We'd won the World Series - Heroes in the eyes of the nation. All of us together - a team of champions! What a feeling! Better than the finest liver snacks at Pet Smart.
Such good times! Those were the days of wine and doughnuts. They were not to last.
Dr. Juriceck approached me in the locker room, and I could read from the look in his eyes and the tightness in his jaw that he had something terrible to say.
I licked his nose, trustingly, and he rubbed the fur on my neck. "Molly," he began, then broke down, sobbing unashamedly.
"Molly, your jaw can't take it. Even with the mouth guard, those supercanine smashes - those jarring hits - the bat against the ball. If only you'd held back just a little... but that's not your style, is it? I can't, in good conscience, let you play next year." The tears flowed unchecked down his cheeks, and he buried his face into my neck.
I hung my head, my ears pressed flat back in sorrow. But I knew, even as my soul rebelled, that he was right. I remembered my mouth throbbing for days after some of my more powerful hits.... Only a week ago, I'd refused a ham bone; the pain of chewing was too intense."
"What about Shadow?" I asked.
Dr. Juraceck shook his head. "Maybe, some years down the road when we've perfected the mouth guard, there will be canine baseball players again. But, as for you and Shadow, your careers are over."
Now as I reflect on my season with the Sox, I know that I was one of the lucky ones. I had my days of glory. It's right that the baton be passed to some young human, some crazy kid with nothing but a ball, a dream, and a heart as big as Massachusetts.
But Shadow's amazing accomplishments will not be forgotten. He is to be inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, where the baseball greats are immortalized.
We'll always remember them: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Shadow.
Human's Note: Apologies to the Boston Red Sox, the San Francisco Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals, and to baseball in general. It seems that Molly got carried away again. The Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series in six games, and without any help from Molly and Shadow. Yadier Molina never stepped on Molly's tail, nor did he ever, to my knowledge, knock out a catcher. Dogs are not eligible to play on major league baseball teams (spitball issues aside.) Shadow can, however, carry two tennis balls in him mouth at the same time.