There are dates in your life that you will never forget. For some people it's the day they graduated. The day they got their first job. The day they got a promotion. The day they got married. The day they became parents. The list goes on and on. But whatever the date is, it brings back not just the memory of that specific day, but also everything that happened thereafter.
November 25th, 1997, was one of those special dates for me. It was cold that evening and the sun was setting when I pulled up the driveway. It had been a long day and I just wanted to grab something to eat and relax, maybe watch some TV. I threw my car keys on the kitchen table and opened the refrigator door. Darn it, I forgot to defrost the chicken. Just then I heard a yell from the basement. "JoEllen, come down here I have something to show you". It was Lydia. She stomped up the stairs threw open the door and repeated, "come down here, I have your birthday gift for you." My birthday was still a week away. I headed down the stairs to the basement and looked around but I couldn't see anything. Lydia, who was standing in front of the sofa reached down and picked something up. She turned to me and said "happy birthday JoEllen, this is Mollie". In her hand she held a tiny beagle puppy.
She had huge ears and huge paws in comparison to the rest of her body. She was tri-colored and had sad eyes, with a huge pink belly. But funniest of all was the Eddie Munster type black widow's peak that ran down the middle of her forehead. At first I resisted -- saying that we needed to take her back -- that neither one of us had the time for a puppy. Lydia said that returning her was impossible and suggested that I just hold her. She handed Mollie to me. I immediately fell in love with her beautiful brown eyes and floppy soft ears.
The first night we put Mollie in a crate that Lydia had purchased at Pet Smart. We were told that this was the best way to train a dog. We put the crate in our bedroom and placed Mollie in it when it was time to sleep. However, she began to cry, so I picked her up and let her sleep with me in my bed that night. I'm almost certain that it was that night that our bond was formed.
Her life always, some how, and for some reason, revolved around mine. If I was taking a bath she just had to be laying at the bathroom door, waiting for me to get out. If I was watching tv, there she was, sitting next to me on the couch. She followed me around everywhere. When I was away at work, she would just sleep all day long. Her life would resume as soon as I walked in through that door. She waited for me every day at around 4:30pm to follow me around for the rest of the day.
I know people always say dogs give you unconditional love. Dogs are a man's best friend. Dogs are very loyal. But in many ways, those are all understatements. Yes she loved me with out condition. Yes, many times, and in many ways, she was my best friend. Yes, she was very loyal. But she was so much more than quotes and sayings. In her I found a silent but understanding companion. Some how, she knew when I was happy and when I was sad. The first time I cried in front of her, it's as if she had been preparing all along for that date. She got up and placed her head under my hands so that I would pet her. She then licked my tears. It may sound a bit disgusting to some people, but believe it or not, it was one of the most comforting feelings for me.
So let's see. The things she loved: first and foremost, she loved getting her belly rubbed. She loved sticking her head out the car window when we would take a ride. She loved treats, tuna, brussel sprouts, let's face it, she loved any people food. She loved rolling in the leaves in the fall and making snow angels in the snow in winter. She loved walks where she could sniff everything around her. She loved chasing Susan thru the woods. She loved sunbathing in the afternoons. She loved sitting on her grassy noll watching the neighbors. She was really a nosey dog. She loved it when I came home. And she loved me. All she ever really wanted was to be with me.
Things I remember: I remember taking her for walks in the woods. I remember taking her to the local pet store for behavioral training. I remember Mollie being on the local news not once or twice but a total of three times. I remember how much she hated getting a bath. I remember her going on her back and asking for a belly rub. I remember her sniffing out every single grocery bag we brought home, checking to see if we had gotten her food. I remember her dreaming in her sleep and moving as if she were running. I always did wonder what she dreamt of. I remember Susan and I driving her all the way to Virginia for "Beagel Fest". I remember Mollie poking me when she wanted something. I remember how crazy I was when she got lost for three days and then I found her at the Humane League. I remember her suckling her baby at bed time. I remember her kisses.
She's made me laugh so much. She's made me smile an infinite amount of times. She's made me worry. She's made me love her. And now she is gone and I my heart is broken. I know to some people it is hard to understand the love between a human and a dog, but rest assured, it's one hell of a special kind of love.
I'm going to miss you so much Mollie. I love you and will never forget your beautiful little face and brown eyes. I loved your soft velvet like ears and your whiskers. I loved everything about you, and I'll miss everything about you. But I have to let you go. You have to rest now, my little tweeter pie. I know that you are waiting for me. I will see you on the other side. November 25th, 1997 was one of the best days of my life.
Losing a beloved pet is so very hard on all of us. They have given us so much love through the years when they were with us here on earth and now we live with their wonderful memories.
Tax-deductible donations of $25.00 can be made in memory of a beloved pet. By memorializing your pet or a friend's or family member's pet in this way, you help Nittany Beagle Rescue give beagles who are in shelters or with owners who can no longer keep them a second chance at a wonderful life.
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