Molly the Irish Setter: Her Story

by Melissa R. on January 11, 2010

Molly & Me

Molly & Me

I’ve written about my Irish Setter, Molly, several times, and so I thought it might be nice to tell you her story! She passed away about four years ago, but she has a great story.

Molly came to me when she was six years old. She had been living with a “breeder” and we suspect didn’t have much activity other than having puppies. The Great Lakes Irish Setter Rescue group rescued her and were kind enough to let me adopt her. At the time I lived in an apartment, but had ample access to a yard and a good amount of room for a big dog. I was “looking” for a medium- sized dog with short hair…but you know how it goes. The moment I saw her picture I fell in love and that was that!

When we first picked her up, we were met with a swarm of red heads – about 10 Irish Setters greeted us at the door. I proceeded to find a comfy spot on the floor, and, one-by-one the setters came & said hello, sniffed, and then wandered away. Except one – this one sat down on my lap. Well, as much of herself as she could get on my lap anyway! Keep in mind Irish Setters are big dogs upwards of 80 lbs! Would you believe it? This was Molly. Somehow we think she knew she was going home with me. When I got up eventually to go get a leash from the car, I was told she followed me to the door and whined as I left (go figure….separation anxiety already! See my previous post).

The first thing Molly did when we got home was to sniff around a bit, and then proceeded to climb up on the couch and lay down, wagging the tip of her tail contentedly. As time went by, a saying developed that, “There is always room for Molly” – because sure enough, if the couch was filled with people, she’d FIND a way to get up there and insert her big red self on top or around somebody. There truly WAS always room for Molly!

Molly on the couch, as usual!

Molly on the couch, as usual!

She insisted on sleeping on the bed, which I didn’t mind *entirely* but she was a bit of a hog with those big long legs and big nose. I can’t count how many times I either woke up to that NOSE in my face or a stinky, big old paw in my face. There were even times where (I hate to admit it) – I slept on the couch, or managed to scrape up a tiny spot at the bottom of the bed for myself, because I just didn’t have the heart to make her get down (I don’t recommend this! Keep your dog in a crate or their own bed!). But Molly was special. Those soulful eyes couldn’t be denied.

  • It was ok that she got in the garbage (I moved the garbage)
  • It was ok that she got in the cupboards & drawers (I locked them up)
  • It was ok that she chewed every stick that ever fell into the yard into bits & pieces I had to clean up (I just kept raking)
  • It was ok for two weeks one summer when she wouldn’t come inside because she was afraid I was going to leave (which I was!)
  • It was ok that she snored, had horrible gas, and drooled water all over the house (Candles, towels & rugs…)

Why? Because every time I walked in the room or she could hear me speak, I could hear that tail going…thump thump thump…

We certainly had our trials and tribulations, but weathered them all, and out of it came a very special dog and a very special bond. Some of you may have heard of a Heart Dog. Well, Molly was my Heart Dog for sure. A little piece of your soul somehow…If you have a Heart Dog, I think you know it. They are all special of course, but some mean just a little bit more. Here’s to all the Heart Dogs out there, and many more to come!

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

{ 1 trackback }

Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs: A Personal Experience. RIP Mocca
January 21, 2013 at 8:02 am

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Omar Reyes (Dog Care Journey) January 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for sharing such a heart warming story. I certainly now what you mean by having a Heart Dog. Mine was our dear Mora. She as a 65 pound Olde English Bulldogge (lapdog). It was always funny how she got in your lap if you let her – one leg up slowly, next leg up, rear leg up, head on your shoulder. She lives with family in Florida now so we only get to see her sometimes.

All our dogs have had a special place in my heart, but I don’t know, I think your Heart Dog comes along once in a lifetime and she was ours. I am so glad you found Molly.


Lois January 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

having been owned by four Irish Princesses, I certainly appreciate Molly’s story….They all seem to be able to inch their way into your heart, bed, and whatever else because of their huige hearts…enjoyed the story…

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: