Jill And Angel molly (irish setter)

 

I was born and raised in Southern California and enjoyed a wonderful childhood.  Dogs have always been a part of my life and my dad seemed to have a knack of being found by that special dog and bringing them home.  Of all the many childhood dogs in my life, it was Corky, a Pekingese Poodle mix that stole my heart.  Corky was the sweetest girl who would not even hurt a fly.  Corky would stay in my life until my early twenties.  

Growing up I worked in our family restaurant in Hollywood, Tick Tock Restaurant, originally opened by my grandparents, and continued to work there until my late twenties when the business was closed.  I was very sad when the business closed but soon found myself in corporate life working in accounting as I could not imagine ever working in another restaurant other than ours.

My first “adult” dog I named Lady (well, my mom named her Lady and I agreed) and she was a terrier mix that my brother found in the alley at the restaurant.  I had heard that one of the locals had taken her home but then soon returned her.  I wondered why but later found out.  Arriving at work one day I found Lady sleeping under my desk in the office and she then became a part of my life.  It took weeks for me to slowly brush out all of her matted hair but this turned out to be a true bonding experience.  I trusted Lady and Lady trusted me instantly, thank goodness.  Lady was the type of dog who either trusted people or not and she could not be trusted around most people or she could nip at them when they went to pet her.  Somehow though, she saw something special in some people and it was Lady that “chose” my dear husband and declared him as a keeper.  Lady saw me through many ups and downs in my life and she lived far longer than I or we could ever have imagined.  She became quite frail in her later years and despite loss of most of her hearing and eyesight she came full circle giving all people her full trust.  Though continuing to eat and drink well, the day I saw she had lost the sparkle in her eyes, I knew what I needed to do.  I said good bye to my dear friend a few days later.

Within a few months my husband set out to find a new pup for our family and this is how Molly came into our lives.  I soon was caught up in waiting for our new arrival and the day we brought her home was filled with laughter and great joy.  Molly was the sweetest, happiest and most energetic puppy who just fit in right away.  She was eager to explore and start her life.  Putting the rigors of raising a puppy aside we soon added a second puppy, Abby, another Irish Setter to our family.   Molly was like a proud aunt, not one to discipline her new charge; they provided each other with great comfort during the hours my husband and I were away at work.  Eventually we were able to properly “toddler” proof our home…smile.

With Molly just over a year and a half in age the house seemed much too quiet and I went to check on where Molly was.  It was then that I found Molly in the front entry in the midst of a grand mal seizure.  I was horrified and was sure my dog was dying right in front of my eyes.  All I could do is yell for my husband to come help her.  I did not realize at the time that dogs could even have seizures.  My husband and I did everything wrong in the beginning but with the help received from the articles on this website we did learn.  Gratefully, the seizures were few and far between in those early days.  Eventually my husband wrote into the site for more help when the seizures started coming more frequently.  We received great information and of course gained a connection to someone who really understood us.  I truly felt lifted by Angel wings.  Our own Guardian Angel, Beth, took us from feeling very isolated and unsure to taking charge of our girl’s health care and knowing how we could help her.

Sadly I lost my epi girl Molly late 2004.  I spent a great deal of the year after losing Molly in utter turmoil but I had formed a friendship with Joanne that helped to sustain me.  We had sold our house prior to losing our girl and had been making all the needed plans and preparations to move to Oregon.  I felt ripped apart going ahead with our plans and spent a great deal of the year just before and after the move going through the motions of life.   I did still have Abby who needed me and gratefully she was a huge help to me.  Soon after arriving in Oregon, we also had the pleasure of adding another dog, Murphy, also an Irish Setter, to our family.   It felt much too soon to add another but I knew it was meant to be so we took the plunge and adopted him.  Encouragement received from Joanne sealed the deal.  Murphy has been a great “brother” for Abby and we feel very lucky to have him in our life.

I feel proud that Joanne found qualities (and how I cared for my epi) in me that have allowed me to be of help to others also dealing with canine epilepsy.  I came to be one of the Angels about one year after losing Molly.  Joanne seemed to know when I was ready even though I did not.  I was very scared in the beginning but I have continued to grow in heart and knowledge through the guidance of Joanne and it is rewarding to give back a little of what was given to me. 

Molly was an incredibly smart and sweet dog who did not deserve what happened to her.  In an effort to turn this all around I remain grateful to her for all she taught me and all she continues to teach me.  Molly did not lose her fight for life because of the epilepsy but I am convinced it did play a part.  Regrets are a part of life and the one regret I do have is not having Molly’s thyroid function tested through Dr. Jean Dodds quicker.  If I correspond with you through epilepsy answers you will know why I put so much emphasis in ruling hypothyroidism in or out.  

I hope the above gives you a little more of an idea of who I am.  I am now at a place where I hope I can help you too.  

I believe the chance of my ever being owned by another epi are slim, but given half a chance I would travel back in time and do it all over again with Molly…….even if I could not change a thing.  Our epi dogs are even more special and the bond you share with your dog will be great.  There will be bad days but remember to enjoy and celebrate the good days of which there are more.  Life is very precious.  Molly was one of the best things to happen in my life and I will love her dearly always.  

Forever Angel Molly’s mom….Jill and our non-epi’s Abby and Murphy