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Little Kate

Little Kate
Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
September 13
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. ~ Author Unknown


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SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 9:55PM


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Molly is my daughter’s Maltese Terrier.  She has been a much loved part of our family now for seven years.

In the course of those seven years, one by one, my four children left home.  Molly has stayed with me.

While each of my four children  make their way in life and face the challenges that it brings, Molly now faces her own challenge.

Three weeks ago, Molly became lame.  She has very, very little strength in her hind legs. A slipped disc in her spine apparently.  Cortisone, hydrotherapy and acupuncture treatments have done little to help so far.

For those three weeks Molly has spent most of it in a portable baby’s cot. I change her sheets. I feed her. I bathe her.  I carry her outside and hold a sling under her hind legs so she can go to the toilet … morning, noon and night.  Gee, so many times a night. The cortisone tablets make her so hungry and thirsty that she needs to go out at all hours.  Ugh.

She has become my fifth baby. 

I don’t know if she will get better.  She showed slight improvement the second week but, frankly, there has been no improvement this week.  We return to the vet on Monday for his assessment.  Up until now he hasn’t been too confident that she will regain much more feeling in her legs but, like me, he has remained hopeful.

But now, honestly, I am entertaining the imaginable disrespect of reality and the possibility that Molly won’t get better.  I am worried that Molly’s quality of life will not improve and, selfishly, nor will mine.  I am upset that I may have to discuss with my daughter earnestly the possibility of putting Molly to sleep.

Perhaps more time is needed.  I sure hope so. Perhaps the vet will have a firmer idea on Monday.  Time.  Of course I can give her that if she needs it.  Along with love and care, it’s the very least I can do.

But, is there a place in time where it will be just kinder to let her go? 

At what point might I need to break my daughter’s heart?  And mine?




 (her back has been shaved for her acupuncture treatments)

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molly, dog, pet, part of our family

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I've seen some sweet looking dogs, but Molly just might be the sweetest. The idea and appearance of her shaved acupunture spot is killing me. I'm now in love with Molly, Little Kate. I hope she gets better. Heartbreaking. Good luck and so sorry that she is ill.
Oh, I'm so sorry. I know well this dilemma from the past and am facing it again soon. It's little comfort, I know, but ultimately this is an important life lesson about loss for our children, and for us.
She's cute - she reminds me of my daughters' ( & ex's ) Angel, 12 now, with similar issues.
To me, 12 is a good innings for a little dog.
Watching her try to walk, see, groom herself, is painful.
I think if she could talk, she might say " Please, help me out of here."
I think. I don't know. I'm projecting, but I know if I were in her situation I'd ask the girls to do the right thing, and let me go to sleep with a little dignity, and in peace.
The girls don't agree, yet, and my fear is that the misery might be protracted beyond anything that's reasonable to ask a sentient creature to endure.
It's one of those hard ones, Kate - I wish you good guidance.
Whatever happens, hold her when she goes.
How sad I always thought I was protecting my children by not telling them about a pet dying but found out from my daughter she would rather know and deal with the grief of death rather than worry they had only gone missing. We know most pets won't out live us but I will add a special prayer tonight for Molly to heal. I really truly hope she gets better..
Aww, fernsy ... you love her too. : )

I sure am hoping she gets better too but the fact is it's not looking too good right now.

I am sending good thoughts your way for Molly and your whole family. What a beautiful little face!
What a sweetie, my brother has inherited my niece's maltese and little Joey is a sweetheart too. I am sending you and Molly light and love and hopes for her recovery.
rated with tender loving care for little Molly
Sally, I am so sorry you're heading down this road again. It is an important life lesson ... I learnt it a few times over with my own pets as a child and young woman ... but, well, it just doesn't get much easier, does it? Best wishes to you and your family.
Kim, I hear you so well. I've already touched upon the possibility of putting Molly to sleep with my daughter but of course she doesn't want to hear it. And I understand that. I really do. Nonetheless, I'm trying to muster up all the guts I've got to prepare for what seems to be looming closer. And holding her when that times comes ... yes, she well deserves that too. Just breaks my heart to think of it. : (
I am very sorry you and your family...and Molly...are going through all of this my friend. Such difficult times.
Oh, my dear friend, my heart heart cries out after reading this as I'm familiar with your quandry and the love of a silent, furry member of the family on whose life we find ourselves in the position of making a decision. It's one of the most difficult decisions which depends on what stacks up more in favor for the outcome. I'm very sorry that you are going through this and hope for the best for Molly. My thoughts are with you as I offer a cyber hug in friendship and sympathy.
Oh, Kate, I'm so sorry. Make sure you take care of yourself in this.
Maybe ask your daughter to come home and help you make a decision?
Poor Molly and you..
You will know Kate what to do.. it will just come and I am here for you ..
I'm so sorry Kate. Our hearts belong to our dogs. My dog Cassie died two years ago, and I'm still recovering. We live longer than dogs do, and that's the price we pay for their wonderful presence in our lives. You will know when it's time. She will let you know.
Lunchlady, your daughter's advice is one I think I will be following too. My daughter rushed home as soon as Molly became disabled and so has seen and knows the issues. She just remains hopeful and doesn't want to think about anything other than doing anything and everything we can to make her better.

DoaHSS, thank you for your good wishes. She does have a cute face but don't go near her when she has a bone! It's not so cute then I can assure you!!!
So sorry to hear this Katie. But if Molly needs love and care, I know your are the best to give that to her. There is not much more you can do.
She is so cute, and that is so sad. I can't say what the right choice is, only time will tell you whether to tough it out longer or to put her down. If she was much older, that would not be a consideration, but she is still a vibrant little love muffin. I will just have to hope she wakes up feeling better sooner. I had a herniated disk, and surgery, and so I send some sympathy her way.
prayers and sympathies Kate... My goodness
Can you strap on wheels?? Otherwise I would consider the quality of the life of the dog and your own then think seriously about the "alternative."
So sorry. She looks so cute...
Can you strap on wheels?? Otherwise I would consider the quality of the life of the dog and your own then think seriously about the "alternative."
So sorry. She looks so cute...
I understand this dilemma. I think small dogs present a really special gift. In LA, there's a chiropractor who treats dogs for free. Cured my mom's little dog of seizures. Best wishes for Molly.
Awww! All the best to you and Molly. R
I am so sorry Kate. I have seen dogs rigged up with a set of wheels on their back end, but I don't know if it could be done in her case. I hope the vet figures something out!
Molly is soooo cute! It is hard to lose a pet. I still cry over Maxie my ten year old poodle who was so cool he did tricks for pizza crust. He died on my daughter's tenth birthday. We bought another poodle within three days, I was so distraught. A new puppy sort of took my mind off of losing a furry family member.
Romantic Poetess, it sounds like Joey has found a very loving home. I find the Maltese aren’t the best breed of dog to have around small children, although to Molly’s credit, she does tolerate our grandson’s teasing… um …er… playfulness as best she can.

JD, thank you. I wish we didn’t have to go through it of course but if not now, we’ll be faced with something like this some day. I lost my own dog, Sally, a purebred Collie when I was around my daughter’s age too; before that my pony, Blackie; and since then a cat, Jasper. I remember well my sadness at losing each and every one and kind of hoped that I wouldn’t have to lose another pet. But then Molly came into our lives and here we are…. Thanks again, friend.

Fusun, I know you know about being in this place very well. I thought of you and your dear little Selim just the other day. I’ll wait to hear what the vet has to say in a few days’ time but the last I spoke with him he had hoped Molly would have improved a lot better than she has. Yet there is still some hope. Thank you for your hug and love my friend. I do appreciate it.

Janice, thank you. The decision will have to be a joint one. She is my daughter’s dog … Rebecca loves her dearly but just couldn’t take her to live with her. Bec did race home though as soon as she knew of Molly’s condition and has been in touch about her every day since. Thank you for your well wishes. We’ll get through of course.

Linda, it’s a wonderful thing to know that a friend is there when I need them …and I sure know that is true of you. Thank you so much. A big HUGGGG, Linda.

Froggy, I think of all animals, dogs are just so special. So loyal and affectionate. They really do become part of the family. I lost my own dog, Sally, when I was about my daughter’s age … I’ve never forgotten her of course. Thank you for your kind words, froggy.
Trilogy, thank you dear friend. You’re right, there isn’t much more I can do … just be strong if I have to for her poor little sake.

Oryoki Bowl, yes, if she was older it would be tough enough but I think a little easier. The fact that she is still bright and fairly well doesn’t help much either.

Tr ig, thank you. I really appreciate that, tr ig.

Susie, we’ve certainly wondered about the possibility of wheels and mentioned it to the vet. He still wasn’t too sure about the quality of life she may be left with at the end of this and said if it was his dog and she didn’t improve, he would put his own dog down. Our yard is too steep for her to get around on wheels but there are ways and means of course. Still, we’ll just wait a bit longer and see how things turn out. Her quality of life is the most important thing to consider.
Spike, now that’s something you don’t hear of everyday ... a chiropractor who treats dogs for free! What a wonderful man! And he cured your mum’s dog? Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for good wishes, Spike.

Thoth, thank you so very much.

Scanner, thank you. We’ve certainly thought of the wheels but it still remains to be seen just how good a life Molly can have. I mentioned to Susie (above) that my yard is definitely not suitable for wheels either but, as long as she had good quality of life, there are ways and means. Just waiting to see how it all pans out.

