for Molly

Elena Tucker
3 min readMar 18, 2022
Molly Tucker, not that long ago. Photo taken by Amy Tucker.

Today, my sister-in-law, Amy had to say good-bye to one of her beautiful, sweet, good little dogs, Molly. Molly was a miniature greyhound mix, a rescue, who when Amy got her, was scared of the wind because she had never felt it before — had never been out for walks. That tiny pooch, with her long legs, was full of personality and charm. She lived a long life, and a good life with her sister dog — Kira (the older of the two, who is still alive). Amy took care of Molly until she was 15 years old and could no longer stand up without being held up.

One of the nicest memories we have of Molly is when we took a family trip to Oregon in the late summer, years ago. Our son, Sam, was about 10 years old, at the time. We all went rafting, including the dogs, and everyone, including the dogs, had personal life jackets on. Kira had been rafting with Amy before, and had no problems with anything, but this was Molly’s first time, and she was nervous. As mild as the rapids were (and we did have to get out a few times to make sure the raft could be pushed through the very shallow parts of the river), Molly had somehow managed to fall overboard in the middle of our adventure. Naturally, she was quickly scooped up by the handle of her little life jacket and deposited into the raft, but she was wet, terrified and shivering. Sammy was appointed as the designated dog holder, and he gingerly but protectively held the dog for the remainder of the trip. Very soon the little pup stopped shivering and just rested against her sheltering boy.

It’s days like today that remind me of a conversation I had with my mom recently. I asked her if she’ll ever get another pet, like a small dog or a cat. My mom is in her 80s, and she and my dad still live independently in their own home — a nice house with a nice, large, fenced-in back yard. She didn’t think long before she answered, “No.” But her reason surprised me a little bit.

“It’s too heartbreaking when they die,” she said.

She’s not wrong, of course. They break your heart when they die, nearly unbearably. But if that was the only reason, very few people would then own dogs. Why we keep on getting dogs, and loving these dogs, even though it hurts to lose them matters — it so very much matters.

While dogs are with us, they bring out the best in us — they bring out our very humanity. They…

Elena Tucker

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.