Molson, Charlie Brown

I know you’ve been inundated with stories of loss, both canine and human, and my story won’t stand out from countless others, but I want to do this for……me.

I’m a 57 year old ex-military brat. My father was a veteran of three wars, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. He died in 2002. Until that time, I had never had to endure the loss of a close family member. But, strangely enough, the loss of my Golden Retriever, “Molson”, three years earlier, actually made his passing……easier, if that’s possible. Having to put Molson “to sleep” (what a benign phrase, sounds so peacefull), I actually held Molson’s face up to mine and watched the “light” vanish from his eyes. I ran from the room to my car outside and cried like a baby. Uncontrolled sob after sob. I was not prepared for such a profound loss. The Vet was wonderful. She knew how I would react, and showed me the utmost respect. I’ll never forget that.

I guess the most remarkable part of my story occured three years later, when a stray chocolate lab, “Charlie Brown” literally ran into our house one dark, cold February night, and stole our hearts. We thought that someone lost him. He was about 6 or 7 months old and just a beautiful dog, …he must have run away and somewhere ,closeby, some family was grieving. We put up signs in our yard and at local establishments to try to reunite him with his rightfull owners. Strangely enough, as soon as we posted the signs, someone was taking them down. Why? Well, the answer was immediate….Charlie was in the “chewing” stage! I’d come home every night and total up the days damage to furiture, carpeting, etc. As he approached the $2,000 mark something totally unexpected occurred. You see, Charlie was not the only dog in the house. Molson’s “sister”, Molly (also a Golden) was the “Queen of the House”. and she didn’t take kindly to this young upstart who suddenly appeared after her beloved Molson disappeared. After all, she was 14 years old and set in her ways. She avoided him like the plague, and took up residence at the foot of our bed.

One morning, just before sunrise and the inevitable alarm clock, I heard a soft whine, almost unperceptable, but quite distinct. I turned a light on and saw Charlie gently nudging Molly with his nose and whining plaintively. I knelt down, picked her head up with both my hands, and actually heard her last exhale and felt her….go. From that second, I was eternally in love with Charlie Brown, and awed with the wonderment of life, death, and the ability of seemingly lesser creatures to sense the essance of life.

It was a profound moment, to say the least. And when My Dad passed, I was prepared. I was not new to the experience any longer. That’s how much Molson ,and all of my dogs over the years, have meant to me.
Thank you, Mark, for articulating not only that experience, but for helping me and so many others to not remain complacent about the world around us and remember what truly matters…..love and devotion to another being, human or otherwise.


Kevin from TX