Miguela, I just visited your post and met Pierre. He’s gorgeous! Maxie sounds as though he was too.
This is so tough. One of our beloved cats developed a mass in her intestines and we made that decision to have her put to sleep. The hard part is that it IS a decision in many cases, not something you MUST do. I hope that this sweet dog improves...
Well, the curmudgeon in me wonders "When will your daughter take responsibility for her dog?" This is a terrible situation, for Molly and for you. Take strength from our caring while you can, and look to your heart for your answers. You are showing Molly every day (and many times a night) that you cherish her. She knows it, I suspect.
Patrick, I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. Our little furry friends come to play a big part in our lives that it's always sad to have to let them go but, yes, when it's not so clear cut, having to make the decision is pretty tough.
Ah, Pilgrim, I've sometimes wondered myself but her circumstances haven't enabled her to have Molly with her. Right now too, she is going through a very personally challenging time herself and so I'd rather help as much as possible at the moment. However, she insisted on taking responsibility for the vet fees and given that she is practically broke on top of everything else, I am proud of her for doing that. Believe me though ... she will play a major role in any decision-making concerning Molly's future. I just mihgt have to push her a little when the time is right.

Thank you so much for your love and care. It is appreciated more than you might know.
Kate! I am so sad to hear that your sweet fur faced baby is so sick. I've held my share of angels as they passed too...The are so true, and noble that surely, they fly straight to the heart of God at the end. Such an unhappy decision...Kiss on your forehead...I wish you and Molly all the best in this journey. xo r
It is never easy to let go. I think that Molly will let you know when it is time. I'm so sorry.
It's the deal we make the day we bring them home, that they will break our hearts. What a sweet little face, which must make her suffering all the more difficult. When the times comes, you always know.
Having been in that situation, Kate, I understand. You ask two really good questions at the end, for which no really good answers exist. For me, I just knew, somehow; something clicked, the decision was made. And, as Kim says, I held him as he went.
Pain is the great decision maker in my house of furry mammals. If one id elderly and appears to be in pain, then it's time to take the pain away. That can be a gift...
Oh Kate. I hear all the love in your voice and see it as well in her eyes. Molly knows and feels and hears your love as well. My lovelies, not so long gone, are here with me as I read your words. My kitty man told me when I asked what you are asking here that his way of knowing was whether he was keeping the lovely for the lovely’s sake or for his own. It tore my heart to hear those words and though, as Pilgrim says, there came a moment when I knew, it took longer moments to make the call and in the moment someone came with me. I sang to her and carried her to her favourite spots. She only looked at me. She barely moved. As Kim says, she never left my arms. I feel her there even now. I rocked her and talked with her as she left me and then I brought her home. Kitty man came and made a grave. He always does.

With my kitty, everything just shut down. Once more I tried everything I could think to do, as you are doing now, until there was a moment when even I who didn’t want to know, knew.

Hours ago my cousin had to make a call much like yours. She and her lovely saw so many vets. There was no hopeful news, only time and how it could best be spent. This lovely, too, had been her daughter’s lovely first, but daughter moved away for work and now is in Hawaii. Lovely has stayed with mom. I saw lovely only a few weeks ago and her eyes would warm your heart.

Perhaps the youngest of the vets looked at this lovely and at her mom and told her that when the time came, it would be an act of love.

Loving hearts can only act with love. Somehow Molly already knows this. She has always known your love. Maybe somehow she is giving you and your daughter time. While you are watching her until you see the vet, all the love expressed by voices here will stay with you, with your daughter and with Molly.

Loving hearts can only act with love. Loving hearts here, our Kate, will be holding you. Should the moment come, we will hold you as you hold her. Kim is right. Whatever happens, hold her when she goes. The last thing she will feel will be your love and what a gift that is and has always been for her. For all of us, Kate. Much love to you as these hours pass.
She looks very sweet, wishing the best here Lil.
A Persistent Muse, “sweet fur faced baby” made me smile. : ) Thank you for your good wishes.

Ande, a little while ago I gave Molly her bath … trying to get her to kick … front legs going ten to the dozen … hind legs moving but still fairly weak. I’m sure she will let me know if she’s had enough but for the moment, I’m holding on to hope that all she needs is a little more time to get stronger. I am conscious of not keeping her here just because it’s what I want. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Greenheron, you’re absolutely right. It is the deal we make when we bring them home. Thank you for dropping by and for your thoughtfulness.

Jerry, I’m sorry you’ve been in the same situation. I know so many of us have. We humans love our pets … I think especially our dogs. If/when the times comes, she won’t go alone … I’ll be holding her ... as will my daughter I suspect.
Linnnn, that’s darn good advice. I’ll check again with the vet on Monday about just how much pain she is in and what he thinks her prognosis is.

anna1liese, your love and care shines brightly for me and you touch my heart so deeply and so warmly. Thank you dear friend. Thank you.

Rita, thank you so much. : )

Jramelle, it’s been one of those days on OS! Absolutely a shocker! But thank you so very much for persevering as much as you did. Please know I have your warm thoughts and good wishes and I appreciate them all so much. How did you know that sometimes I need to be reminded to breathe???? I’ll try to remember! : )