My heart is broken. My dog Molly has passed away.

I cannot begin to explain the loss that is Molly. She was just a few weeks shy of her 13th birthday. She lived the most amazing, cared for, caring life a Cavalier King Charles could dream. My Molly had the deepest, most soulful eyes you have ever seen on any creature or finest work of art. Everyone who met her loved her. Even dog haters could not resist this dog, because Molly might actually have been love herself.

From the time she was a puppy, you knew Molly was one of a kind. She pretty much fit in the palm of my hand when we got her. And oh, was she finicky. We hand-fed her for years, but doing so was a pleasure. She was clearly using meal time as extra attention time, but she was so darling you never complained.

When she grew past her puppyhood, Molly began to emanate a zen-like calm that never broke. There was a constant aura around her that said: "You are with this dog, everything is A-OK. Enjoy the moment." Many of my friends would joke about wanting to take her home or steal her. At one point we called her the Molly Lama.

Life was so perfect with Molly. She was the most trustworthy, loyal, loving dog on Earth. I'd joke about leaving my daughter with her like Nana in Peter Pan. Around the time she was nine, she fell ill with a mystery ailment. No one knew exactly what it was--some kind of swallowing disorder that caused her to lose weight rapidly. My poor baby was wasting away before my eyes. I spent days driving back and forth to the fantastic animal hospital at U.C. Davis where they collected a ton of data but were just as baffled as all the local specialists. She had lesions or ulcers lining her throat and a regurgitation reflex happening as she attempted to swallow, causing stomach acid to inflame the sores. Molly had dropped from 17 to 11 lbs in 2 weeks.

I can clearly remember the night, coming back from another run out to Davis and back with her, begging the universe to give me whatever she had and to let her get better. Miraculously, she did. The doctors at Davis were then able to determine what was going on but we agreed to not treat her until it recurred, because she would have to live on drugs for the rest of her life.

She continued being herself. She joined me on road trips and camping trips. She slept a bit more, but still wrestled nightly with her "Molly dolly" -- a doll she loved so fiercely I bought a dozen so she'd never be without (I need to find one around here later and put it away.) A few months ago another mystery ailment sprung up and she'd been getting progressively worse. I saw her last night before leaving her with my ex-wife. She passed away around 3am this morning.

I spent the morning wishing I could cry. I couldn't find tears. I kept thinking about what a wonderful life that dog had. She spent most of it sleeping on the beach. I had declined to view her remains, but ended up planning my errands today to take me very close to our veterinarian's office, so I decided to stop by. Molly was curled up in our dog Calliope's old dog bed, with a towel over her. When I touched her, she was still warm. She looked so happy and peaceful, I almost expected her to get up but the light was gone from her eyes.

I figured out how to cry. It was OK because I was with Molly. She could make it all OK one last time.