outdoor caf?, there she was. As I made the hour and a half drive, I hoped I was doing the right thing, that the butterfly?s appearance was my ?sign? that it was ok, but began to doubt myself as I got closer to the house where I would be picking her up. While the county punished her, I hugged her extra tight and thanked her for protecting me. At times it seemed as if she were thriving on a diet of shoes alone! I learned to sleep comfortably on a tiny sliver of my queen sized bed while Molly managed to spread her 50-lbs over the remainder. While working at home one summer day, Molly was particularly persistent about going outside. Butterflies don?t fly at night. When the quietness of Molly?s absence was too deafening and the emptiness too heavy to bear, I decided it was time to find another dog, to once again fill my life with love and laughter and drool and fur. She was always there, even as Spring rains became Summer heat waves, and as Fall leaves finally fell to the ground in the icy cold of Winter. I?ve been fortunate enough to work from home for most of my career ? aside from a few years in the corporate world where the absolute highlight of my life was the ecstatic, fur-flying, windmill-tail greeting I?d get from Molly at the end of each day. I replaced miles of baseboards after she graciously chewed them off the walls for me.? If it ever happens again, they told me, she?ll likely have to be put down. As I stood outside my front door, afraid to go inside, resisting the finality of it all, rain fell from the sky, mixing with the tears on my cheeks. It didn?t matter to officers that he had been trespassing into my fenced-in yard. Through 13 years of good times and bad, joy and sadness, milestones and speed bumps, illness and injury, it was Molly who was always by my side. Just as Molly?s house-arrest was coming to an end, that teenaged boy would be returning to jail for robbing another neighbor at knife-point. I ran outside in time to see the blur of a tall teenaged boy as he crested the top of the fence and darted through an adjacent yard. I needed to save her.5468 SHARES The following true story originally appeared in In Dogs We Trust: Stories of Unconditional Love, Inspiration, and Sacrifice. Her seemingly perfect health and effervescent smile had kept the cancer growing inside of her a secret. I lost my sweet Molly, my Molly Bear, my best good buddy, 1 year, 10 months, and 23 days ago. Of course, she was usually protecting me from squirrels. 5468 SHARES Related Items: Recommended for you 1 Comment 1 Comment Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. Butterflies don?t fly in the rain. But on this August day in Florida, as my air conditioner struggled to keep the house a few degrees below?sweltering, that wasn?t an option

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